On Friday 16th February, at the painful hour of 3:30am, the coach departed from King Charles I school to head to Manchester Airport, where a crowd of excited students and teachers would fly to Rome. After a quick flight, with incredible views of the snowy peaks of the Alps, we landed in Rome around midday. A coach took us to our hotel- Hotel Villa Rosa- where we freshened up before heading out to the medieval neighbourhood of Trastevere. This was our first taste of Italian culture and we all separated and found the nearest Pizzerias and gelato shops for some well-deserved food and an authentic Roman experience.

After a much-needed night’s sleep, on Saturday at 9:00am we met with Francesca Di Marzo, who was to be our tour guide for the weekend. Enthusiastically, she gave us a detailed tour of the Vatican Museum, which was full of incredible paintings and history, followed by a short history of the Sistine Chapel, which we saw in its full glory. We then walked to St. Peter’s Chapel where we experienced the beauty of the Italian frescoes. We were given headphones to listen to Francesca educate us about Italian history. Then, we all walked along the river, past the Castel Sant’ Angelo and headed to Piazza Navona and the Pantheon for some free time. With a stretch of free time on our hands, we ate a quick lunch and found ourselves at the nearest Italian shopping street to spend our euros wisely. Later on, after an evening meal at the hotel, we took public transport to visit the magical Trevi fountain and impressive Spanish steps for the night. It was an incredible photo opportunity as the fountain was beautifully lit and the steps were the perfect spot for group pictures.

For our last full day in Rome, on Sunday, we had breakfast and headed to ancient Rome. As typical tourists, our highlight of the day was visiting the Colosseum which, despite the pouring rain, captivated everyone’s attention. We were reunited with Francesca who gave us the full tour of the Imperial Forums, Palatino and, of course, the Colosseum. After an exciting (yet damp) morning, we sadly bid our farewells to Francesca and walked to Piazza Venezia for our last bout of free time, where we spent our remaining euros on useful items, like crepes and an Italian McDonalds. By the evening, tiredness had set in but we were all determined to enjoy our last hours in Rome. Alongside packing up, some people visited the shop down the street and we all ate our final evening meal together, courtesy of the hotel.

Sadly, we departed from Rome, on Monday, catching a flight at 13:25pm from the airport. After a quick shop in duty free, and our last Italian meal, we boarded the plane for our journey home. Our Rome trip ended, as the coach pulled back into King Charles at 7:00pm where we said our goodbyes and went home for a well-deserved sleep.

-Ana Weber


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