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Day 2 – The ambassador, the Pope and Bernini (walk into a bar…)

Buongiorno!

Our Sunday morning began with the regular “Who’s in the shower? It’s my turn!”-chaos, and ended with a happy bunch of fresh-feeling students leaving the apartment for a meeting with Ulla Gudmundson at Casa di Santa Brigida. After five minutes of walking in the palpable humidity, however, the fresh feeling was nothing but a memory. We managed to avoid the actual rain though, which felt like a victory.

The meeting with Ulla Gudmundson included, beside general information about her interesting job, a deeper personal reflection on her part about what her position entails. Being the ambassador for the Vatican, she said, is much more about personal relations than what you would expect for an ambassador for in a large country. She also had many anecdotes to tell us that described her relations with both the previous Pope Benedictus XVI and current Pope Francis.

With Ulla Gudmundson at Casa di Santa Brigida

With Ulla Gudmundson at Casa di Santa Brigida

After the meeting we had a quick lunch and made our way to the Vatican for general assembly with the Pope. It was incredibly crowded, as we had expected, and most of us couldn’t see much of His Holiness. After having Laura translate a few sentences for us, we decided to make our way out of the labyrinth of people and buy some gelato. We found the best outfit of the trip so far, standing by the entrance to the Vatican. View photo below.

First glance at the Sistine Chapel

First glance at the Sistine Chapel

Gelato in a brioche with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Gluttony at its best.

Gelato in a brioche with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Gluttony at its best.

IMG_2385A very fashionable member of the Swiss Guard

In the afternoon, we made our way to the Borghese Gardens in preparation for the visit to Galleria Borghese. It was quite a climb from the Vatican, but the view was incredibly rewarding:

View from Borghese Gardens of Piazza del Popolo

View of Piazza del Popolo from the Borghese Gardens

And after taking a break in the grass we walked towards this amazing prospect:

Galleria Borghese, housing incredible art by (amongst many others) Bernini and Caravaggio

Galleria Borghese, housing incredible art by – among many others artists – Bernini and Caravaggio

We were all in awe after this experience, and with our brains full of impressions and our stomachs short of food we made our way to the other part of town, to Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo, for dinner. The evening included pizza, pasta, wine and a man walking into our the terrace to find customers for his dancing toys. Astonishingly enough, he found a customer among us. We have no pictures to prove it, I’m afraid…

We’ve had trouble with the wifi at our apartment, but it’s up and running now so you can expect frequent blog posts in the coming week. Stay tuned!

Buona notte!

/Fredrik and Anahita

 

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