Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easter with the Pope!

Sorry it has been awhile!! I haven't had internet access in so long!  However, expect a lot of updates from my travels this week!

I had an AWESOME Easter last weekend!!  I spent it in Rome with Pope Francis.  I attended a trip through WSA.  WSA is a program designed for study abroad students or backpackers where they host trips throughout the semester in major cities where students generally want to visit.  I highly recommend looking into them because it was totally worth it!!  I loved every minute of my trip, even when my feet were killing me from walking so much!!  (

My first day in Rome wasn't too exciting because it was an arrival day.  However, throwing the schedule out the window (not really but it was unplanned), our tour guide, Andy, took us to some local churches where they decorate the alters on Holy Thursday for people to come and pray.  People normally go from church to church looking at each setup and saying a short prayer.

Our next day was super busy!!  We started off our day touring the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel.  Both were AMAZING!!  I have to say I was good and didn't take any pictures while in the chapel.  Our tour guide explained the history of the Vatican and explained to us where certain rooms and artifacts came from.  She did her best to keep us together but it was hard with the amount of people!
I loved the artwork everywhere!

After our tour we got gelato!  Yep my first taste of gelato was amazing and messy!  I ending up getting it everywhere including all over my jacket!  (No worries it came out clean!)
We then climbed up to the top of the hill next to Vatican City where you could see all of Rome.  The view was AMAZING!!
That night we went to Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum given by Pope Francis.  It was packed to the capacity with people and it was a great experience!
The Pope is the white on the right under the red tent
Saturday gave me an experience not many people get to have.  Our original tour to visit St. Peter's Basilica was cancelled because they closed it for preparations.  We tried to go really early but there was already massive crowd there!!  Andy made a few phone calls and brought us in through a side entrance so we could get in before our next scheduled tour!  So, yes, now I can say I snuck into St. Peter's Basilica.  Don't worry the Swiss Guards let us through!
Sneaking in
The Swiss Guard
Inside the Basilica!!!
After St. Peter's we headed over to tour the Colosseum.  It was cool to actually go inside somewhere I only have seen in pictures.

We then toured the Roman Forum and walked through some back street to get to the Python.

That night we had a huge feast!  Two types of pasta, pizza, bruschetta, and dessert!  I have to say I was stuffed by the end of the night.  We also received our Vatican tickets at dinner!
We stopped off at the Trevi Fountain on the way!
My two AWESOME tour guides and I after dinner
Yep I officially have access!
Sunday was the main reason most people where in Rome at that time:  Easter mass.  Mass was Spectacular!  I was able to get 6th row seats so I had perfect view of everything that went on!  Hearing Pope Francis give his first Easter mass as Pope was a really cool experience.  It was just surreal being in Vatican City with everyone else there!  I couldn't have asked for a better memory.
Made it to Vatican City!
Beginning of mass
Pope in the Pope Mobile
The Pope giving a blessing after mass
I highly recommend looking into WSA.  Going to Rome through them was the best choice I ever made!  Switzerland updates soon!


  1. Not gunna lie, that is pretty sick

    1. It was the greatest opportunity ever!!

  2. Thanks for your grateful informations, am working in Tourism Portal, so it will be helpful info for my works.

  3. Hi Maura, This is your neighbor (Rocky's mother). I am so happy to hear you are enjoying your travels abroad. This is an exciting time in your life. Drink in every moment and enjoy it. Continued success and safe travels, Renee Gatz

    1. Thanks Renee! I'm loving every minute of my time abroad and taking everything in!