After five days in London, we jetted off to Italy to spend a week in Rome. It was a week well-spent.
Rome was a lot more tropical than I expected. The weather was really nice, except for a cloudy day here and there and a bit of rain.
We rented two apartments, and the apartment I stayed in was literally across the street from the Coliseum. If you went outside our front door, looked to the right, it was there. I thought it was pretty cool. :)
See what I mean? :)
Above is the Coliseum after the sun set, taken on the corner of our street. It was extremely surreal seeing such a symbol of Rome numerous times every day.
Inside the Coliseum. This picture was taken on our last day in Rome... Unfortunately I was playing with my camera one night and somehow pictures of our first day in Rome got deleted. I was kind of disappointed, because the first time we visited the Coliseum, it was a beautiful morning. And our last day in Rome was pretty cloudy and kind of blah. It could be worse, I could have lost ALL my pictures on the last day, right? Right.
View of the Arch of Constantine from the Coliseum.
The Sunday that we were in Rome, we set off to go to mass at St. Peter's. There was just one little problem...
There was a huge marathon that day. And we couldn't cross the street to get to Vatican City. Eventually the number of runners dwindled and we were able to cross, but by that time we had missed the mass we intended to go to, and we didn't want to wait around any longer than we had to attend the next mass.
The Trevi Fountain was so huge I couldn't get it all in one picture! It is truly an exquisite work of art. The place was bursting with people but we were able to find a good spot in the middle of all the action.
And of course we made sure to throw coins into the fountain! Right hand, over left shoulder as specified by tradition. :)
Side view of the fountain. I cannot stress how massive it was. Definitely a lot bigger than I expected.
Next, it was onto the Spanish Steps. There were a lot of people sitting around and enjoying the beautiful day. We went to the top with gelatos in hand and sat down up there, just taking in the view.
After our failed attempt to go to the Vatican on Sunday, we successfully tried again on Monday. Here is a view of St. Peter's from the square. This was an early day; we left around 8am so we could beat the crowd. There were very few people around when we went in compared to when we left.
Pretty scenery in St. Peter's Square. Another gorgeous day. :)
Inside St. Peter's Basilica. It was so pretty and boasted quite an immense presence.
The morning sunlight filtered into the church so beautifully.
We hiked up a bunch of steps to go into the top of the dome. I thought it was pretty cool to get a bird's eye view of the church, but that didn't compare to the amazing view we got from the outside...
This view of Rome and the Tiber River was definitely worth the effort of climbing hundreds of never-ending steps!
Here's a view of St. Peter's Square from above. If you look closely, you can see the humongous line of people waiting to go inside stretching all the way across the square. Good thing we got there early!
Me and some of my European family resting after a tough walk to the top. :)
After we finished up at the Vatican and visited the Vatican Museum to see Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel (where, sadly, no pictures were allowed), we stopped to take a rest next to the river. It was really nice just hanging out, enjoying the scenery, and giving my feet a break. haha. Something that I thought was really cool about Rome was that it seemed like you could literally walk everywhere. We walked from Vatican City all the way back to our apartment and were able to see sights all along the way. We only used the metro about 4 times (and truthfully, the metro system was pretty limited...I think there were only two lines, compared to the 15ish that Paris has), but otherwise we walked everywhere.
So there were cats pretty much everywhere in Rome. When we walked past this sleeping kitty, I just had to get a picture with him. haha.
We also visited the Roman Forum and the Palantino on our first day, so of course I had to go back the last day we were in Rome to get the pictures I had lost.
Where the Emperor's throne used to be, in the Palantino.
View of some of the Roman Forum. You can see the Arch of Tito and the Coliseum in the background.
I believe this is the Temple of Romulus in the Forum... He is the founder of Rome.
There were such beautiful carvings everywhere you looked in the Forum, but this flower was one of my favorites.
I absolutely loved the Forum. I could have walked around there all day taking pictures and savoring all the history at my feet. Everywhere you looked there were ruins, columns, arches, and other remnants from the Roman Empire. So much history. It was pretty much my idea of heaven. haha. :)
My only complaint: it wasn't that great of a day. Our last day was extremely cloudy and there was some rain, but the sun tried her best to fight through the clouds...
We also visited the Pantheon, where Italy's first King Victor Emmanuel II and the famous Raphael are buried. The Pantheon is Rome's oldest standing domed structure...Like the Trevi Fountain, I couldn't really get all of it in one picture, but I tried my best!
We enjoyed one last gelato at a nice little place near the Pantheon. I definitely fell in love with gelatos in Rome... We made sure to have at least one gelato a day every day we were there, though there were a few days when we managed to have two, lol.
We started off for our flight from Rome to Paris around 5am and while waiting for the metro to open, I snapped a few last shots of the Coliseum.
I really enjoyed Rome. I think I preferred it over London... For one thing, I didn't lose anything nor did my hearing aids stop working on me, haha. But I really loved that there was just so much history to take in everywhere you looked. Oh, and the food was amazing, too, not to mention all the gelatos. :)