Pentecost at the Pantheon

Over the weekend I crossed off a major event on my Rome “to-do” list: Seeing rose petals fall through the oculus of the Pantheon. 

Last semester a professor told me that every year on the Pentecost, local Roman firemen climb to the top of the Pantheon and throw rose petals through the big hole in the top of it at the end of the mass. I immediately wrote it down, looked up when Pentecost was, and decided that even if I went alone, I was going. 

It was spectacular and I am so glad I was able to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime event. Even though we had to stand the duration of the 90 minute mass it was well worth it. The petals just kept falling! We were nervous it would be kind of anti-climatic and there would just be a few roses but we were fortunately mistaken, they coated the floor and then some. It was unreal. 

The mass was lovely, most of it was in Italian (which was good practice!) but the readings were in German and Spanish which we were not expecting. There were at least 20 priests there, everyone was dressed wonderfully and the church looked phenomenal. It was wild to look around and think about the building we were in and it’s extraordinary history. From a temple worshipping multiple ancient pagan gods to a modern day Catholic Church, (and not to mention how incredible a feat of engineering it is) the Pantheon is astounding. To our right was the tomb of Vittorio Emmanuele and to our left, Raphael. Not a bad crowd if you ask me!

The best part of the mass though? Looking up to the Pantheon’s oculus and seeing the occasional fireman hanging over the edge and waving! (A close second would have to have been the priest taking pictures of the roses with his iPhone as he processed out of the church!) 

This just goes to show that there's never a boring day in Rome, or anywhere abroad for that matter, you just have to seek out the adventure! 

Happy travels guys!



Danielle Maclain, Concordia University - Irvine

Happy Backpackers

This past weekend a group of my friends and I decided to go to Budapest, but wanted to go with a group because we were unsure of what we wanted to do and how to plan our trip. Booking the trip through WSA was the best idea we ever had. It was basically all planned out for us (excluding flights). It was great because there were plenty of things planned for us that were included in the package, but there was also a bit of free time for us to explore the city and do the things we were most interested in. I really enjoyed the caving and thermal baths we visited during our trip! Also the hostel that was booked for us through WSA was great and our tour guide, Bogi, was amazing! I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone and am happy to say that I will be booking more trips with WSA in the future!

Danielle Maclain, Concordia University - Irvine ~ AIFS Richmond, Spring 2015

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