Day 1: Rome, am

Mary Mackillop Catholic College Wakeley students reflect on their first day on the road in Italy.

“With a 5am wake up call, everyone woke up with a clear perception of how challenging this pilgrimage would actually be. Teachers had been telling us for over a year of preparation that World Youth Day would not be a holiday, and today’s events definitely drove that message home.

We are feeling tired, awestruck and grateful.

After breakfast, we attended a 8am mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The mass was said by Cardinal George Pell, which was a great start to our spiritual journey, accompanied by other pilgrims coming from Sydney. The Vatican Square in the morning was quite empty, which just emphasised its colossal size.

We continued by walking in the footsteps of gladiators and visiting the iconic colosseum, which our helpful guide, Fabiola, enthusiastically shared historical details. From there, we all experienced the Lizzie McGuire moment of our dreams, tossing our freshly exchanged coins into the Trevi fountain.

This was followed by a walking tour to the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and the art galleries of the Vatican including the Sistine Chapel. We are feeling tired, awestruck and grateful.

Ready for a shower and a good sleep, so that we can take in tomorrow head on. Bring on day two!!”

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