Rome is spectacular. Our first day consisted of mainly the Vatican City. We climbed St. Peter’s Basilica to the top and from there could see all of Rome. It helped that the weather was wonderful- blue skies and 65 degrees, allowing us to see for miles in every direction. We also decided to go in the Vatican Museum, which was a great call. Not only does the museum end with the Sistine Chapel, but, the museum was fabulous in its entirety. It has open courtyards throughout, a Gallery of Maps, work by Leonardo de Vinci, Raphael, and Caravaggio as well as Donte’s pinecone! I wasn’t really sure how important the pinecone was, but our lovely tour guide, Francesca, almost cried when she saw it. She’s also a Donte fanatic, but either way it was super neat. Francesca is a friend from American, studying in Rome, and let us stay with her all weekend.
|St. Peter's Basilica|
Later, we happened to pass by the Pantheon, nbd, on our walk home from grabbing coffee with some friends.
That night we met up with my friend Greg, and Francesca took us all to Trastevere, a narrow street lined by bars and restaurants where many of the local Italians go. Highlight of the night: chocolate shots- chocolate shot class, bailey’s, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.
Saturday I would say was the best day. Greg, Lauren and I started off with the Coliseum, Roman Forum and Palatino. Only last week did I re-watch Gladiator, but walking through the largest arena of the ancient world and thinking of all that happened in that arena was crazy. With so many gladiator impersonators around I almost felt as if I were there! (jk) The Roman Forum is what really blew my mind. It’s ruins upon ruins that seem to never end. Since it was the center of public life in Rome for over 1000 years, there were some signs that distinguished what things would have been but a lot of it was just there. You can walk over and around almost all of it, which is why we could just sit on some ruin for lunch.
The Borghese Gallery was next on the agenda, but for this museum you need to call and set an appointment. Since our appointment was at 5, we had time to walk across Rome at our leisure. We passed through Piazza Navona, which had a huge fountain in the middle, tons of street artists, and a live band playing as we passed through. I would say it was my favorite piazza that I saw in Rome. We also saw Scholars, (the legendary bar where all the Americans go), Bulldog (Cancun crew- we had a drink inside for everyone) and passed by the Spanish Steps.
Villa Borghese is the beautiful and HUGE park where the Borghese Gallery is located. I would have loved to spend more time there, definitely a highlight on my agenda if I ever make it back to Rome.
The final ‘must see’ in Rome we were told was the Trevi Fountain. You can hear the water from blocks away and as you turn the corner the most enormous and magical fountain stands in front of you. We sat on the steps in awe for over an hour sharing a bottle of wine. We were sure to uphold the Trevi myth by throwing coins over our left shoulder with our right hand- 1 coin to return to Rome someday, and 2 coins for love. It was the perfect end to our weekend.