The influence of faith and religion upon society has given us a history which has been shaped by ideas, values and aspirations that are shared across cultures and nations. The role of Christianity in not only proclaiming that all people can be important members of Christ’s body, but also moulding law, education, science, ethics and community is most clearly seen when we visited Rome, the centre of Catholic Christianity and a city, rich in art, culture, belief and religion which is embedded into the heart of everyday life. Our trip to Rome was an amazing opportunity to see how Christianity shapes a culture and brings a unique identity to a diverse group of people.
Having left Nottingham at 03:15, we arrived in Rome for lunch. Once we had found our feet and filled our bellies, we began exploring the eternal city. We learnt about the history of Rome, how it was born and grew into the world’s greatest city and how Christianity helped to grow the society which taught equality and freedom for its citizens and gave equal power to the political and religious authorities whilst visiting the Time elevator, before walking to experience pasta and gelato for our evening meal.
On our second day, we had a fantastic day visiting the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. An incredible testimony to the skill, artisanship and power that the senate and the Church wielded nearly 2000 years ago. We were wowed at the scale of both of these places and loved exploring such magnificent monuments. We ended the day with authentic Pizza before returning to the hotel for some well-earned rest.
An early start (06:30) was needed for us to visit the Vatican. The heart of the Catholic faith was open to all who wished to come, meaning we needed to queue from 07:30! By 09:30 we were in the Vatican and making our way past the amazing sculptures and artwork towards the Sistine chapel. Here we took in Michelangelo’s fabulous masterpiece and then visited St Peters Basilica. After lunch, we had a tour of the older part of Rome, visiting the Jewish area which became a ghetto in the early 20th century before witnessing a terrible massacre and the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz. We also visited one of the oldest Churches in Rome, built in the 1st century, before walking to enjoy a burger at the Hard Rock Café.
Monday gave us the opportunity to visit the major sites in Rome, From the Spanish steps to the Trevi fountain. We ended the morning’s tour at the Pantheon, which was a fabulous way to end our time in Rome. A seamless journey home gave us chance to reflect on our experiences. It was a pleasure to take such a fabulous group of young people and we hope that you enjoyed learning in such a wonderful city.