Ana Ferreiro of Florida International University- 14, May 2023
When arriving in Rome, it was a spectacular feeling. It completely exceeded my expectations. I could not believe that I was finally here. However, the one thing that had me nervous when it came to Rome was the public transportation. Living in Miami my whole life, it is not something that I had much experience in. Nonetheless, I am proud to say that I can now, thanks to Rome, use it comfortably. I am able to walk in, read the map and understand what direction I have to go in. I used this newly acquired skill in my travel to the metro stop I chose. In order to get to San Giovanni, you would next to take the metro line A and then take the metro line B.
When I first landed in San Giovanni, I was really surprised with how busy it was. As soon as I exited the Metro with a few of my classmates, we were welcomed with a series of arches that resemble an entryway to a medieval castle. Its size was enormous and the detail in the main Arch was truly exquisite. It was something that I had never seen before. There are no arches in that caliber back home. This gate was known as the porta de Laterano and it was used for centuries as a form of defense. The gate was finally blocked by Pope Pius IV in 1565. To the far left of the gate, we see the top of a basilica. This beautifully built structure is known as the basilica of San Juan. The inside of this church is very detailed and beautiful. It honestly left me speechless. Every inch of the walls is covered with ornaments and carvings of religious symbols. I was amazed at how the light reflected inside the church illuminated the altar, it felt so angelic. Right when you exit the basilica on your left there are a few steps leading up to this big arch. At first, I really did not know what it was. Getting closer to those steps I realized I was standing in front of the Scala Santa. For a catholic this is extremely famous and quite an emotional site. These were the steps leading up to the Praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem on which Jesus Christ stepped on his way to trial during his passion. His passion is the brief time right before his death. As you can imagine for a catholic, like me, this was a very emotional sight for me. I felt unworthy of even being in the presence of such an important historical landmark. Overall, my first week in Rome has been an unforgettable experience and I cannot wait to see where the rest of this journey takes me.
By Ana Ferreiro CC 4.0