EuropeItalyRome

Roma, Italy!

Rome Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 8 › view all entries

I’m finally getting to update my blog again! We have been in Rome since Sunday evening, but have been running around pretty much continuously and the internet has been very finicky.

 

I have to admit, when I first got here to Rome I was a little skeptical—our hotel is in a fairly sketchy area when you see it at first (during the day it is really not sketchy at all, just somewhat deserted—plus the hotel is in my opinion a luxurious place to stay, so I’m happy), and everywhere we go seems to be paved over or scaffolded or railed off—so things have not overall been in the pristine condition I expected.

 

Nonetheless, within the few days we were here, I completely fell in love with Rome. It is different from Florence (which I really really loved); Florence is more one of those walk around at night and look at the river (with some historical places), while Rome is more one of those places where you go around to look at things and appreciate the sights and the history. Overall, I feel that Rome’s history is far more complex, and it is definitely the historical aspect that has drawn me in.

 

Our first day here we spent with lecture followed by a walking tour of the ruins. We were left to explore the ruins “on our own” (I have to admit, it seems like there is far too much that we are “left to do on our own” but at the same time you can’t really fit everything into class time either and still have anytime to sleep). I had a good time exploring and figuring out what I was looking at, then headed over to the coliseum-which was HUGE inside. It is sad to see how much marble is gone from the original building, and it is interesting how there is a big cross on the bottom floor and a big plaque to St. Pius (I think?) outside. Christianity definitely left its mark on Rome—it seems like many of the ancient buildings were turned into churches. I am still trying to figure out whether the buildings would have been in even worse shape if they hadn’t been reoccupied.

 

Monday afternoon we went to the supermarket and then back to the hotel just in time for me to catch the group heading out to take pictures of the coliseum at night .

 

Tuesday we went to the Vatican! This was very exciting. We went to the museum first, so I did not get my first view of St. Peter’s Square until midday—what a huge and amazing plaza! I think I am just now, a few days later, having it sink in that I was really there. We also got to go into St. Peter’s, which was also incredibly HUGE and beautiful and ultimately more moving than I had expected. If you stand to the left front of the baldachino and look around, you feel incredibly dwarfed by the arches of the ceiling and very in awe (which I suppose is the idea). We stayed for mass in Italian—which was also really amazing; even though I’m not Catholic, going to mass at the biggest, most important Catholic Church was incredible.

 

Tuesday night Jenny and I explored and found the Trevi Fountain and the plaza with the Triton Fountain by Bernini (with the Hotel Bernini in the background).

 

Wednesday we had more class, a walking tour of the churches (including Piazza Navona and Bernini’s Four Rivers Fountain, which was sadly out of service), and went to the Borghese in the afternoon. One of my favorite things, however, was that we had our first choir practice. Dr. Ulrich is hilarious—we were singing out in the middle of the park, and he kept trying to get people coming by to give us money. I’m excited to learn some songs so that we can perform somewhere.

 

Wednesday night was another photo excursion—back to St. Peter’s Square and over to the bridge of angels leading to the Castel of St. Angelo—beautiful sunset pictures. I also saw two wild river otters in the Tiber River, which made me very excited since I love otters and have never seen wild ones before. We also found the best and most reasonably-priced gelato place yet—called Blue Ice on the road between St. Peter’s Square and the Ottoviano metro stop.

 

Today Jenny and I continued our pursuit of finding all the churches from Angels and Demons. We finally found the S. M. del Popolo—but the Chigi Chapel was covered with scaffolding . I guess that is appropriate since in the book the whole church is closed for restoration. We also went to the S. M. della Vittoria and found the Ecstasy of St. Teresa (completing our search for all the Angels and Demons sites).

This church was gorgeous—lots of dark pink marble and an elaborate gilded altar. We also found an amazing lunch place—I think it was Caffe Piccorozzi (?) in the Piazza del Repubblica. They had decent portion sizes AND peach iced tea.

 

Overall, I am very happy with what I was able to see and do in Rome!

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Me in front of the remainder of th…
Me in front of the remainder of t…
Temple for Castor and Pollux
Temple for Castor and Pollux
My foot:)
My foot:)
Part of the Temple of Saturn
Part of the Temple of Saturn
Arch of Titus
Arch of Titus
Arch of Constantine at Night
Arch of Constantine at Night
Rome
photo by: vulindlela