Monday, March 3, 2014

Rome If She Wants To...Part 1

My first full day in Rome was a Friday, and I was on my own.  Will had to work, so like a good little tourist, I planned out my route, summoned my courage, and boarded the metro in Rome, ALL ON MY OWN!  I was pretty proud of myself, I successfully navigated public transportation in a foreign country all on my own.  Of course, as soon as I walked off the metro, the strap on my purse broke, so before I could do anything else, I had to find a store and buy a new purse.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find one I was really in love with, so I ended up with a cheap one to just get the job done.  I was upset because I really liked the purse I bought just for Rome, and planned my outfits around that specific purse.  Will laughed when he saw the purse I bought and said, "We come all the way to Rome, and that's the purse you buy?!?"   

After purchasing a new purse and transferring everything over, I headed back to the streets and on to my destination of the day, the Vatican!  Will and I discussed going to the Vatican on Saturday, as he wanted to see it as well, but I knew that I would want to spend more time in St. Peter's than he would, and I wanted to make sure I saw everything I wanted to see.  Will and I only had limited time together, so we really had to plan out what he wanted to see and manage our time wisely.  My schedule while he was at work was much more open.  Plus, I got to impress him with my knowledge of the metro system, including changing trains! 

When I was on my own, I didn't want to have my nice DSLR camera out, so I left that in the hotel safe, and just used my little point and shoot camera.  I haven't downloaded those pictures yet (still), but I do have my pictures from my DSLR! 

The Saturday we were there was our first full day together.  We woke up early and headed down for breakfast at our hotel, then we hopped on the metro to arrive at the Vatican!  Once we go through security, we headed to the top of St. Peter's, then up more to the very top of the dome!  The views of Rome from the top of St. Peter's were breathtaking!  It was a perfectly clear day, we could literally see the entire city of Rome! 

After decending back down to Earth (it was a LONG way down), we explored the inside of St. Peter's, including sending post cards to our family!   

We headed to the Vatican museums to see the Sistine Chapel.  The only way to get to the Chapel is to go through the museum, and you have to go all the way through.  It took us nearly 2 hours to just get inside the Sistine Chapel!  Since it was a Saturday during the summer, there were lots of tourists and you could only move as fast as the group was moving.  Many tourists were with tour guides, who wanted to share everything about every piece of art, and while some of it was interesting, most of it I could have skipped.  Once you get in the Sistine Chapel, you cannot take pictures, and they yell at you if you try, so I wasn't able to get pictures. 

Just outside of the Vatican, there is a "fort" called Castel Sant' Angelo, which was once used to defend the Vatican from attacks.  There was a passage from St. Peter's to the castel where the Pope and others could escape.  A few previous popes actually lived there as well, so we were able to see their living quarters. 

After the Castel, we headed to the Colosseum and the Forum, then Mamertine Prison (where Saints Peter and Paul were imprisoned), and finally to St. Peter in Chains church (where the chains that held St. Peter are held). 

All that walking and sightseeing was exhausting, and I have to admit, I was a little cranky, so we headed back to the hotel to rest for a bit before going to dinner.  After a nap and a shower, I felt so much better.  Trevi Fountain was in walking distance from our hotel, so we headed in that direction to find somewhere to eat before going to Trevi for the first time.  Trevi is beautiful during the day, but stunning at night!  It's incredibly hard to get good pictures because there are people everywhere, but I think I managed to get a few good shots! Of course we had to finish our evening with gelato!

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