ROME! Just hearing the name has gladiators, gods, togas, Latin, and Dean Martin flashing through my head. We arrived in the Eternal City in the early afternoon after a quick train ride from Venice. As we sped past vineyards and sunflower fields....Y'all the SUNFLOWER fields were amazing. I was itching to get off the train with my camera and have a photo shoot in those fields. Ok sorry, got sidetracked thinking about the sunflower fields.
Anyway, after checking into our hotel which was located right across from the Ponte Sisto bridge one of the oldest bridges in the city, we started exploring. Now Rome doesn't not have any public transportation. At least now in the sense that London, Paris, and Amsterdam do. We were told that the best way to get around was to either walk or take a taxis. And since we only had two days (really a had and half) we had to make the most of our afternoon in the city.
So we took out our map and made a plan. Mostly because I had no desire to wander around Rome and not know where we were going and risk not getting to see the things we wanted to see. Here was our plan:
Head to the Pantheon via one the major piazzas (which I cannot remember the name of), take a taxi to the Trevi Fountain, and then walk back to the hotel from the fountain. Sadly we didn't have time to make it to the Spanish Steps. But hey, that means I have something to see next time. And the next day we knew we would be seeing the other major attractions. So we were able to really enjoy our afternoon and evening getting to see the city by foot!
And now it's time to let the pictures do the talking! :)
The Pantheon was so neat! Especially the hole in the middle of the dome. Which according to Google (we didn't have a tour guide so we settled for the next best thing) architects cannot figure out how the Romans created it. Apparently its an architectural marvels. As it should be because it was cool! This is also where the first president of Italy is buried and where the painter Raphael is buried (that's the artist not the ninja turtle!)
After the Pantheon we jumped in a taxi, our one and only taxi of the entire trip mind you, and headed to the Trevi Fountain. We had heard that it's been under construction for the last year and half and that it was finished. It was half done. Luckily is was done enough that we could see the back portion of the fountain but the fountain itself was still drained of water and had walls around it. See through walls but walls nonetheless. Regardless it was neat to see, but we didn't linger. We were on a mission for an ornament and some food so after a few quick pictures we moved on!
After a delicious Italian dinner we headed back to the hotel. I had seen on the internet that our hotel had a rooftop balcony that had a pretty sweet view of St. Peter's Basilica. And boy did it. I was able to snap a few good pictures of the view, but this was by far my favorite! Jenny and I had a bellini (a 10 dollar one! Talk about pricey! That was the only alcoholic beverage we purchased from the hotel btw.)
I have no idea where I was when I took this picture. But its a good one so I included it! :)
Day two in Rome was by far the busiest and the most interesting. Our tour guide had the most fascinating stories about the city itself and he was a good storyteller so listening to him tell us all about the city and the Vatican was great!
For example, my favorite piece of history (well it's probably more of a fact than history but whatever) I learned was the fact that Ancient Rome is actually buried about 30ft or so below what is modern day Rome. I'm sorry what?! So cool! All the ancient parts of Rome that we see today have been excavated and semi-restored. In addition to that, there is constantly archeological digs happening around the city because people are always stumbling on ancient ruins. When that happens the city takes over and determines where or not the ruins that have been found are of great importance. If they are then the city takes control of the area and the excavating starts! I mean how cool is that?!!!
We really didn't have much time to see a whole lot save for the major attractions on day two but what we did was amazing. Our first stop of the day was a guided tour of the Colosseum. Which was truly a wonder. I've always been fascinated with Roman history but there are so many stink in emperors that it's hard to lee p them all straight. The history nerd in me was salivating as we were told the history of such an important building to the Roman way of life.
I thought about giving you some details that I learned, but you know what, you can Google it and I'll show off all the great pictures I took it instead! :)
View of the Arch of Constantine from the Colosseum.
After the Colosseum, we headed to part of the Roman Forum. Sadly we didn't get to explore too much of it because we had to book over to the Vatican for our guided tour of that. But my feelings for the forum were pretty much the same as when I was in the Colosseum. The history nerd in me was jumping up and down.
According to our guide, a temple to the Roman God Jupiter aka Zeus used to sit behind that last yellow building you see in the distance. For some reason this was so neat to me! Sadly we did not get to go and explore the inside of the Forum as we saw others doing but just being there was great. Gives me something to explore next time!
Out last night in Rome was perfect. We had a great last dinner with the rest of out tour group, we walked along river bank which just a hop, skip, and a jump from out hotel, and we snagged some perfect pictures. We really hit the jack pot as far as tour groups goes. I have a whole review of Go Ahead Tours planned for next Thursday, so if you're interested in taking a tour with them, be sure to come back then so you can read my review on the company itself! :)
As I've already said I LOVED Rome. Much more than I thought I would. It is definitely a city that I want to return to someday. And it was the perfect ending to our European adventure!
I still have one more post coming about the trip! I decided to dedicate a whole post to The Vatican since it is its own country and I took about 300 pictures of the 3 museums we were in alone. So come back next Tuesday!
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