Jun 7, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT
Friday, June 6, 2014
Notre Dame’s final day in Rome began with a bus ride through heavy traffic to the Vatican Museums that draw some 40,000 visitors per day. The Irish lacrosse squad spent about two hours winding its way through the galleries with two guides supplying commentary via individual radio systems. The tour ended in the Sistine Chapel.
From there, in the early afternoon the group walked through the winding streets surrounding the Vatican to St. Peter’s Square and took a team photo among lots of other image opportunities. St. Peter’s Basilica and Square had been closed in the morning due to ceremonies featuring Pope Francis and honoring the bicentennial of the founding of the Carabinieri, the Italian national military police force. The Pope accepted one of the traditional Carabinieri red berets from someone in the crowd of 50,000 police.
There were four to five hours of free time remaining, so the Irish wandered Rome on their own for lunch and the remainder of the afternoon. Those who wanted to take advantage of a bus ride back to the hotel met at 6:30 p.m. at the Piazza del Popolo that was preparing for an evening musical concert noting the Carabinieri anniversary.
The Irish also had dinner on their own their last night in Italy, with a 6 a.m. Saturday departure for the trip to home. A handful of the Notre Dame players, coaches and staff remained in Italy for a few extra days or headed out to other European destinations.
The next time you are near Piazza Navona, stop in an alleyway northwest of the square, check out Osteria dell’ Anima and try the pasta with pears and carrot sauce.
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