Wide Eyed & Mystified

After a quick stop to experience our first taste of true Italian Pizza, my group made its way to Sant’ Andrea della Valle. We made our way through the winding streets and took in the Roman architecture on the way.

I’d never been in a place of such grandeur before but I thought I was well prepared on what to expect.

When I walked through the doors my jaw literally dropped and I audibly gasped. The atmosphere was peaceful but the basilica was massive, beautiful, ornate and better than anything I could have dreamed.

I was completely overwhelmed. It took 60 years to complete the basilica and it shows.

Thinking back on my experience, it’s hard for me to put into words how I felt and what I saw. The only thing I’ve found that can put my feelings into words is this song:


1. a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
2. feel admiration and amazement; marvel.

Sant’ Andrea brought me pure wonder and awe of not only a place but who it was built for. It was a deeply personal and spiritual experience for me.

My eyes had never been wider and I had never been more mystified than I was in that moment. Sant’ Andrea and places similar to it were wildly unfamiliar to me before then.

I expected to be impressed by the complex Baroque design but I had no notion of the lasting imprint it would leave on me.

I had been in Rome for two hours and she already had me in her grasp. I was romanced, wide-eyed and full on the best pizza in the world, finally ready to see what this adventure had in store for me emotionally, spiritually and physically.

As Always,



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