JCU Community Service at Rome's Non-Catholic Cemetery

The 2011-2012 series of AACUPI (Association of American College and University Programs in Italy) community service activities kicked off on November 11th at the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome. John Cabot University students were joined by ones from Saint Mary’s College Rome Program, Duquesne University, Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Notre Dame.

After meeting by the Pyramid of Cestius, dating back to the 1st century BC and located at one corner of the cemetery, students soon began what they called “cleaning & learning”, weeding, raking and clearing the cemetery while also enjoying an enthusiastic and informative guided tour, courtesy of the cemetery’s director.

Among the people buried in this cemetery, used as final resting place for people of non-Catholic religion, are Romantic poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley. JCU staff member Rebecca Bright proved a skilled guide as she spoke about Romanticism and the role played by the two poets in English literature. The tour finished with students reading poems by their gravesites, topping off nicely what proved to be a highly entertaining and fulfilling way to spend their morning.

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