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Women’s Basketball Team Visits Vatican City on Final Day of Italy Trip

The Toledo women’s basketball team wrapped up its last day in Italy Monday with a visit to Vatican City.

“This whole trip was very, very special to me,” said senior Mariella Santucci, a native of Bologna. “It meant a lot to have my teammates, coaches and quite a few fans make the trip to my home country. I loved showing off my culture and way of life to them, and I think they loved it back.”

Toledo put the finishing touches on its Italy trip Monday with a tour of Vatican City,
including a stop at St. Peter’s Basilica.

Toledo received a more than three-hour guided tour of the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. They had a chance to walk through the home of the pope and see iconic art and architecture.

Within the city-state surrounded by Rome, the Rockets toured the Vatican Museum, which houses ancient Roman sculptures such as the famed “Laocoön and His Sons,” the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling, and St. Peter’s Basilica, designed by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. St. Peter’s Basilica also is the largest church in the world.

“Today’s tour was very cool,” junior Mariah Copeland said. “Going to Notre Dame Academy, we talked a lot about Vatican City, but it doesn’t fully register unless you’ve actually been there before. Getting the opportunity to tour it and see all of those beautiful sites and artworks was pretty special.”

The Rockets then put the finishing touches of the trip this evening with a farewell dinner with the entire travel party at Tanagra Caffé Concerto.

The team is slated to fly out of Leonardo da Vinci International Airport Tuesday morning and make the 10-hour return trip to Detroit Metro Airport.