Our Youth

*Digital Exclusive* Around The School Bell – Summer Edition: More Adventures in Italy with St. Francis Prep Students

By Bruno Rinaldi

I have been to Italy a few times before I went on this trip. However, during those vacations, I was so young that I barely remembered it. This was the first time I was able to form memories and experience Italy in all its beauty.

After learning about all these places and constantly being exposed to them in different forms of pop culture to finally being able to see the sights in person, it all felt very surreal.      Coming from a full Italian family, it was very easy for me to get used to the culture and language within the first day of being there. The entire experience was incredible – from making new friends to the amazing food and even meeting one of my favorite celebrities on the streets of Rome.

My favorite site was easily the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. After learning about St Francis for my entire high school career to seeing his tomb and being in the same room as him, it was extremely surreal. In fact, I felt that I had to visit the tomb twice during my stay in Assisi. The upstairs portion of the basilica was also beautifully decorated in all kinds of artwork paralleling the stories of St. Francis and Jesus Christ.

(Photo: Bruno Rinaldi via Snapchat)

Another surreal experience was seeing the Colosseum in Rome. I have ‘seen’ the colosseum in pop-culture references, such as the movie ‘Gladiator’ or on the T.V show ‘Rome’. Yet it was incredible to not only see the Colosseum in person, but to be able to also stand inside it.

The part that surprised me the most was, of course, literally bumping into Post Malone on the streets of Rome. What were the chances of running into one of your favorite musicians in Rome?

St. Francis Prep rising senior Bruno Rinaldi takes a photo with rapper Post Malone. (Photo: Bruno Rinaldi)

Apart from that, the other parts which surprised me were how worn down the feet of the statue of St. Peter were and how we were able to climb to the very top of the Basilica of St. Peter. I’m usually quite afraid of heights, however, I felt that the climb to the top wasn’t bad until you were on the outside. I found myself hugging the wall next to Dr. Marino who also has a similar fear of heights.

Overall, I loved the trip and had an amazing time. In a few years I hope to revisit Assisi and Rome to see the sights again.




Related: More testimonials from the Adventures in Italy