This past week Rachel and I went on our Spring Break trip to Italy, specifically Venice and Rome. As Rachel is writing a post more about Venice, I am going to focus mainly on recapping Rome. But let me just quickly say that Venice is absolutely enchanting. With all the famous art, quaint streets, and canals, everywhere your eyes turn offers a new scene to behold that could’ve come straight out of a fairy tale. This is why after reflecting back on the trip as a whole, Rachel and I agreed that going from Venice to Rome in many ways parallels the movie Enchanted (if you have not seen it, I highly recommend it).
When Rachel and I arrived at Termini Station (you can ask me for stories but in short that station is the culmination of all the fears I have with traveling) it felt a lot like what princess Giselle must have felt like when she was banished from her magical, musical, animated land, and popped out of a sewage hole in the middle of a street in modern-day Manhattan. Trying to cross the street for the first time was impossible until an Italian man walked right past us out into the street where a car preceded to slam on its brakes for him. Moral: travel to Rome, but never drive there, and sometimes crossing the street means you put your life very much in the hands of another person.
Despite being a little overwhelmed when first arriving into the city (Rome has about the same population as Scotland as a whole!), and having a few issues making it to the location of our new hostel, we ended up packing our days full of so many amazing experiences. We got to see the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and Spagna, many significant churches (there are 1300 in Rome alone) including St. Peter’s Basilica along with the Vatican. We ate amazing food: pizza, gelato, spaghetti carbonara, gnocchi, coffee, basically all the good things Italy is known for.
Rachel and I also got to walk on the Appian Way, which is a road that the Apostle Paul walked on. Having this experience along with seeing all the other historical sites that date back before Christ really just made the history so much more real and significant to me. Walking on the same road as a man like Paul is stunning. It shows how accomplished the Roman Empire was, how good they were at what they did by creating structures that are still in use today. But more astonishing is how God used the Roman Empire to spread the gospel. Without their road system it never would have been able to spread the way it did so quickly. God’s timing is always perfect and well planned out.
In case y’all were left wondering how far the Enchanted analogy goes, neither Rachel or I fell in love with any Italian guys, although a few tried to offer us roses (tip: in case you didn’t know, don’t accept roses from strangers in Italy). I only got yelled at in Italian once, but I mean what is an adventure without taking some risks? (That is a story for another day). Overall, everyone was very good at speaking at least some English, but we used grazie and ciao (pronounced like chow) a lot, which I greatly enjoyed.
I won’t lie, there were definitely times I really wanted my mom—traveling can be a whole lot to handle, and it requires a great deal of “adulting.” But I was blown away by how Rachel and I were able to figure things out that we didn’t think we would be able to at first, like all the different transportation, finding our hostels, and getting out money from an ATM in Italian. There were definitely times I was nervous, but I knew we weren’t alone. How comforting it is to know there is a God in Heaven who rules over all the nations.
Thank you to everyone who prayed us through that trip; your prayers were very much felt. We had the adventure of a lifetime! If you have any questions, I love talking about Italy so feel free to ask!