I have just over a week left in Rome, and it’s starting to feel like the end. Everyone is acting as though the semester is already over, but that’s probably because it basically is. I’m starting to think about packing and souvenirs. I’m beginning to clear out my shelf in the refrigerator. I’m trying to use up things like the bottle of shampoo that has inexplicably lasted all semester.
As eager as I am to get home, there’s no sense in rushing these last few days. I can walk slowly and sit in the sun and drink coffee and read for hours because I don’t have anything particularly pressing to do. I like that.
I don’t really have anywhere to be, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing things.
–Easter Mass at the Vatican: I attended Mass in St. Peter’s Square with 150,000 faithful and 150 Notre Dame study abroad students from all over Europe. As we walked to Vatican City on Sunday morning, one of my roommates said, “This is just like walking to a football game from the dorms!”
–Pasta: I made pasta from scratch. Eggs and flour and salt, when kneaded, rested, rolled, and cut, magically combine to make pasta. Presto! My first attempt at handmade tagliolini was a little bit on the thick side, but much to my astonishment, it looked and tasted basically like pasta is supposed to look and taste.
–Touristy things: I stuck my hand in the Bocca della Verita’ (Mouth of Truth). I explored underground in the Catacombs of Priscilla for my on-site Ancient Rome class. I hiked up the Aventine Hill and found the secret Priory of Malta keyhole that frames the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. I visited the Crypt of the Cappuccins and marveled at the chapels decorated with the bones of thousands of dead monks. I investigated the excavations at San Clemente, a 12th century church built on top of a 4th century church built on top of a 2nd century temple built on top of a 1st century Roman home.
–Sister time in Rome: My sister Maggie visited the Eternal City during Holy Week at the beginning of a trip with Cardinal Gibbons High School. The seniors-only trip is the same trip that I went on in 2008. I met up the Gibbons group on Friday night and on Sunday after Mass. I had a great time showing Maggie my neighborhood, and I was thrilled to be able to congratulate her on her college decision in person. Maggie will be attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall!