Updated: Apr 22
My Dad and brother left the hotel early Easter Sunday morning, but I slept in until around 11:00 AM. I was worn out! At around 11:45 AM, I left the room and headed for Saint Peter’s Square. The Pope always gives a speech at noon on Sunday from his balcony above Saint Peter’s Basilica and I decided I would try and go. I figured it would be a long shot, but figured it was worth a try.
I have no idea how I did it, but I somehow got in! There were lines of people waiting to get in, but I got lucky. Around 2 minutes after I arrived, the curtains on the Pope’s balcony opened and the Pope came out. He gave about a 20 minute speech in Italian (yes, I actually understood some of it) before saying “Christ has Risen” in every language on Earth. It gave me goosebumps then and I have goosebumps now just thinking about it. One thing on my bucket list of things to do in Rome was to see the Pope speak, but I never imagined I would see him on Easter Sunday! It is truly something I will remember for the rest of my life.
Easter at the Vatican
Afterwards, I walked with the crowd of an estimated 200,000 pilgrims back towards central Rome where my apartment is located. When I got back, I continued my day of complete relaxation. I didn’t go anywhere for Easter dinner, but we ate in our apartment. I slept Easter night into Easter Monday for a total of 12 hours which is definitely the longest I have slept over here.
Easter celebration, however, was not over. In Italy, we need two days to celebrate Easter. Easter Monday is a national holiday called “Pasquetta” or “Little Easter“. Normally it is celebrated with a BBQ in a park with family and friends. My ISC, Silvio, decided to have a bunch of his friends over for a lunch/evening party. We had penne with pesto sauce, chocolate Easter eggs, and played lots of board games. I had a great time and some of Silvio’s friends complimented me on my Italian. Then, a few of us decided we were still hungry & decided to go to Monte Carlo Pizzeria (again) for dinner.
Note: This post was originally published on April 25, 2011 in a blog entitled “Romeing Around Europe” which chronicled my study abroad experience.