On their first morning in Rome, the students arose bright and early for a visit to St. Peter's Basilica. The buses left campus at 6:30am and arrived in an empty St. Peter's Piazza, still in the early morning light. They admired the Christmas tree and nativity scene at the center of the piazza and took in the beauty of the Basilica for the first time.
After Mass at the altar of S. Giuseppe in St. Peter's, students explored the eternal city in small groups with members of the faculty and staff. The students learned about the history of Rome, its major monuments, and some of the practicalities of Italian life, such as ordering a coffee and crossing a Roman street. Luckily the weather was beautiful and sunny once again, despite forecasts predicting rain.