Tomorrow I will be flying out of BWI to JFK and then to Rome, Italy. Because this is going to be such a fast paced trip, I’ve decided to post my full itinerary for all the world to see complete with pictures. ^.^
Tomorrow (Saturday, June 13th and also my mom’s birthday) I will be flying out of BWI around 1:45pm and arriving at JFK around 3pm. I’ll be flying out of JFK around 5:20 and will be arriving in Rome the next morning at 7:55am. We’ll gain six hours in flying to Rome, so I should be able to sleep plenty. (It’s around 11:30am here while I’m typing this and it’s 5:30pm there).
Sunday morning (June 14th) we will be touring Rome before we check into our hotel. Our tour manager will be taking us to see The Basilica Di Santa Maria Maggiore (here, here, and here), Termini Station, Piazza della Republica, Via Veneto, Villa Borghese (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), the Tiber River, Piazza Venezia, Circus Maximus, Palatine Hill, Baths of Caracalla, the Capitoline Hill, the Coliseum, Forum, Theater of Marcellus (also here), and many other Baroque palaces and churches. We’ll be having lunch at the Piazza Navona. After lunch we’ll be going to our hotel to check in. We’ll be staying at the Palatino Grand Hotel Roma. Dinner will be with our group at the hotel that evening.
Monday morning we will be touring Ancient Rome, including the Forum, and the Coliseum. We’ll also tour the Aurelian Walls, Via Veneto, Piazza Venezia, The Capitol Square, Arch of Constantine, and the Arch of Titus. After the morning tour we will have lunch on our own and return to our hotel for a short rest. We’ll then head to Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls (also here and here), the second largest Basilica in Rome. We’ll have some time to tour the Basilica before an opening worship service and the ICMF group photo. After the photo, we’ll be going to the Sheraton Roma for the welcome banquet. During the welcome banquet we’ll be hearing from many different choirs in the ICMF group, including an Indian choir and South African Choir, and perhaps the *Russian Choir as well. We will also be exchanging gifts with the people seated at our tables representing where we come from, etc. At the end of the evening we’ll return to our hotel.
Tuesday morning, we singing folk will be going to All Saints Church for rehersal. I’m pretty sure that’s a picture of the church and I’m not really sure how so many people will fit there, but we will be rehersing none the less. My mom and other non-singing folk will be touring the Borghese Villa and Gardens. After meeting back at the hotel for lunch, our group, singers and non-singers alike, will be touring the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s Basilica (also seen here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). St. Peter’s Vasilica has a LOT of history and I highly encourage you to research it. That evening will be free to do as we wish in Rome.
Wednesday we will be attending a Papal Audience with Pope Benedict XVI. This will take up the entire morning as it will be 4 hours long. We will be singing a short excerpt of music with the ICMF group for the Pope. After the audience we will return to the hotel for lunch and a bit of free time. Our Choir will rehearse in the afternoon at Basilica San Giovanni (also here) in Laterano. We will have dinner together at the hotel and then return to San Giovanni in Laterno for the ICMF International Night Concert. Then back to the hotel again for what will be, by this point, much desired sleep.
Thursday morning we singing folk will be practicing at the Sheraton Roma. Non-singing folk will be sightseeing at Capitoline Hill, including the museums there and the Piazza del Campidoglio. We’ll have lunch together around the hotel and then our group, the Madrigals, will be singing at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the Panteon (also here and here). After these two concerts we will have the evening to ourselves again (which may just mean some much needed rest in the hotel room curled up with some good friends, movies, cheese, and wine ^.^).
Friday is the morning to sleep in if there ever was one. Singers will be practicing at Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls for a final dress rehearsal (with orchestra! :-D). Non-singers will be touring the Castel Sant’Angelo (also here). (I am so jealous of my mom for this). We will be meeting back at the hotel for an early dinner and then to Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls for the ICMF Gala Concert with Massed Choir and Orchestra. ^.^ The big even!!! That evening we’ll go back to the hotel.
Saturday we will be leaving our splendid hotel for the airport. We will be flying out around 10am and returning to JFK around 1:35pm. That is leaving at 10am Rome time and arriving here at 1:35pm USA time. We’ll be flying out of JFK at 3:30pm and getting back to BWI around 5pm. When we arrive at BWI at 5pm USA time it will be 11pm Rome time. So I will be doing my best to stay awake until 11pm USA time before crashing like there’s no tomorrow. Vitamins and water are my friend.
Important information: I will NOT have my phone on this trip. At all. It will be turned off and sitting happily on my bed at home waiting to greet me upon my return. If you would like me to call you, please let me know asap. I will be sending out postcards from Rome to a bunch of you, so no worries there, I’ll be taking a plethora of addresses with me. 🙂 I am NOT posting the phone number for the hotel because it’s absurd to dial out of country. If you need to get in touch with me in an emergency situation, contact American Express Travel Link and explain that you need to get in touch with me, a member of the Annapolis Area Christian School Madrigal Singers under the direction of Cindy Bauchspies. You’ll also need to tell them I’m on the ICMF trip. They’ll connect you to the tour manager, who will connect you to Mrs. Bauchspies, who will connect you to me. 🙂 But that’s in a dire emergency. As in someone died or has been mortally wounded and will most likely die in some short amount of time. I believe that’s everything you need to know. If there are any questions, please post them and I will try to get back to you before I leave tomorrow. I’ll update when I get back about how things went and I’m sure I’ll have boat loads of pictures. 🙂