I’ve been to Rome before, but I’ve always said I would happily go again. There’s just so much to see there, so much ground to cover. My favorite part of being there the first time was the feeling that on every street corner there was something famous, some monument, statue, or ruin.

I took this of my friends last time we were there so I could send it to my good, Catholic friend Katie Raffel.

This time on my second trip to Rome, I was able to relax a bit in the fact that I’d been there; I’ve seen many of the sights and taken all the typical photos. This time I could breath a little bit easier and just soak up the experience and not worry about trying to experience one of the most culturally rich cities in the world through the lense of a camera.

This is our group sans 1 student, Nicholas (photo credit to him), and our two traveling staff, Steve and Alison.

While our two days were short, there were a few very distinct highlights: the Pope, Jochebed and the catacombs.

The Pope was cool.  He says hi. Actually, he waved to me from only about 1.5 meters away. The catacombs were enlightening too. If you haven’t already, you should read about them on our private page.

We're good friends now:)

I loved seeing Jochebed again.  I hadn’t seen her since we graduated and she is exactly the same as when I last saw her- she even let me hug her!  She gave us a little personalized tour of the Trevi fountain and walked us back to our metro stop just in time for us to get home before the monastery (!) we were sleeping in closed.

with Jochebed at the Trevi Fountain!

After Rome, we made a b-line to Assisi, home of Saint Francis of Assisi (perhaps you better know him as San Francisco?)  We went to the monastery were he used to spend his quiet time, and we also went to the church that he rebuilt brick by brick.  Later that day we went to the St. Francis Basilica, which was so beautiful, and then had some time to walk around the city.  It reminded me a little of Mont St. Michel.

St. Francis Basilica in Assisi

Next up, Switzerland!