Popemobile, Pisa, pizza: Alcayde experiences Italy

Ancient temple ruins, once used to worship gods and goddesses, lay old and weathered. Walking through the ruins of Pompeii, freshman Kaui Alcayde found herself lost in her adventure through Italy.

Going to visit Italy was a dream come true for Alcayde. From a young age, she was fascinated by Greek and Roman mythology, and a chance to go to their country of origin appeared last summer.

“My parents were planning a trip to Rome anyway with their friends, but they knew I really wanted to go there,” Alcayde said. “I wanted to go since I was five.”

The locations Alcayde visited with her family included popular tourist destinations such as the Colosseum, Pompeii, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Trevi Fountain. While in the Vatican City, Alcayde saw Pope Francis reading gospels and riding his popemobile.

“On [the Pope’s] way going [somewhere], his guards picked up kids and gave [them] to him,” Alcayde said. “That sounds really weird, but he was blessing the kids.”

Alcayde and her sister found themselves lost as they explored the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Despite not understanding the language, the two found the experience enjoyable.

“I think it’s kind of the thrill, we had no idea where we were and it was really hard to ask for directions because we didn’t know what they were saying,” Alcayde said.

One of Alcayde’s highlights was the food Italy had to offer, especially the differences the pizza, pasta, and gelato had compared to their American counterparts.

“Gelato’s really what you gotta [try] when you go as a tourist,” Alcayde said. “Even if that’s touristy stuff, their gelato’s actually really, really good; I think it’s better than American ice cream.”

During the trip, Alcayde found herself enjoying the time she spent with her siblings, as they often played games and watched TV until three in the morning at their hotel.

“Usually I can’t stand my siblings, but they made it really fun,” Alcayde said. “I liked acting touristy, taking pictures and stuff. At the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we took those cheesy pictures. It was really fun hanging out with my family outside of my house.”

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