This morning we visited the University of La Sapienza. It was established in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII! 1303… that puts 1885 (when St. Thomas was established) to shame. The school of engineering has 10,000 students and is located maybe 2 blocks from the Colosseum. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity of attending lectures by the professors at the University. The symposium consisted of about 6 mini lectures @ 20 minutes each. (Some of the professors took long than 20 minutes) The lectures were all about ancient roman architecture and engineering (roads, aquaducts, bridges etc). Oh and did I mention that the lecture hall we were in was once used as Michelangelo and Raphael’s drawing room?! INCREDIBLE!
Around noon we got a coffee break. They had delicious finger foods like panini’s and bakery items like croissants with hunks of chocolate in them. YUM! We then had a chance to hang out in their commons area which was a huge cobblestone courtyard. We also got to talk to some high school girls whose teacher ended up lecturing for us. It proved to be entertaining because we each go to learn about eachother’s culture and each had an interest and awe towards eachother. We’re supposed to meet up with them but we’ll see if that’ll happen!
We then were escorted by 4 male students to have lunch at their cafeteria. We all stuck out like sore thumbs. It was funny to watch everyone’s faces as a group of 20 American students walked by.
We had a free afternoon and evening. On the agenda for the evening was celebrating Derek’s birthday! A big group of us went to the pizzeria down the street and had dinner. Later we all met up at Scholar’s Lounge for Karaoke and festivities. We also met up with another St. Thomas group that was there for a communications course. The night was entertaining and you could hear songs by artists ranging from Lady Gaga to the Bee Gee’s. Our very own Andy and Pat entertained us with “Staying Alive,” which was absolutely priceless.