Thursday, March 10, 2011


So we made our first trip outside of Rome into the beautiful city of Siena! This is an exciting event in the Bernardi life.
Great thing about it? Free. Bad thing about it? Very serpentine-like roads. Famous last words of this trip, “I need an opaque bag.”  Fr. Carola warned us all that every single semester someone throws up on this bus ride to and/or from Siena (thanks a lot you hilly Tuscan country side!). Luckily, he warned us to get drugged up on Dramamine to avoid motion sickness. Now, I didn’t know if I was one to get sick on a bus ride, so because I am all about prevention over intervention, I took (and probably overdosed) on motion sickness medication. Guess what? It worked! No sickness for me (praise God). Alas, I cannot say the same for another one of my Bernardians. Suffice it to say, our semester was no exception to the norm. Which was fine with me because I didn’t want to be left out of the tradition anyway J

Cathedral of Siena
Anyway, as far as the actual day trip was, I found that Siena was just a beautiful, quiet city. It had a lot of Italian character with the beauty of Tuscany. We got to see many churches and the head of St. Catherine of Siena. On top of THAT, we got to adore a Eucharistic miracle. There were consecrated hosts that were stolen from the tabernacle (thieves wanting the gold and silver). They were later found in another church followed by a great celebration for the Blessed Sacrament’s return. The priests decided not to consume the hosts, and they found that they did not decompose as ordinary bread would. So what we saw were the hosts that were consecrated over 200 years ago, still perfectly intact and fresh. The presence of Christ in that small chapel was incredible. By far one of the coolest things we’ve done in Italy so far.
We got go to the Cathedral of Siena too which was beautiful. However, it seemed that Siena has gotten in the habit of putting large stripes on their walls in their churches. Now, some people really liked the stripes. I, on the other hand, found that they made me a little dizzy. The church was uber ornate and gorgeous on its own. But ya add the stripes and you just added a whole new level of intensity. Regardless though, it really was stunning.
Fr. Carola-Our Chaplain
We ate a picnic lunch in the piazza di campo and then some of the chaplaincy took us to their favorite gelato place. After all this was said and done, we had Mass in the place where Catherine of Siena lived and then drove to a monastery in the middle of the countryside for night prayer.  Aside from the fact that you could see your breath and the snot in your nose was frozen in this stark church, it was really a moving experience to hear the monks chant night prayer.

View of Siena
Overall, Fr. Carola showed us a really good time, and I wish that he could come with me on every trip that I go on. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible, so I will enjoy the memories that were made on this wonderful adventure in Siena.

1 comment:

  1. Well, what beauty and to think that this has been posted for some time and I am just now discovering it today Tuesday, March 15... I didn't realize you had posted these last few blogs.. But I am now enjoying them..
    Thanks for sharing.

    Sienna is lovely.. Wish I could have gone there.
    Glad you got to go there and it was a great trip for you....and you even didn't get sick.. Awesome... the gelato sounds awesome.....

    Can't wait to follow the rest of your blogs...

    Love and miss you.... Mom