A enlightening tour and improv jazz at its finest
Rome Travel Blog› entry 17 of 25 › view all entries
Happy Birthday to my sister!! Breakfasts at the Yellow Hostel are to die for, especially when you've been receiving two pieces of toast at the majority of the hostels:) Yellow Hostel has a connection with a tour guide company, and Dylan, our guide, is an eccentric 30 year old from New Orleans. He gave us the history of Rome, and included a variety of unique historical details that I didn't know... In order to keep us on our toes during the tour, we were each required to memorize certain dates, which he randomly asked us during the tour. The landmarks were incredible.. the Pantheon was such an incredible sight, which originally was created to worship the various gods, but changed into a church during the time of Constantine. To make the trip a hit, we stopped at a Gelateria where we were given the special and the chance to try 5 flavors!
We also visited the Vatican City, which I didn't know until then that it was considered to be its own country, city, etc... all in one.. where the pope is its monarch. I guess that there was an agreement with Mussolini that the pope and the church would stay out of the political realm if they were given their own land, city, and a place to rule. Statues filled every nook and cranny, tapestries and paintings lined the walls. Pagan sculptures stood along side non-pagan ones. A pinecone symbolizing fertility marked the entrance to one of the buildings.
The Sistine Chapel, Michaelangelos's masterpiece... I didn't realize that he was not a painter originally, but instructed himself how to paint! I loved viewing it along with the countless 100's who pushed into the chapel to view it. People were taking pictures of it left and right, and every 2-3 minutes voices came over the intercom in multiple languages telling the people to put away their cameras... then two Italian guards would come up to the front, clap their hands, and say the same thing. People kept clicking away!
The one piece of art that touched me the most was a sculpture by Michaelangelo called Pietro. It depicted mary and Jesus. Mary was holding onto her dead son.. the beauty and accuracy in her expression made me cry. It reflected so much emotion and beauty.. it is something you need to see in person to fully appreciate.
We headed to this incredible JAZZ place that night with Dylan and a few others from the hostel and some of his amigos. Talented musicians from the audience would walk right up to the main stage and sing along or bring their instrument with them. The place was filled with comfy couches, hardwood floors, and had a swanky atmosphere as everyone was dressed smartly... the guys like they were in the 20's:) Music flowed from this place!