Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rome, the reason history class was fun

When we last saw our dashing heroes, they were leaving Venice and happy to be doing it. A pretty straightforward trip got us to our hostel. Our room had no windows but it was clean, thankfully quiet and centrally located in Rome. 

After some much needed sleep and a slow easy morning, we decided to start at the Vatican. We'd been seeing churches all over Europe. It was time for the most impressive one in the world. As ever, it did not disappoint. 

Pictures never do the place justice. This is a church that's 2 football fields long, 1.5 wide and 1.5 tall. It covers 6 acres. It can hold 60,000 people. And every inch is richly decorated. This place didn't cost a fortune to build. It cost a thousand fortunes.

After being suitably impressed, we went back to our room before heading to the Colosseum to see it at night. We accidentally met a friendly American couple there and chatted for 2 hours that flew by. 

When they left, we decided to take a moonlit stroll to the Trevi Fountain. Of course, this being Rome, our stroll took us past the Forum, Trajan's Column, an outdoor play in some ruins, and the giant Vittorio Emmanuelle Monument. I love Rome! 

We enjoyed our fountain visit, including the requisite coin toss into the fountain. However, neither of the coins we tossed in were from this continent. Hope that doesn't affect our luck. 

We decided to walk home and only hit one major landmark on the way. Fortunately, Republic Square is especially pretty at night. 

The next day we got up at 6:30am so we could see the Vatican and Saint Peter's Basilica without the crowds. It really made a difference in the experience. We also climbed to the top of the dome for a great view of early morning Rome. That climb is not for the old or the large. It was long, challenging and such a tight fit that I barely got through a couple spots. 

After our morning excursion, we went home and slept for several hours to catch up on our sleep. That afternoon we went back to the Colosseum, this time to see the inside. It also impressed. 

We finished the day with an excellent Italian dinner. It goes without saying, of course, that we were having gelato AT LEAST once a day every day we were in Italy. 

The next morning was a chill one before walking to the station to catch the noon train to Florence. After a rough Venice, Rome had lifted our spirits. 

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