FPU in Italy

Professors Marshall and Pam Johnston led a group of thirteen FPU students and one parent on a study tour of Italy from May 21-June 4. Starting out with a week in Rome, we visited ancient Roman sites such as the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, and traced the beginnings of Christianity with the Catacombs, the prison where Peter and Paul were thought to have stayed, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum, and many other historic churches. Side trips included Ostia, the ancient harbor town of Rome (where we experienced an epic thunderstorm!), and the Etruscan necropolis of Cerveteri. One of the highlights of the trip was an excursion to Pompeii and Herculaneum, including a hike up to the crater of Mt. Vesuvius, the volcano that buried these two ancient towns in A.D. 79. Still active, it is overdue for its next eruption. Then it was off to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance, and the amazing Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo, Florence’s great cathedral. The trip ended with a day in Milan, where we toured the spectacular Gothic cathedral built on the site where St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, baptized St. Augustine in A.D. 387. By the end of the trip, these intrepid student had trekked countless miles, made many important connections in art, theology and history, consumed mass quantities of pizza and pasta, and taken thousands of photos (now appearing on Facebook). We are thankful for safe travel, congenial companionship, and above all, the enthusiasm of our fabulous students.