Grandma and Grandpa Swanson do Roma

Grandma and Grandpa Swanson do Roma

For the past week I’ve been playing the part of “Roman Tour Guide”. I think I’ve done a fair job, but my grandparents are convinced that they’ve got the best tour guide in the Eternal City—let’s just say I’ve got the best people following me around.

Seeing the two of them at the Zone Hotel last Friday has been one of my favorite sights I’ve seen in Rome so far—along with the chocolate chip cookies my mom sent from home. Our 1st Roman sight was the John Felice Rome Center Campus, I introduced Grandpa and Grandma to a few friends, let them take some embarrassing pictures and then we went on our way to Villa Borghese. I hadn’t realized how huge this garden were, so after a short walk we sat and soaked up the sun–which they had been sorely missing in the mid-western winter. Dinner that evening was at a restaurant on the other side of this neighborhood where my grandparents enjoyed some authentic Italian cuisine. Bruschetta and pasta all around made for some happy and quite exhausted travelers.

Saturday morning we made our way to the Vatican. Our plan was to visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel first, but the line was miles long, so we decided we would come back a different day after purchasing tickets ahead of time. The line for St. Peter’s Basilica was almost as long, this line though is unavoidable so we went ahead and waited. The church was absolutely stunning and incredibly ornate, so we took our time taking it all in.

We had a pretty relaxing Sunday, so Monday we took on the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Purchasing tickets ahead of time helped us skip the lines at the Colosseum and gave us lots of time to explore. This ancient amphitheater will never cease to amaze me, especially when imagining it covered in marble–this was one of my grandma’s favorite sights. We also really loved exploring the Roman Forum, which also has too many ruins to take in.

Although we ate well all week, our best meal was on Tuesday when we ate at Osteria dell’Anima. Infamously named “Pear Pasta” by the folks at JFRC, this restaurant is famous for it’s stuffed pear and cheese pasta that is served with a carrot cream sauce–benissimo. Wednesday my grandparents got more of an on-campus experience by attending my monologue performance and then going to the calcio games. Team Giallo couldn’t manage a win, but it was quite the game and my grandparents were great cheerleaders.

We ended our Roman week with a trip to Sweden, which definitely helped my grandparents unwind after their hectic week. I am beyond grateful to have spent the week with two of my favorite people. And even though I made them walk “1,000 miles” I think they still had a good trip.


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