Last week 25 GCSE Religious Studies pupils and four staff from Downside travelled to Rome, the centre of the Catholic Church, to visit sites of classical antiquity and soak up the atmosphere from Ancient Rome to the modern day.

Their base was the summer villa of the English College, the beautiful Palazzola, which overlooks Lake Albano and the summer palace of the Popes at Castel Gondolfo.

There was a full programme of tours including the archaeological site of Ostia Antica, the catacomb of St Callixtus, the Pantheon, the Baroque-style Piazza Navona, and the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi. Also on the itinerary were the Forum, the Palatine Hill, the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums and – a highlight for all – a Papal audience. Altogether a vivid and rich experience of Classical, Catholic and modern Rome.

Click here to read the full Rome report.