top of page

Our 9-Year-Old Columnist Roams Through Rome

By Sienna Beck / New York City

Hello Readers!!! The last time I wrote for The Insider, I was in New York City. Well, this time, I am writing to you from ROME, Italy! I came to Rome with my mother and grandparents, who had meetings here. Even though the trip was short, I visited many important landmarks and averaged seven miles of walking each day! Here are some photos from my adventure.

Castel Sant'Angelo. This castle, which was just a few minute walk from our hotel, was once one of the tallest buildings in Rome. Even if it’s not the tallest now, it is still huge! It served many purposes in history, but one of them was as a fortress for the popes, so when we walked there, we walked under a walkway that connected the Vatican to the castle. At night, it was all lit up! It was beautiful! I took a million photos that could probably be on postcards.

Pantheon. The Pantheon was one of the first of many churches that I saw in two days in Rome! It is impressive from the outside, and it is gorgeous on the inside. All the paintings, patterns, statues and textures are almost the same as they were over 1,000 years ago. I went with my mom and grandmother, but my mom could not go in. She needed to have her shoulders covered, and she was wearing a tank top and shorts. We took a video tour for her, though. The Pantheon was crowded with tourists.

Trevi Fountain. We only stayed for 10 minutes, considering the crowd and my hunger, but even the glimpse we got was beautiful! I was impressed with the statues. I wondered where the water came from and whether it was recycling the water in the fountain. Again, we took several photos (with lots of other tourists around us), and we bought some souvenirs with photos of the fountain!

St. Peter’s Basilica. One word. STAIRS. On our second day, my mom insisted we walk up the 551 steps to the top of the dome. The endless stairs went around in a long spiral. By the end, I didn’t want to walk up another single step! But it was worth it. Going up to the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica was dizzying but beautiful. The view of the city from the top of the dome was beautiful. Unfortunately, most of the decorations and paintings and stories were on the ceiling, and my glasses didn’t have quite the right prescription. But I still managed to get some views of the paintings and textures on the ceiling. Here and in other churches and museums, we saw trompe l’oeils, but they did not fool me.

Vatican Museum. After coming down from the dome, we rushed very quickly to our tour at the Vatican Museum. Like St. Peter’s Basilica, Michelangelo painted many of the walls and the ceilings. We had a tour guide, but I mostly explored on my own. On our way to the Sistine Chapel, I looked at old coins and treasures that the popes collected. At the Sistine Chapel, cameras were not allowed, but I saw the famous picture Michelangelo painted, the Last Judgment, where Michelangelo had painted himself into his painting with someone holding his skin (with his face).

Colosseum. My mom really wanted me to see the Colosseum which was on the other side of town from the Vatican Museum, so we got a snack on the way and walked another mile or two! We got there right as it closed at 7:15 in the evening, so we couldn’t go inside, but I saw it from the outside. It was very old, and part of it was chipping off. I was very tired from walking seven miles, so I sat down on one of the steps. We only stayed for 15 minutes, but we managed to get this photo in. I stood on two rocks in front of the enormous Colosseum.

The streets in Rome were cobblestone and narrow, which makes them particularly hard to drive on. We also had to be careful walking on the streets. Some streets were blocked off because there were so many restaurants. Everywhere you stepped, there was a different souvenir shop, and I wanted to go to all of them. At every meal, I ate pasta, schnitzel and French fries. I also ate a LOT of gelato!

Sienna enjoys one of her many spaghetti meals, accompanied by a musician
Sienna enjoys one of her many spaghetti meals, accompanied by a musician

My overall impressions of Rome were “Old!” “Beautiful!” “Historical!” “Old again!”


Sienna Beck is a 9-year-old author who loves writing short stories. She goes to a camp called Writopia, and once entered a play contest and was selected to have her play professionally performed by trained actors. Sienna has two sisters, Willa and Olive, and they all go to P.S. 87 in New York City. Sienna likes animals, including pets and mostly dogs. She also wants to be THE PRESIDENT when she grows up.

1 comment

1 Comment

Jun 22, 2022

Beautifully written, with lots of great "you-are-there" detail! Well done, Sienna!

bottom of page