Stanford Women's Soccer Kicks Off 2007 Italy Tour

March 25, 2007

Rome, Italy - The Stanford women's soccer 2007 Italy Tour begins! Follow the team's travels throughout the week with daily diaries written by the Cardinal players. Click here for updates and photos of the team's most recent adventures.

SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2007 - FIRST DAY IN ROME

The group arrived in Rome late on Saturday night, after the long flight across the Atlantic. At daybreak Sunday morning, the team was up and eager to get started, kicking off the trip with an early tour of the Vatican. After a morning enjoying the art, sculptures and architecture of the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter's Basillica and more, the team dispersed to explore the city in smaller groups. The Cardinal activities included lunches of pizza and gelato, biking in the park, shopping, climbing the Spanish Steps, visiting the Pantheon and making wishes at the Trevi Fountain. The team reconvened for a delicious Italian meal at the Retaurnat de Mediterrano Hotel to finish day one's activities. Following are the accounts of the day written by junior goalkeeper Erica Holland and sophomore defender Allison Falk.

JUNIOR Erica Holland:

After a very long flight, we finally arrived in ITALIA!!! It still hasn't really set in yet that we are actually here, because it is absolutely breathtaking. Despite the fact that we probably got in bed at 2:30am after the flight, we woke up at 6:30 to get in line for the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. The 2 hour wait in line was completely worth it to see all the amazing sculptures, the tapestries and the chapel itself. It was a lot bigger than I imagined, and I think I liked the fresco on the front wall the best. After the Sistine Chapel we went into St. Peter's and that was truly fascinating because it was so HUGE! Not to mention the crazy architecture. By this time, its only 12:00 and we are just in time to see the Pope give his blessing to the thousands of people outside. It was kind of funny because there were so many people to see him just peak his head out of his apartment window which was so far away you needed binoculars to see him, but then again, it's the Pope we are talking about. After Vatican city we made our way out to the Piazza Novana for lunch. We broke up then for lunch and my group made our way to the Patheon, which was really cool. There is a hole in the ceiling so when it rains it goes right through. Then we went to the Trevi fountain and threw a coin over our shoulder to make a wish to come back. Next we made our way to the Spanish steps and climbed to the top to look at an awesome view of Rome. We heard about a great park nearby so we went over to that and found some bikes to rent. We each got a rickety old bike and rode all over this park. They had a zoo in there and the Galleria Borghese and the Medici Villa. We finally made our long trek back across the city to the hotel were we had a scrumptious dinner.

SOPHOMORE Allison Falk:

Today we went to the Sistine Chapel and saw the Last Judgment which was amazing. It was unreal to be standing in the Sistine Chapel looking at all of Michaelangelo's work. After going through the Sistine Chapel we actually got to see and listen to the pope speak in many different languages to an enormous crowd of people at the Vatican. The whole area was beautiful and I still can't believe that we are in Rome and halfway around the world from Stanford! After listening to the Pope, we walked to a piazza and had a great lunch with bruschetta, gnocchi, and amazing chocolate gelato. Finally an authentic Italian meal! We wandered over to the Pantheon, which was, of course, another amazing and unreal sight. We walked over to the Trevi Fountain, which was breathtaking. We even threw a coin over our heads and made a wish! We also saw the Spanish steps, which were so crowded with people that you couldn't even see the steps! Doing a little shopping, we eventually made our way back to the hotel where everyone took a nap after a long day. Our walk around Rome today was tiring but totally worth it.

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