I am officially obsessed with Italy. I WILL go back there sometime in my near future. I absolutely loved my trip to Rome!! Morgan, Natalie, Tabbatha, Corie, and I left for Rome early Friday morning. We arrived about 8 in the morning and took a bus shuttle into the city center. By the time we found our “hotel” it was about 10:00. I say “hotel” because it was the weirdest/sketchiest hotel experience this far in my life. Hotels there, at least all the ones I saw, were not free standing buildings, but rather just a few rooms inside large buildings that house all kinds of other things. Ours was on the 7th floor, and was literally 5 rooms and a reception desk. We stayed in two different places like this, and it was so strange! The rooms were TINY and each had 5 twin beds all crammed into it.
We dropped our luggage off and immediately set out for Vatican City. We used the metro to get everywhere in Rome, since we use it in Barcelona, are pretty much pros at it, and Rome had metro stops that were extremely simple to figure out. We arrived at Vatican City and decided to pay for a guided tour that would allow us to skip all of the lines and hear the history as well. It wasn’t until we were 5 minutes away from the start of our tour that I realized Vatican City has a strict dress code that doesn’t allow women to show shoulders or knees. What did I have on, you ask? A short, sleeveless sundress. Of course. We ran through the streets, which luckily are filled with vendors, and found some leggings that I would slip on, and I happened to have my raincoat, so I put that on as well. Crisis averted! Seeing Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica was absolutely amazing. Haring the history of the church, and seeing the beautiful art that past popes have commissioned and/or collected, was probably the greatest thing I’ve done so far. It was BEAUTIFUL there. Seeing the original frescos painted by Raphael and Michelangelo (the painters, not the ninja turtles) in person was awesome!
St. Peter’s Basilica - Vatican City
Inside St. Peter’s - Check out the leggings and jacket!
Me, Corie, Morgan, Natalie, and Tabbatha outside St. Peter’s
We ate our first meal in Italy right around Vatican City, where I had mushroom pizza that was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Oh my goodness, I am in love with Italian pizza! We also had gelato, which I said was great in Barcelona, but nothing compared to Italy. Gelato in Italy can’t be compared to anything! Tis time, I had Nutella mixed with Vanilla. YUM. From there, we took the metro to another part of Rome, and explored the area until we found the Trevi Fountain, another of Rome’s famous sites. The fountain is 90 feet tall, and 70 feet wide, and is Rome’s largest Baroque fountain. It was a historical tradition to build fountains at the end of fresh water aqueducts, and this large source was found in 19 BC and served ancient Rome for more than 400 years. It is absolutely gorgeous and is one of the most famous fountains in the world. A local tradition holds that if you throw a coin in the water, you are insured a trip back to Rome. Over 3,000 Euros are thrown in every day, and if my two wishes come true, I will be returning to Rome twice!! :)
Trevi Fountain :)
Morgan and I - Trevi Fountain
After this we ate dinner at a little pasta place (I had spaghetti) and went to our “hotel” to rest. We had been up almost 24 hours at this point! The next morning, after having pastries and coffee, we set off for the Colosseum. It is massive! Seeing the actual sight of the gladiator fights of ancient Rome was so cool. We had an audio guide with us, so that we knew what we were looking at. It is crazy to think that a lot of the stones are missing from the structure because they were plundered by Popes to help build St. Peter’s Basilica and parts of Vatican City. We also went to the Palatine Garden, which essentially house relics and archeological remains of ancient Rome. We stopped for more gelato (coconut and dark chocolate… My favorite since I’ve been here!) before walking to the Pantheon. It was originally built as a temple to ancient Roman gods, and has been used as a church and a tomb since the Renaissance. It features the world’s largest unreinforced dome, which is a perfect sphere. It has a hole in the middle, opening the temple up to the sky, and a drainage system under the floor allows any rain water to be collected and taken away. The first few Kings and Queens of Italy, as well as the painter Raphael (and others), are entombed here. It is close to the Trevi fountain, where we went to make another wish. :)
Girls at the Colosseum!
We found a delicious pasta place for dinner where we had pasta, wine, and tiramisu for dinner. It was so yummy! We got more wine after dinner to celebrate our last night in Rome.
We woke up Sunday morning and after a coffee break, took the metro back to Vatican City to hear the Pope speak and bless the crowd. I am not Catholic, by any means, but this was an amazing experience. It is amazing to hear him speak and reach out to so many people. We stood in the pouring rain to hear him speak, but it was so worth it. We had lunch at a family run pizza place near our “hotel” before getting back on the bus to go to the airport. Our plane was delayed, and I wasn’t sure if I would ever make it back to Spain, but we did!
Rome was by far my favorite experience of this trip. Italy was so beautiful, and I can’t wait to go back soon.