The trip to Rome began very early...and cold. There had been a frost overnight, and being me, I slipped on the barely-frosted sidewalk. Nothing like smoking our knee on some cobblestone to start of a vacation, eh?! Nonetheless, this wasn't going to stop me - vacation free of technology (minus my camera, of course...and well all the other things we now require to live comfortable lifestyles) was just what I needed. I shut off my phone, left my laptop at home, and set off for Italy's capitol city.
Rome is...well...old. I know this may seem kind of obvious to most of you, but given that I had just taken a historical walk and discovered most of what I was trying to locate had been replaced, this took me by surprise. In many ways, Rome reminded me of Ghana... the buildings, the jam brand, the unnecessary honking of horns and aggressive driving!
I had a successful flight, bus transfer and underground to the stop I was needing to get to in order to reach my hotel. Unfortunately, I took the wrong exit out of the subway, and walked in the complete opposite direction I wanted to go. I was tired, uncaffeinated and hungry, so I didn't appreciate this walk as much as I should have. BUT, I was able to see some sights I wouldn't have other wise seen. Along this walk, one of the things I was struck by, was the high amount of homeless people. This is one aspect of big-city life I struggle to comprehend. Anyway, when I finally arrived to my hotel, I dropped my things, grabbed a bite to eat, and set off to see some sights. And sights I saw! Here's just a sample:
|Museo Storico dei Granatieri|
|Basilica di Santo Croce in Gerusalemme|
|Part of the historical wall that surrounds the city|
|The wall from within Giardini di via Carlo Felice|
|Another shot from within the par.k. One thing I liked about this place |
was seeing how many people were running or chatting with friends in it!
|The historical wall, once again, from within the park.|
|The historical wall leading to San Giovanni.|
|Ladies and gentlemen, San Giovanni Laterano, |
a.k.a. the Vatican before there was a Vatican!
|Piazza di Parta San Giovanni|
|Monumento a San Francesco D'Assisi|
Day two of my Rome adventure was busy. My first adventure of the day was a full meal-deal Vatican tour. Here, we walked through the museums (where the subtitle gets it's name from...however, I noticed I don't have any photographs to back up this description), a visit to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica, before a walk through St. Peter's Square. The museums were interesting. The Basilica was beautiful - there was even a well preserved dead pope that everyone was taking pictures of. I found this a bit, creepy, so unfortunately, no pictures for you! Two things really surprised me about this tour: 1. The Sistine Chapel is tiny. It's beautiful, and the artistic overload that overwhelms your eyes is incredible, but I just always imagined it to be so much bigger. I think it took me about 43 seconds to walk from one end to the other...also your next hurts within in minutes from trying to see every inch of the ceiling! Pictures are not allowed to be taken in the Chapel and I was quite amazed by the number of people who tried to get away with not following this one rule! Seriously...it was the only rule! 2. January is low-tourist season, so St. Peter's Square was virtually empty! However, the lone up to get into the Vatican was massive when I arrived at 8:30am!
|One of many stunning ceilings within the museums!|
|So, this is neat. Looks like a sculpture, right? Well, it's actually a 3-D paint job!|
|Here's some more of that 3-D artwork!|
|Another amazing ceiling!|
|Yep! You got it - it's a ceiling!|
|This painting is the only one to include all of "the greats" - Leo, Mike, Raf and possibly |
Donatello. This is essentially the oldest depiction of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... I think.
|A shot of the walk from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter's Basilica.|
The view through the archway is St. Peter's Square.
|Another shot of the walk...|
|This is inside the Basilica. For the most part I felt strange taking pictures inside.|
However, to give you some perspective on how massive this place is, each of
those letters is 2 meters high (about 6.5 feet for my American friends!)
|Part of the Square.|
|The Basilica! In the corner between the buildings, you will notice a small pointy-topped |
building. That's the Sistine Chapel apparently!
|Somewhat next to the Basilica is this building. The top row of windows, |
second from the right is where the Pope comes out to give prayers and
greetings on Sunday mornings. The room next to it (again on the right) is
where Pope John Paul II died.
|The Arco di Constantino|
|A different view of the Arco|
|Piazza San Francesca Romana|
|A good chunk of the Colosseum|
|A view from inside! The partial stage is the floor of the arena, where the gladiators |
would have fought. Everything underneath would have been hidden by it.
Also - fun fact, the word "arena" comes from the Latin word for "sand" - harena!
|A couple of ancient things: The inner walls of the Colosseum, and yours truly!|
|The Arco from the Colosseum|
|A view from the Colosseum, including Palantino and Piazza San Francesca Romana|
|A close up of the underbelly of the Colosseum. Amazing!|
|This shot was taken from the spot where |
|A final view from within before leaving.|
|A much better exterior view of the Colosseum|
|The best shot from our walk from the Colosseum to Capitol Hill|
|The view from Capitol Hill!|
So, that's a very condensed version of my 2 nights in Rome. Morning three was another early start, with a taxi ride to the train station. Next stop...Florence!