A component of the Spring semester's orientation is a walking excursion in Rome along the Via Appia Antica (the Appian Way). On the south end of the Appian Way Dr. Hatlie introduced the students to its historical importance as a route for Roman troops to reach beyond the confines of Rome during the years of the Republic, and as a neighborhood where privileged Roman and early Christian families built their palaces and mausoleums. Dr. Hatlie was only interrupted briefly by a huge herd of sheep that were being taken to pasture by way of the Appia!
After a beautiful mile walk and a brief stop alongside the Circus of Maxentius, the group arrived further north at San Sebastiano (Saint Sebastian at the Catacombs) where Dr. Hatlie lectured on the importance of this church as it is said that Saints Peter and Paul were temporarily buried here. In small groups the students were then given tours of the catacombs where, among other things, they saw early Christian art and inscriptions that still characterize many of the tombs.
That evening they were treated to a wine tasting and formal dinner on campus. Ryan Reedy and the Student Life staff guided the students through the various steps of how to taste wine and gave some information on the regional characteristics of the specific wines being tasted. They were introduced first to prosecco (Italian sparkling white wine) paired with a fantastic antipasti mix of cheeses and meats, followed by a white wine and two red wines. The mensa prepared a wonderful Roman dinner of sausage and beans to perfectly match the wines.