Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Celebrating 10 years: Rome

We left Florence and got on the train to Rome.....well we TRIED to get on a train to Rome. We got to the train station and I remember having trouble seeing our train even listed on the screen. It was a busy day for trains and I mixed up departing and arriving while Jason was in the bathroom and as soon as he got out, we got on the train. When the conductor came around to grab our tickets, he realized we were on a train to Milan, NOT Rome. He was very nice and we ended up wasting about 2 hours as we had to get off after about an hour and then wait for the next train going the opposite direction. Sheesh! So we left at 9am and got to Rome at 12:40p. woops!

We took to the streets of Rome to do some shopping. A lot of the city was closed for their holiday to celebrate the Virgin Mary. We went out for dinner and then took the walk to the Trevi Fountain.
 It was a beautiful night and it was definitely crowded. Gorgeous to see in person. They estimate about 3,000 euros are thrown into the fountain every day.

 The next morning we woke up early to tour the Vatican.
 I learned so much about the Vatican that I didn't know! I had no clue it was it's own country with it's own rules/jail/etc. We just happened to be visiting when it was the year of the Jubilee. This only happens once every 25 years. The Pope designates an area of the Vatican to open a new doorway. It is said that if you walk through this doorway that your sins are forgiven. After the year of the Jubilee is over then the doorway is closed and never to be opened again.
 I took more pictures than I am posting but half of the reason of why I took the pictures, I now can't remember. Could be because it was beautiful but we had some awesome tour guides explaining, and everything to me was fascinating.
 The ceilings were unreal. Some appeared 3 D and it was just unbelievable.
 This ceiling had zero lights attributing to its illumination. Pictures just don't do it justice
 There were beautiful 3 D maps made of every part of Italy. This is called the Gallery of Maps.  It remains the world's largest pictorial geographical study.

 Sometimes it was hard to portray the scale of things. Here is an area leading into the courtyard of St. Peter's Basillica.
 The Basillica was amazing. Incredibly tall ceilings and everything seemed to be at such a massive scale.
 This picture is taken after you have walked through the Jubilee door. You couldn't take pictures of the door from the outside but could from the inside (?)
 A piece done by Michelangelo called the Pieta, which depicts Jesus on Mary's lap following his crucifixion. It is now behind glass walls because a man from Australia climbed on it and hit it with a hammer 13 times and was then placed in 1/3 Vatican Jail cells for a number of years.

 This is where the pope would stand to give mass
 St. Peters square
 The balcony where the pope would stand to address the people
 St. Peters basilica

 After our Vatican tour (and the Sistine Chapel which we couldn't take pictures of- but was so beyond beautiful and such a work of art!!) we then went to tour the Colosseum and The Roman Forum
 Our tour guide for this part of the tour is an archeologist that is incredibly passionate about the Colosseum and it's preservation.
 Overlooking where the underground hallways and tunnels were since the flooring has been removed.
 Across the way in this picture is an area where they recreated what it would look like to have the flooring in place for the gladiators to fight
 We are up in some of the higher seating sections here looking down. This structure is just huge!

 After the Coliseum we proceeded to the Roman Forum.

 Walking around palatine hill.
 This was a location of a large empire where just one family lived. Massive palace for royalty.
This was one awesome tour day. To hear about the ruins, how much was stolen and destroyed. Imagining everything covered in marble and beautiful stones. We had an awesome tour guide as I mentioned that was incredibly passionate. It helped make the tour not only educational but incredibly interesting to hear the facts and details dating back to times even before Christ. It's so hard to even imagine what life was like back in those times but even the movie Gladiator was helpful to give a glimpse of the Coliseum and what it may have been like. Rome was a stop unlike any other and I'm so glad we didn't miss out! Up next we take a private car driven by a Pitbull look-a-like a few hours to Sorrento!!

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