Sophomore Rebecca Twite reflects on her trip to Italy


Photo courtesy of Rebecca Twite

Sophomore Rebecca Twite had the opportunity to see many sights during her time in Italy. She plans to repeat her trip in the future.

Lillian Nesbitt, Staff Writer

Winter break is usually a time for students to relax, enjoying the absence of homework or sometimes even taking trips to tropical places. In the midst of the usual ease and relaxation of winter break, there was one busy student preparing for the class of a lifetime. This student was sophomore Rebecca Twite.

Last January, Twite travelled with her family to Italy while her mom, a Senior Adjunct Faculty Instructor at St. Thomas, was teaching a study abroad course on ancient theology. During this trip, she spent two of her three weeks in Assisi, one in Rome, and spent several days exploring smaller towns like Siena, Florence, and Montefalco.

While in Italy, she and her family visited the homes of St. Francis of Assisi, had mass with the Bishop of Assisi, and of course toured the Coliseum. While in Rome, she and the rest of her group took advantage of their proximity to the Vatican, walking to it daily. Especially as she could see the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica from her hotel window. “[The view] was one of my favorite parts. It was jaw dropping to wake up to it every morning,” Twite said.

Though she was able to spend over three weeks in Italy, she certainly wasn’t relaxing. “We walked over 26,000 steps each day in the last week,” Twite said. Most of her time in Italy was spent learning about the theological history behind the Vatican’s cathedrals and art. And although she may not have been a student in the class she took full advantage of the time spent learning. “[I learned] about ancient Rome and the culture that existed 1500 years ago. And just seeing the differences between now and then is so eye opening,” Twite said. 

No matter how much time was spent travelling and teaching, she was able to enjoy just a whole new way of life. “The culture was so laid back and slow. When I was there we would spend two hours just eating lunch, and then waste time wandering around exploring afterwards. Although, the same cannot be said for their driving,” Twite said. 

And although Twite spent days surrounded by ancient cathedrals and murals the most memorable was definitely the Gealto. “And in case anyone is looking for a good gelato place, Giolitti’s is a ten out of ten,” Twite said. 

Some other moments that also stood out to her were ice skating in 60 degree weather. “There were two rowers. And I was like, those are my people. It was really weird because we were ice skating right next to where people were playing summer sports,” Twite said.

Although Twite has returned from her trip to Italy, she’s already planning next year’s trip, as her mom is teaching abroad again. “I’m already so excited to go again. Next time around I will have better bearings to I’ll be able to enjoy the trip more. But, more importantly, I’ll get more gelato,” Twite said.