Florence 2022 Florence, Italy MSMU Travels

Puro cioccolato en Roma

Last weekend, we took a trip to La Città Eterna: Rome. It was as amazing as it seemed in the Lizzie McGuire movie, even without a handsome, Italian pop star to woo us (though, there was a very talented street performer I saw on our last day playing the trumpet and the piano at the same time…). Honestly, I’d say that our experience was better than Lizzie’s. I mean, sure, she may have sung on stage, but did she get to see the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the catacombs, the Pantheon, the Vatican, see and get blessed by the Pope, and eat gelato next to an actual castle? No. All she did was fall for a hot, tone-deaf Italian boy.

Finding Castel Sant’Angelo was quite the adventure. I was with four others, and we’d had a long day full of tours and lots of walking, but that didn’t stop us from trekking through the thousand-years-old streets of Rome to find the castle resting beside the Tiber river. We rounded a corner and all of us stopped to take in the looming castle across the river. Chills ran down my spine as I looked at it, as the realization of seeing a real castle in person hit me. The only one I had seen before was Cinderella’s castle at Disney World. That was cool, of course, but this? This was a real castle built by an emperor. 

And I ate chocolate gelato right next to it.

I had eaten a little bit of the gelato before going to the castle. It was good then, but somehow eating it on the bridge, listening to the street performers play their hearts out made the gelato taste even better. It was called “puro cioccolato” and tasted just like dark chocolate, rich and smooth and yummy. Not once in my wildest dreams had I ever thought I would eat chocolate gelato next to a castle. It was incredible, and I still have a hard time believing that it actually happened. 

I went back the next day after we went to the Vatican and saw the Pope, this time bringing some other friends to show them. The day began cloudy and rainy, but by the time we saw the Pope, it was warm and the sun was shining brilliantly. It was as if even mother nature wanted to give us a proper last day in Rome! We got gelato, and I once again got the dark chocolate flavor. The castle was more beautiful during the day, making the gelato taste even better than it had the night before, and we got to see several other street performers. That was my favorite part of the trip: the performers we got to see. All of the people we saw were so talented, and I wanted to stay there forever. Sadly, it was our last day and our time was limited. 

The castle was the last thing I got to visit, but I would say that was a good way to leave Rome. I hope to return someday to take a tour of the inside of Castel Sant’Angelo and watch more street performers with a delicious gelato in my hand. I can certainly see why Rome is nicknamed “The Eternal City,” and I think any other nickname is too weak to describe it. Eternal city, indeed, with its delicious food, beautiful architecture, and rich history. “This is what dreams are made of,” sang Lizzie McGuire, who spent her trip to Rome chasing after a cute Italian boy she had just met. I think that line perfectly sums up our weekend get-away. 

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