Holly: In the Vatican Gardens

Just before I left for Spring Break, I was privileged to be able to go into the Vatican Gardens with my Italian Communications class and my enthusiastic teacher, Sean Patrick Lovett. As you may or may not know, the Vatican Gardens are off-limits to tourists and to citizens of Italy.

Vatican Citizens

Vatican City is considered its own country so the only people that are permitted in are the employees and citizens of Vatican City. When we entered, Swiss guards immediately stopped us and checked Sean’s papers to confirm that we were allowed to be in there. Swiss guards secure Vatican City because the Vatican City is essentially another country, separate from Italy. The gardens were our first stop on this tour. I loved how quiet and peaceful these gardens were.

Vatican Gardens

It was also nice to see all of the green grass in this big city of concrete and rubble and instantly I was reminded of home in the Midwest of the United States. These Vatican City gardens made me love Rome even more and it was nice to finally see some beautiful green space within Rome. Next, we headed up to the Vatican Radio Station to see all of the gizmos and gadgets. One of the rooms on the third floor of the building reminded me of the movie, The King’s Speech. There was an old school microphone and it stood alone in a quiet dark room that faced a window looking out on the whit dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Vatican Radio Station

We were able to see a different side of the St. Peter’s Basilica from the rooftop of the Vatican Radio Station that no one is usually able to see. The view of the white stoned St. Peter’s Basilica was spectacular and almost surreal.

St. Peter’s Basilica

Because of Sean’s amazing career at the Vatican Radio Station, we were able to hear entertaining stories about Sean’s travels with the Popes and about Marconi, the inventor of the radio. I enjoyed laughing and listening to all of the wonderful details of his experiences with the different Popes and with Electra Marconi, the daughter of Guglielmo Marconi.

Marconi Radio Station

We ended our class trip at one of the oldest fountains in gardens, which was spectacular and a little bit eerie because of its timeworn character.

When I look back at all of these photo years from now, I will remember the smell of the fresh cut grass, the look of the beautiful buildings and pathways that wind through the area, and the sound of the cold clear water splashing from the many fountains in the garden. I will forever remember and cherish this unforgettable, once in a lifetime journey into the restricted area of Vatican City.

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