Up and out of the hostel at 9:45 — a caravan of luggage, bags and backpacks down the street to meet our charter bus. It was clear that people were leaving with more items than when the arrived — yes, the shopping is that good. Our stay at the Foresteria Gould in Firenze was perfect. We said good-bye to the staff: Ani, Andrea and Shiella.

The bus ride took about four hours (including one pit stop and one wrong turn.) Roberto, our driver, brought us to the pizza of Santa Maria Maggiore, a central location to the five apartments that we are renting for the week. We met Enzo from the rental agency and spent several hours getting the students to their apartments. We agreed to meet at 6:00 at Santa Maria Maggiore for a city orientation walk and then dinner.

Curt took us on a orientation tour of Roma: the Forum, the Campidoglio, the Jewish Ghetto and on to the Campo di Fiori (home of UW’s Rome Center.) We ate dinner at Sora Margarita and then took an additional passagiata to Piazza Navona (and gelato), past the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain.

A long day, but everyone is excited!