Hey everyone! Sorry we haven't updated in a few days. The program has been keeping us on our toes. Yesterday we explored the Vatican. We saw the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica and learned about the art and architecture in Renaissance Rome. These were the stuff of movies like The Agony and the Ecstasy and books like The Da Vinci Code. With our excellent guide we learned lots of little details about the popes and the artists and architects and events that made the Vatican what we see today. One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to the Nervi Auditorium, one of the most aesthetically pleasing and structurally innovative examples of reinforced concrete in structures and one of the most beautiful buildings of the 21st Century. It is the place where the pope has performance events, and receives audiences in bad weather. We were really lucky because tour groups aren't ever allowed in there but we were allowed in there, and we got a very enlightening presentation about its construction from the head engineer in charge of the building. It was really impressive.
Today we started out with an informative lecture on architectural restoration at the University of Rome. After that we went to another Nervi structure, the Pallazetto Dello Sport. Trevi Fountain came next and we all made wishes. Then came the Colliseum and the home of Emperor Niro which was the most awe inspiring part of our trip. I definitely did not think I would see these in such close proximity so early in my life. Anyway we have one more busy day in Rome and then we are off again.