Zach Griffith

Illinois forward Zach Griffith visited the Trevi Fountain among several other sites during the team's open day in Rome on Monday.

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Every day during the Illini basketball team’s overseas trip, the pride of Fisher, Illinois junior Zach Griffith, will check in. Today’s entry:

The forecast in Rome on Monday was sunny and 98 degrees but that didn’t stop a little exploration from happening. After breakfast, I traveled to three different sites with a couple teammates.

First, we checked out the Spanish Steps that offer a beautiful view over a large part of the city. After this, we traveled over to the Trevi Fountain where we learned that not only was this site one of the most famous fountains in the world, but it also made an appearance in the Lizzie McGuire movie. We wrapped up our afternoon with the all-famous Pantheon, home of the world’s largest un-reinforced concrete dome.

The architecture was incredible considering the years in which it was built and the hole in the ceiling called the “oculus” was definitely a site to see. It was neat to learn that the height from the floor to the ceiling is exactly equivalent to the diameter of the inner circle.

On our way back to the hotel, we decided to make a quick stop to try the famous Italian panini — my first of the trip. I couldn’t say enough good things about my turkey and parmesan selection, as it made for a great lunch after a little sightseeing. Tomorrow morning the team will take a trip to Vatican City before making the long flight home on Wednesday.

Scott Richey covers college basketball for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).