Roman Holy-day: Reflections

To Italy and back in under 90 seconds

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Trinna Leong captures the Religio staff’s most memorable experiences from day 1 at the baggage claim in Rome’s airport to the farewell dinner on our last night, in a short, but poignant, video.

Reflections, Special Edition: Religio’s Favorite Moments


After 10 exciting, hectic, adventurous, contemplative, exhausting and life-changing days traveling and reporting in Italy, the staff of Religio reflects on some of the standout memories that meant the most to each of them.

Padre Pio’s Pupils: the Eyes of a Saint

Portrait of Padre Pio

Padre Pio’s piercing gaze piqued many a Religio staffer’s interest. Nathan Vickers photographed the various manifestations of Pio’s pupils throughout San Giovanni Rotondo.

Street art in the capital of Campania

Vespas parked in front of a mural on the wall of a shuttered shop. | Photo by Trinna Leong

A stark contrast to Rome, Napoli — as the Italians call it — is littered with garbage and graffiti. Though trash and pickpockets are everywhere, the city’s complicated history has created a unique façade for travelers to visit. Here is a collection of various photographs of graffiti in Naples, culled from the Religio staff.

Dawn in The Sacred City

St. Peter's Basilica

An early morning run took Nathan Vickers by some of Rome’s historic landmarks. Camera in hand, he documented the city as the sun came up.

Licking the Colosseum

Mismatched socks | Photo by Nathan Vickers

Nathan Vickers ponders the meaning behind his licking of the Colosseum…

A place to pray

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Bogdan Mohora profiles Bahar Dik, a Turkish Muslim student currently studying in Rome and finds out the meaning of acceptance through religious difference.

My application to seminary school


After an eye-opening tour of Pontifical North American College, a seminarian school in Rome, Neha Prakash decided to join the priesthood —in whatever capacity they may take her.

Speechless in San Giovanni

Holy water and miracle oil — some of the many Pio-related souvenirs for sale in San Giovanni Rotondo. | Photo by Andrea Palatnik.

Brandon Gates on Padre Pio’s legacy of faith and the good he helped inspire.

The Terrible (or Terrific) Trio

The terrible trio. | Photo by Anam Siddiq.

Teresa Mahoney spent most of our tour of Italy getting left behind with two other mischievous companions…

It’s all about the journey

Neha Tara Mehta enjoying the bus ride to San Giovanni. | Photo by Nathan Vickers

Hoda Emam asked several members of the Religio gang how they first heard the news of their acceptance to Columbia’s Journalism School. This was sparked by the discovery that the class teaching assistant, Francesca Trianni, had been admitted to the Journalism School while on the road to San Giovanni Rotondo.

Staying Sane

Naples | Photo by Aby Sam Thomas

Some members of the Religio team were decidedly creeped out by Naples at night.

A home among the gypsies

Bogdan Mohora navigates the streets of Rome on our road trip to Ardea to meet a gypsy family. | Photo by Neha Prakash

Neha Prakash recounts how her preconceived notions of gypsies were completely overturned once she entered a gypsy camp and was welcomed with open arms.

A judgment on “The Last Judgment”

Sistine Chapel

Aby Thomas waxes art historical on the Sistine Chapel.

Ways of seeing

The courtyard of the Vatican Museum.

Ines Novacic ponders the relationship between religion and art, within the Roman context.

A connection with Italian cappuccino


Hoda Emam reflects on the wonders of the Italian cappuccino.

Walls closing in

San Clemente

Claustrophobia was abated, as Sarah Laing, descended into the murky depths of the San Clemente Church, in Rome.