The first impression I had of the classroom lecturers was that they were the most kindhearted and personable people I had ever met. Francesco and the other lecturers were incredibly welcoming and it was easy to see that they genuinely cared about the betterment of the students. As we have begun to learn more and more from them, their passion shines through every word they say and that is what makes them such compelling lecturers.
This is evidenced by the time we ran into Francesco while doing the scavenger hunt in Rome. We were feeling a little overwhelmed by the vastness of Rome when we saw him with his grocery cart while he was on his way to the store! He was just as excited as we were and stopped what he was doing to show us around the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. He spent the next hour giving us a tour of the church, showing us the importance of the Chigi family there, and introducing us to a friend of his that is a priest! When we left the church and said goodbye to Francesco, we were rejuvenated and ready to take on the city with fresh vigor!
Francesco has such a gift for making history come alive to people who have never studied it and we were so grateful for the unexpected opportunity in Rome. On top of all of his hospitality and humility, his influence and reknown within the community and around the world is unmatched by anyone I know. It is such an honor to learn from such world-class people such as Francesco.
To all of our gracious lecturers, thank you for going above and beyond with your students!