Technology is never easy, but undeterred we have managed to get a few more days of news to you.
Sunday: this morning we attended Mass in the ancient church of St Agnes, before heading for the waterpark on the outskirts of Rome. The sweltering heat however ws not enough for the Romans: the park was closed because of the inclement weather! In Ireland, we would have been happy to have one day in the summer like today. Undaunted we headed for our first view of St Peters, only to find that closed as well, as there was a big ceremony planned for this evening.
Postcards were posted, souvenirs purchased and
then on to the Trevi Fountain,
(checking for spelling on the postcards!)
(seeing water, but not getting in!)
the Spanish Steps
(happy or what?)
and some street trading before making it home to families at around eight o’clock.
(the secret formula to maintain a contented bunch of first years)
(a preview of some presents on their way home to you!)
Monday: the boys felt more at home this morning, kitted in their school uniforms as the participated in classes with our Italian hosts at Iunior International School.
Time was found to take short walk to visit the fifth century Mausoleum of St Constans.
(street performers photographed on a busy Roman street)
Shortly after lunch we viewed a short film made by the Iunior students when they were in Rockbrook in March, before engaging in the annual soccer challenge. The Iunior team obviously felt we were not up for the match, and they gave us any number of players to help us to victory.
(one of Rockbrook’s (sorry, Rockbrook’s only) star performer)
(what am I supposed to do next?)
For one brief moment at 3-3 there was a flicker of hope, but that was dashed by a couple of quick Antonelli goals in succession. In years to come when the twins are playing for AC Milan then Yasir will be able to explain how he nearly scored against them! Bowed and beaten: that’s how it finished. Meanwhile some street performances were perfected: look out, Right Direction is coming your way.
Tomorrow we head towards the city again, with the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum on our list.
Tuesday: The Agostini family (and Cian) were great hosts as Mr Hamilton and Mr Fagan savoured good home Italian cooking last night. And so this morning it was off to the Vatican Museums where after a rather long wait (queues in Rome are infinitely longer than in Dublin), we were bowled over by the vast array of statues, Etruscan vases and sarcophagi on display on the way to the Sistine chapel. There are not many museums or galleries in the world where you will fly by a Francis Bacon or a Salvador Dali painting without giving them a second thought. The Sistine Chapel did not disappoint, and knowledgeable first years pointed out what they had learned in History and Religion classes over the past few months.
We then made our way into another queue, this time for St Peter’s Basilica, where we saw the Pieta and the tomb of St Peter, as well as stopping off at the Blessed sacrament chapel to remember all the intentions we were asked by our families to pray for. The tour finished with a walk underground past the tombs of previous Popes, including Pope Paul VI, John Paul I and Blessed John Paul II (upstairs beside the Pieta).
The rain came down again this morning, but that didn’t stop us form enjoying the nicest gelati in Rome before heading back to the school to meet our families. Tomorrow, we may have chance to see the new Pope Francis. Apparently the crowds in the St Peter’s Square for the Pope in recent weeks have been enormous, and so we have been unable to get tickets. We also hope to visit the Colosseum.
Where are the Tuesday photographs you might ask? Guess who ‘lost’ his camera!