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The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye

The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye

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Vanguard Rome Trip!

Vanguard+Rome+Trip%21

This year the West Boca Vanguard and Choir took an unforgettable trip to Italy, Rome!  West Boca had an amazing opportunity to perform in Rome’s yearly parade and learn and explore the country. On December 28th, 2023 the Vanguard took the flight to Italy and after an exhausting 12-hour flight, we arrived around 6 pm (Central European Standard Time). Rome is 6 hours ahead of Florida.  For most of the band, the jetlag hit us pretty hard. The plane finally landed, we got off, collected our belongings, and got on a bus that took us to our hotel.  After about 30 minutes, the band arrived at the Crowne Plaza.  When we got off the bus the band got hit with the chilly 40°F weather. The hotel was warm and beautifully decorated with a hanging chandelier. The students were assigned and given a room key, we ate a buffet-style dinner, and we were sent to bed after a long day. 

Friday, December 29th, the band woke up at 7:00 am to head down to eat breakfast in the hotel lobby. Once everyone had eaten breakfast, we went out the door and onto the bus by 9:00 am. We started with a panoramic coach and took a tour of Rome. The coach portion of the tour took us past the Colosseum, Vatican City, the Circus Maximus, Tiber Island, and the Baths of Caracalla. The walking tour took the band to all the must-see sights in the center of Rome including the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. Around 1:00 pm the guided tour ended and we were all escorted inside the Pantheon. This is one of the most famous active churches in Rome. Built two thousand years ago, the Pantheon still has the world’s largest concrete dome. At 7:00 pm the Brass & Woodwind ensemble plus the Choir, performed in the San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini Church. After a long first day in Rome around 9:00 pm everyone arrived back at the hotel and settled for the night.

Saturday, December 30th, everyone was downstairs by 6:00 am eating breakfast, by 7:00 am we departed by coach from the hotel to Pompeii! Pompeii is the most renowned archaeological site in Europe, at the base of Mount Vesuvius. We started the guided tour of the site, which was destroyed by a huge eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The tour guide took us to the villas, baths, and amphitheater. Once the tour had ended we had lunch at the Hotel Victoria in Pompeii around 1:00 pm. After lunch, we returned to our hotel.

Sunday, December 31st, 7:00 am breakfast is served bright and early for everyone. By 9:00 am we leave the hotel in our usual coaches. Once we arrived, we had a guided tour of the underground passageways of the Roman Catacombs which is a  place used as a burial site of Jewish, pagan, and early Christian Roman citizens. After an amazing experience, we had lunch in the Cecilia Metella around noon. By 2:00 pm we collect ourselves and make our way to Frascati. The band performed in the main Piazza in Frascati. Dedicated to St. Peter the Apostle. By 6:00 pm we returned to the hotel, ate dinner and by 9:00 pm the hotel hosted a New Year’s Party for the Vanguard and Choir! Everyone danced their way into 2024!

Monday, January 1st was Parade Day! Another early breakfast down at the lobby at 8:00 am. By noon everyone departed by coach from the hotel to the Parade assembly area. The band was shown to their assembly point by members of the Parade team. 3:00 pm the Parade begins! We marched all around the city; we got to march along with other schools from all over the states! The parade was surrounded by people from all around the world, all supporting the bands who marched.  It was truly an honor for the vanguard to show off their skills. By 6:00 pm we returned to the hotel.

Tuesday, January 2nd, our last full day in Rome, we had our 7:00 am breakfast and departed from the hotel by 8:00 am, on our way to the Colosseum! An audio tour was provided as everyone explored the Colosseum. The Colosseum was the largest amphitheater built in the Roman Empire. It was able to seat 50,000 spectators and gladiatorial contests, public spectacles, animal hunts, executions, and many more. After leaving the Colosseum we ventured around Vatican City, a sovereign city-state almost completely walled within the city of Rome and governed by the Pope. We went into the Vatican where we had the chance to see the beautifully decorated marble, tapestries, paintings, and sculptures as well as the Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo’s famous ceiling fresco. By 5:00 pm the band went and attended the Choir Concert performance at the Vatican. After a beautiful performance, everyone had dinner at Da Meo Patacca.

January 3rd, Wednesday, Everyone had a safe flight home! This was an amazing opportunity, The Vanguard, Choir and the parent chaperones are so grateful to have experienced Rome’s wonders! 



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About the Contributor
Annika Billinger, Reporter
Hi! My name is Annika Billinger. I'm a senior and this is my very first year on The Bullseye. My interest in joining The Bullseye was my love for writing. I enjoy playing music and sports in my free time too. I'm a part of the West Boca band and am on the West Boca swim team. I love to travel. I've been to 10 countries. Some places my family and I have traveled to are Peru, China, Colombia, Paris, Sweden, and many more. When I'm older, I aspire to be a forensic psychologist.
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