Inaugural Rome trip offered authentic cultural experience

Students traveled on foot for most of the trip, walking around much of Rome and Assisi.

Christine Silikowski, Staff Writer

Religion teachers Mr. Joe Pedersen and Ms. Allison Frank took 18 students on a trip to Rome this past spring break. The group spent 12 days traveling around Rome and Assisi, touring churches, going to museums, and experiencing the many different aspects of Roman culture.

“We spent the first day in Assissi and it was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been too it is a really peaceful place,” Mr. Pedersen said.

While in Assisi the students were mesmerized by the pure beauty of the town. “We took a ‘walk,’ it actually ended up being a hike. Ms. Frank and Mr. Pedersen didn’t tell us how strenuous it was going to be, to St. Francis’s hermitage in Assisi. It was really cool to be in such sacred places that people had put so much work into to be made really beautiful places,” senior Shannon Kraemer said.

Used to riding in cars everywhere, the students and teachers were surprised to see that cars were not the main source of transportation, walking was. “It was almost like a different world; people walk everywhere in Rome, and if not [they] ride vespas,” senior Jenny Krane said.

The students who went on the trip were also very excited to experience the different styles of food in Rome. Instead of the classic slice of pizza, it was served to go, folded like a sandwich, and wrapped in cardboard. “There were a lot of differences, like their coffees are really small; they give it to you in a teacup, because you can’t get it to go,” Krane said.

Going to different countries also comes with repercussions, an experience that these students came to know through their time in Rome. “This guy was in a restaurant and he must of followed us in and he pretended to be the manager and ended up taking 250 Euro from us,” Krane said.

Although they did get money stolen from them, the students say that is was almost impressive. “We did get some money stolen but it was okay in the end and the guy was a real professional con artist and you learn and you move on, getting robbed wasn’t funny in the moment but it was kind of funny after,” Mr. Pedersen said.

Students ran into trouble when waiting in line to go to the Easter Vigil mass at the Vatican, frantically trying to get new tickets. “When we got to the Vatican in order to attend Easter Vigil mass, we realized that we had been given the wrong tickets, and we had to gather 18 of the right tickets in less than 5 hours,” Kraemer said.

Students ran into many religious experiences on the trip to Rome. “On Good Friday, we got to climb the steps that Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate on. That was incredible because we were climbing them on the exact day that it actually happened,” Kraemer said.