Another Casual Day in Italy
Nicole, Rome, Fall 2016
September 16, 2016

Living in Rome for the past three weeks has been one of the best experiences of my life, and two Sundays ago made it even better because I was able to witness the canonization of Mother Teresa.


The line outside the Vatican at 5:00am.

I had never been to the Vatican before, but it was always a place I wanted to visit. Now living in Rome it’s only a 30-minute walk from me! When one of my friends told me he had an extra ticket to the canonization, I more or less freaked out. The thought of being able to witness such an important historical event was so exciting.


The beautiful sunrise as we waited to get inside.

The ceremony was set to begin at 10:30am on Sunday, and because we were advised by a priest when picking up our tickets, we started walking to the Vatican around 4:30am in order to arrive there by 5:00am. After waiting to go through two different security checkpoints, we finally got in at 7:30am. Seems early enough to be guaranteed a seat, right? Wrong. All of the seats were either taken or being reserved by other people, so we headed to the standing room area. It was there that we would wait 3 hours for mass to begin.

finally inside

Finally got past security and made it inside the square.

The ceremony was about 2 hours long, and roughly 5% of it was in English. We were given booklets that translated each part of the mass into English, but because it was so hot a lot of people were using them as fans (me included). Even though I was tired, hot, and confused a majority of the time, it was incredible seeing the thousands of people around me celebrating such a remarkable woman in such a beautiful place. Even though we didn’t get seats, we were extremely close to Pope Francis when he drove around to wave at everyone and it was amazing.

Nicole Pexa - Fall 2016 - Rome

Sweaty and tired but still smiling.

I made it back to my apartment at about 2:00pm and was completely exhausted, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am so thankful to be able to experience the culture and history of this beautiful city. From grabbing a cappuccino and croissant for breakfast, casually stumbling upon the Trevi Fountain or the Pantheon, or walking to the Vatican to attend mass, there is never a dull moment in Rome.


Pope Francis driving by to wave at everyone


Nicole is a current student at Gustavus Adolphus College studying at John Cabot University, Italy during the Fall 2016 term.

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