Rome, Part II
Rome Travel Blog› entry 12 of 14 › view all entries
Day 5 in Rome we headed into town early to see the Colosseum and Palatine hill (ruins) before all the other tourists woke up. The colosseum was so amazing, especially because I felt like I knew more history about it and more of the story behind it. Thanks to movies, I've seen the recreation of it, and so knew somewhat what to expect. The building had been raided over the years for its supply of marble and other building materials, so what remains is mostly a shell of what it was. Still so incredible though. You can see through the floor of the arena, to where the animals and gladiators were kept in cells and passageways. You can see where the stairs to the upper level seating were, where all the stands used to be, and picture the battles that were held there. I wish I could have seen it as it was, with full marble floors with paintings and elaborate decorations... Palatine hill was just a few minutes walk from the colosseum, and covers a few square kilometers with ancient buildings and what remains of that section of Rome. It housed the villas of some of Rome's senators, among other things. After seeing this, we grabbed some lunch (pizza again...), and headed back to the campground for pool time. That night we cooked chicken and risoto for dinner (which was a little tough, trying to decifer the Italian instructions on the back of the package...it was a little mushy), and ate out on our patio with some music playing from Mat's Ipod. We cleaned up, read our books, and crashed for the night.
Day 6 - Today was the day we visited the Vatican. We got up early to try to beat the crowds, and saw the vatican museum first, which is the home of the sistine chapel and Michaelangelo's painted ceiling. It was actually smaller than I thought it would be, but amazing nonetheless. He actually painted it leaning back and reaching up, and irreparably damaged his back while doing so. Can't imagine how long that would have taken, or how much it would hurt! The ceiling was incredible though, so much detail. It was "illegal" to take pictures, but we managed to get a few sneaky ones. After the museum we headed over to see St.Peter's Basilica, the largest cathedral in the world. It was INCREDIBLE. There isn't enough time in the world to describe how amazing that place was. The sheer size of it was impressive enough, but it was also filled with beautiful paintings and statues and incredible architecture. It took me about an hour just to wander around it, with my mouth hanging wide open the whole time. So beautiful, and ornate, and amazing.
After the Vatican we took the shuttle back to the campground for some pool time and dinner, and to wait for it to get dark. We wanted to see the city at night. Once the sun set, we headed back into town, first to the Trevi fountain. We shared a bottle of wine and admired the beautiful fountain (even prettier at night than during the day), then headed over to the colosseum which was also very cool. Took a ton of pictures, then headed home for bed.
We had to check out of our cute little cabin the next day, so we packed up and headed to the pool. Our train didn't leave for Florence until that evening, so we spent the day chilling with Mat then said our goodbyes later. We arrived in Florence that night around 9 and checked in to our somewhat broken down, but blissfully air conditioned hotel.