Roma, Roma, Roma. The City of the Seven Hills. Caesar's Palace (wait, was that here?). The Eternal City. We saw all our must-haves in a part-day and we were able to be pretty leisurely about it, which was a surprise to us. We absolutely only got a taste but I'd recommend our line-up.
The port was in Civitavecchia which is the single coolest word to say repeatedly. It was about an hour train ride into the city. I love European trains, heck, I just love trains. I'd love to live sans automobile.
"While stands the Colosseum, Rome shall stand; When falls the Colosseum, Rome shall fall; and when Rome - the world." - Lord Byron
The Roman Forum ruins
The Trevi Fountain... which just weeks earlier began a 2-3 year construction project and was barricaded and dry.
But that did not stop our coin tossing (which I'm told goes to help the poor of the city). Be back soon, but not too soon as I'd really love to see this fountain up and running.
The Spanish Steps. Honestly expected a little more. Basically stairs in a so-so piazza surrounded by so-so buildings and construction and millions of people who were probably similarly disappointed but thought they've get a photo since they were already there. And in that rose photo we are terrified because the rose seller insisted on taking the photo and I was pretty sure my SLR camera was going to be the payment. In related new, when I didn't pay for the rose he recommissioned the rose, leaving me only my camera, which was exactly as I wanted it before he shoved the stupid rose at me and took my camera.
This gelateria came highly recommended and it seemed that everyone was there. It's just outside of Vatican City - as in next to the walls of Vatican City. Here is where I got the three-scooper. Big mistake. Mostly it melted quickly all over my hands. I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have being in such a panic and becoming quickly sticky. Two scoops max, y'all.
We had tickets for the Vatican Museum - get tickets or you'll spend your day in Rome in a long line. We walked through hallways and hallways - just a mass of people -- and then I realized this is the museum. Perhaps because of the herding crowd I found the museum forgettable except for two pieces from Matisse (top in the middle). However, at the end of the museum you are rewarded with the Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel (of which photography is not allowed) is smaller than expected and (like Michelangelo do) more amazing than expected. So amazing. If you go, study the art beforehand.
Continuing the Michelangelo genius-ocity, the Pieta, inside St. Peter's Basilica. No words.
St. Peter's in huge and ornate and huge. There is so much to look at that I think I saw almost nothing.
Did you know you can walk eight million steps up to the tippy top of St. Peter's dome? You can and whilst still inside the churchy part there are amazing mosaics. I can't even imagine the time, patience, and brilliance it would have required to compose such intricate, detailed work.
The steps become increasingly small, the corridors increasingly small, and the temperature increasingly hot until you reach the top and then it's this. And you think to yourself I make good choices.
St. Peter's Square - it's surreal to have been someplace that you've seen and heard about so often and then it's natural to be there. (Obviously I feel at home - look at those photos!)
Rome: veni, vidi, vici.