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Cupola at St Peter’s, Musei Vaticani, & UW Rome Center Orientation

First full day in Rome and we take on the challenge of 360 steps of stairs to climb the cupola of St. Peter’s. Some students are certain the steps surpass way over 360 and many agree it really did feel more like 500. The view is stunning and we enjoy the breeze on top of St. Peter’s before heading out to continue the day of individual lunches with a little exploring and visiting Vatican City.

Musei Vatincai, or the Vatican Museum, is exquisite in its architecture, interior, especially the ceilings, and exceptional collection of Renaissance paintings and sculptures: some of them are magnificent while others are comical and creepy.  Just to name some of the famous artists whose artworks are presented within the museum are Caravaggio, da Vinci, Raphael, Poussin, Michelangelo, and Botticelli.  Students are in awe as they enter the Sistine Chapel and get to see in person the glorious wall and ceiling paintings within. The most famous Birth of Adam by Michelangelo is the star attraction for many. After hours and hours of artwork, the end of the museum does not disappoint with the beautiful spiral stairs.

In the evening we are given a welcoming orientation by the Rome Center Director on emergency information and packets that will come in handy during our stay. We are informed of the structure and layout of the UW Rome Center, that we have about 70 UW occupants residing with us, and of extensive and essential resources such as laundry and computer labs. Believe it or not the most intriguing bit of information for us was perhaps the extremely intense recycling system and its hefty penalties of not abiding the complicated rules.

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