When in Rome…

Our guest blogger, McKenzie, is back as her adventures around Europe take her to Rome!

Sojourn#5 was a trip with my TCU study abroad program to Rome. You know, the place where Lizzie McGuire became an international pop star and was swept off her feet by the insanely hot Italian, Paolo? Well… I’ll save you all the angst and tell you now – unfortunately, that did not happen to me (sigh). I did, however, get to see some of the most beautiful historical sites Rome has to offer and I got to experience this exciting city on my 21st birthday. For the rest of my life, the memory of my 21st birthday will always start with ‘Rome’.

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*** Side note… Because of the incredible weekend I’d had in Switzerland with everyone from TCU, I had high expectations for Rome. And for the record, my expectations didn’t even compare to the actual experience.

When I think of Rome, two things immediately come to mind – The Mary Kate and Ashley movie, When in Rome, and The Lizzie McGuire Movie (clearly my childhood was very educational). So, as you can imagine, these movies inspired my curiosity to explore everything this city had to offer.

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We arrived Friday mid-afternoon to the gorgeous Hotel Navona, which was just steps away from Piazza Navona. After we were settled in, we set out for the walking tours we had planned that day. We visited the Colosseum and the Ruins of Rome, both of which were incredible. I could sit here and try to put into words the beauty of Rome, but that would take me forever, so take in the photos – as they say an image is worth a thousand words.

Rome_1Saturday morning was all about the Sistine Chapel and Vatican City. Oh, AND MY 21ST BIRTHDAY! That morning, I woke up to streamers hanging all over our room – ‘shout out’ to Lex and Liv… y’all ROCK! I also awoke to dark chocolate on my nightstand, and you know me… dark chocolate makes for one happy ‘Kenz. So my birthday was definitely off to a great start! Now back to the tours – the Sistine Chapel and Vatican City were amazing. Definitely a must if it’s your first time to Rome, or if you simply have a love for art and history.

Rome_6After the tours, we decided to venture out on our own. Walking along the river and taking in all the liveliness that is Rome, was an experience in itself. We ended our adventure at the Spanish Steps – talk about a picture perfect birthday. We sat on the steps for probably an hour relaxing, talking, and people watching (I love people watching, I could do it all day).

We were set to depart from Rome early afternoon, so Sunday morning we decided to explore on our own. We saw everything, from sites such as the Pantheon to street performers and opera singers belting it out on the streets. Rome is such a lively city – I loved it! Unfortunately, the one thing I really wanted to see while in Rome was under construction – the Trevi Fountain. Even though I didn’t get to physically toss a coin into the fountain and make a wish, spending my birthday weekend in Rome surrounded by such amazing friends was a dream come true. Rome was truly an experience of a lifetime and one I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Stay tuned for more. Next up, a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in none other than Dublin, Ireland!

Until next time…

McKenzie

@KenzInFirenze #LiveLikeKenz

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