Today was the last day of my Vatican Internship at the the Pontifical Council for Social Communication (PCCS). Having this internship was one of the most amazing parts of my experience here in Rome. I did a lot of work with social media which was fun and interesting and confirmed that this is what I want to do when I graduate. This wasn’t a very typical internship, first off it’s in Rome and at a Pontifical office, but it wasn’t like some internships you hear about where interns are doing filing and busy work and making coffee. Natalie and I worked together and were given daily assignments for our boss, TJ, that was actually useful, I learned a lot of practical skills for this field.
My favorite part of the internship was every Wednesday Natalie and I would be sent out to the Papal Audience to take pictures. Before the audience begins, the Pope comes out in a car and is driven around St. Peter’s square for about 20 minutes. We would take pictures on our phones for Instagram as well as on the Villanova Photography equipment. Yesterday was our last work audience day and we got the best spot in the square yet, we saw Pope Francis drive by twice, kiss 5 babies and put on a skull cap someone handed to him! It was the best audience yet. We stayed for the whole audience this time and listened to his whole address (which is then translated into English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, and Arabic). Then at the end everyone reads the Our Father prayer in Latin (it’s printed on the back of the Audience Ticket). This is also when the Pope imparts his Apolistic blessing on all those present, to our families and loved ones, especially those who are sick and suffering and also any religious articles brought with the purpose to be blessed. So, yesterday I was blessed by the Pope and so were you, my family and loved ones! For not being a very religious person this really moved me, I think because I have spent so much time in the square seeing the Pope, but also because by staying through his address I really got to reflect on my time here and appreciate this amazing opportunity that I am so lucky to have had these past four months. This wasn’t my last papal audience, Natalie and I are planning to go again next week because, why not? We’ve been to almost every other one this semester!
I loved working for my boss and with Natalie for pretty much every assignment haha. I think this once in a lifetime experience has really prepared me for what is to come in my future and really helped me grow a lot. I’m really going to miss seeing St. Peter’s Square on the way to work everyday, it really hasn’t gotten old. Waking up early every morning was sometimes a struggle but it was 1000% worth it to have such a great opportunity and one I will never forget!
So it’s been way too long since I was able to sit down and blog. There is always so many things to do, and hardly any time to just sit (so I can actually process everything that we have done so far) but I don’t mind it at all. I love being busy and doing something new everyday and seeing more and more of Rome.
I’m just posting a quick catch-up since there has been way too much that has happened from the past week and a half, last week included classes and exploring the city. I’ve been getting more into a routine here and figuring out a daily schedule which creates some normalcy. My weekend started off a little bumpy…literally, I was on my daily morning run with my roommate along the Tiber. When my iPod broke at the start of the run I knew it was going to be a mediocre one, little did I know it would be just really bad–I ended up tripping on some broken up road and took an embarrassingly hard fall but was able to laugh it off, just in time for our Italian test that morning. Super fun start to my weekend!
It went up from there- On Saturday I finally made into the Colosseum, I walked there from my apartment with one of my roommates and met up with some friends. We walked around the Colosseum, the Palantine Hill and the Roman Forum. These places were all so vast and overwhelming to see, so much history only a 20 minute walk from my apartment.
This week we started our regular schedule for the semester which means I started my internship at the Vatican this week! It was so exciting to finally get to work and see what I’ll be doing for the semester! On Wednesday, Day 3 Natalie and I were sent out to the Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square to take pictures for the Newsva instagram account. I was so close to Pope Francis, it was unreal. He was casually just doing some laps around the square. I could not believe that this was just one part of my job.
I just got back from a great day of shopping by The Vatican in all these little boutiques that line the street. I’ve been walking by them on the way to work everyday this week and just had to go and shop there! We had dinner in Trestevere, an area we go out in at night a lot, its exactly how you picture Rome with restaurants set up in the cobblestone streets, music playing and delicious food and wine.
[I’ve also taken a cooking class and gone to a wine tasting which I’ll post about later because food and wine is a culture here].
I’ve been enjoying getting to know the other study abroad students and exploring, which is helping me to feel very at home here. All this running around from work to class to hanging out with friends and just walking around has left me exhausted every night. But I can honestly say I wouldn’t want it any other way, I’m going to be running around Rome for another three months and I can’t wait to see what else I’m going to find.