The group consisted of 72 Syrian refugees, both individuals and 18 families, and included 45 children and 14 mothers. They are both Christians and Muslims, nearly all originally from war-torn Syria.
A single mother who arrived with her two children told CNA she came "first of all for the children," adding that "this was a dream. I didn't think this dream could be realized."
The woman, whose children are about six and eight years old, has been living in refugee camps since her children were born. They first lived in a camp in Syria when the children were infants, and later transferred to a camp in Lebanon, where they have been living for the past four years.
With no husband, the woman left all of her relatives behind in Lebanon and came to Italy to meet her brother, who had already migrated and was at the airport to welcome her.
"I am very happy because life in the camp was very hard and very difficult. I wanted to get out and to see Italy, to see what was outside, which certainly isn't like life in the camp," she said.
She said the first step for her family now will be for the children to learn Italian so they can go to school. They "must learn the language to continue their life journey, because now they are saved," she said, explaining that the rest of her family hopes to join them one day.
Rami, a Muslim refugee from Deir ez-Zor, Syria, was among those who arrived to Rome with Pope Francis in April.
After making the perilous journey from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos, Rami found himself stuck in a refugee camp on the island, but was selected by lottery to come back to Rome with the Pope since he had his paperwork in order.
He was present at Rome's Fiumicino airport for the Oct. 24 arrival of his sister and her children, whom he had not seen for six years.
When he and the other refugees arrived to Rome with Pope Francis, "our life took a 180 degree turn from hell to paradise," he told CNA. "I come from a country at war, and we arrived to a country where there is peace, security and tranquility."
In Syria "there was war, destruction, calumny," he said, explaining that his sister's husband is missing, and that after traveling from Syria to Lebanon and finally Lebanon to Rome, "we're all happy."
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Speaking of his experience living in Italy, Rami, who worked in general renovation in Syria, said that "it's fabulous, I am happy, there is a lot of stability. My children go to school now, they have already learned Italian better than me. We hope to continue going forward, that the situation gets better."
He voiced his gratitude to Pope Francis for his welcome and attention to migrants, explaining that "we are guests of the Pope."
"I am very proud and I will tell it to everyone with great pleasure...We are under his care. We are very happy in his care," he said.
For her part, Sara said she is happy to be in "a calm, secure country," and that she decided to come above all for her children.
"I am thinking of school. I am more interested in the future of my children," she said, explaining that she will "always give thanks to the Italian people, for their welcome."
Dirkan Qariqosh, a refugee from Aleppo who came to Italy with his wife and son, told CNA that he had been an artist in Syria, and hopes to better his skills in such an artistic culture.