Last week I turned 22, and my friend had the most brilliant birthday idea: blow out my birthday candles at the Trevi Fountain, and then I get two birthday wishes! Why was this possible? Because I was lucky enough to spend my birthday with two of my best friends (Sam and Kara) in Rome. There is no way I could describe everything we did this weekend, so I will just keep it to our three nights in Roma:
- Friday – Vatican. On only 5 nights of the year the Vatican stays open until 11:00 pm, and Sam, Kara, and I happened to be there on one of them. We found out about it last minute and got there just in time…and we had the whole Vatican to ourselves! There were rooms full of famous paintings and sculptures with no one else in there but us—and the Sistine Chapel without a big crowd! As someone who loves Latin, art, and theology (studying religion), that was definitely one of the best nights of my life.
- Saturday – Night at the Museums. On Saturday we found out that it was the one night of the year when all of the Museums in Rome are open until 2:00 am for free. The museums were a lot more crowded than the Vatican, but we still got to go to the Ara Pacis, which means Altar of Peace—a big stone sculpture from when Augustus ruled Rome and the Roman people were happy. This museum also had fountains outside with colored lights shining on them.
- Sunday – Fountains. On our last night, we decided we wanted to see the major fountains of Rome lit up at night. We got to the Spanish Steps, the Fountain of Triton, the Piazza della Republica, and our favorite—the Trevi Fountain. No birthday cake, but plenty of gelato (Italian ice cream) and plenty of coins to make wishes—you throw them over your left shoulder with your right hand to make sure they come true!
A birthday away from home was a little different, but what better birthday gift than all of Rome for a weekend!