When in Rome...make sure to do it all!

July 5, 2010
Quick Italy recap for those of you who don’t like to read or who are at work and aren’t supposed to be reading this! Rome, Florence, Pisa, Capri, and Pompeii were all amazing and I still have no luggage after 21 days!

Ok now for the slightly longer version! Italy has been absolutely amazing and I have love traveling around the country for the past 8 days with my friends. We got into Civitavecchia on Tuesday and a group of 8 of us headed straight for the train station on our way to Rome and although it was super early in the morning I couldn’t have been any more excited! The train ride to Rome was just over an hour and after arriving in Rome and finding our hotel and reminding our group about 500 times that we were in Rome we set out…for Pizza! After devouring my first of many pizzas in Italy we decided on our plan of attack for seeing Rome for the day but were quickly distracted by the gelato shops on every corner…so we succumbed to our instincts and  enjoyed our first of many gelatos in Italy as well before finally heading out to see the sights.

First stop…the Roman Forum! Although it was crazy hot and we weren’t sure what many of the ruins were it was still really cool to walk among all of the ruins and try to imagine how they built these building over a thousand years ago without the machines and technology we have today.

Second stop…the Colosseum…and it was awesome!

Walking up to the Colosseum the first thing I thought of was how big it actually was but secondly was how surreal everything was. To me the Colosseum (along with many of the other things I have seen) has always been pictures in my history books that I am forced to remember; but actually seeing, walking up to, and touching the Colosseum, it was nothing I had imagined I would do! I loved walking through the different levels reading the different descriptions along the way and trying to imagine what it had looked like when they had originally built it. In all though, it was amazing to see and something that I will never forget I had the chance to experience! After walking through the ruins we had made plans to meet for dinner at the Trevi Fountain (doesn’t that sound romantic lol) so after taking pictures and throwing our coins in for good luck we went out for a dinner of delicious Italian Pasta!

Waking up early Wednesday morning we made the 5 minute walk to the Vatican from our hotel and were at the Vatican by 8:45 to get good seats for the Papal audience at 11 that day and although it was crazy hot sitting out in the sun for 2 hours waiting it was so worth it when Pope Benedict went by in his pope-mobile less than 5 yards away from where I was standing! After the Papal audience we headed to the Pantheon, followed by the Spanish Steps, the Basilica of Saint Maria Maggiore, and the church of San Giovanni in Laterano followed of course by pizza, lasagna, and gelato!

Our last day in Rome we spent wandering in awe through the Vatican. We started at Saint Peter’s Basilica, followed by the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel and afterwards we walked under the basilica where many of our past pope’s including Pope John Paul II are buried. After a day at the Vatican we weren’t sure what else to do to fill in our evening so our hotel manager suggested a walk by the river, visiting Circio Massimo (which we still aren’t sure what it used to be!) and a walk and dinner through the oldest section of Rome; Trastevere which were all absolutely wonderful! 

Well this looks about long enough to put anyone to sleep so I will write more later on Florence, Pisa, Capri, and Pompeii! Chaio for now!