Monday, May 14, 2012

Rome Sweet Rome

We have been somewhat remiss in keeping the blog updated in a timely fashion, mostly due to a combination of limited WIFI access and a touch of fatigue. The fatigue stems from there are just so many amazing things to see in Italy! Case in point was our time in Rome.

We had arranged for an apartment for our time there. It was quite the change to have multiple rooms all to ourselves! The only downside was that to get to the heart of Rome we had to embrace and master the Rome transit system. The challenge was a bit escalated the first day we were there as the metro line we would have taken was closed for repair. But we managed to persevere and were rewarded with a fantastic few days of seeing the sights and enjoying the Italian cuisine (especially the gelato.) 

First on our list of Rome's attractions was the Colosseo and an interesting Roman local.   

The view from the outside

The inside view. Apparently "Gladiator" was accurate and they were raised to the floor of the arena from the basement

Given where his sword is why am I smiling?

We also wandered through the ruins of the ancient Roman Forum. Just looking at the area and thinking of how many people throughout time had been in the same place was very humbling .

One of the more useful things we discovered about Rome were the unique water fountains.

Our wanderings also took us up (and down) the Spanish Steps and to the edge of the huge Trevi fountain, which is the only fountain in Rome where you are encouraged to throw a coin into. Apparently to throw a coin into the fountain means that you will return to Rome. After watching a bit I thought it just meant you were providing some Euro's for locals willing to get there arms a bit wet.

One of the cooler places to see was the Pantheon, where the height is the same as the diameter of the building. It also provided a captivating (and free) light show.

Aside from pounding the pavement, I also found time to experience a local Serie A football match between SS Lazio and AC Siena. I wasn't sure what to expect when I made my way to the Stadio Olympico, especially since seeing football in Argentina was a huge highlight of the trip. The game itself was great to see, and while the passion of the fans was obvious, the overall experience was somewhat less than thrilling since the stadium is way too big. I laughed when I got there that I was worried about getting a ticket. As you can see, good seats were readily available,

And what would a trip to Rome be without a pilgrimage to the Vatican? We speed-toured our way through the Museum in order to get to the famous Sistine Chapel. We hung out and strained our necks to gaze at the magnificent ceiling Michelangelo created to show the history of mankind (the Catholic version)

We also spent some quality time exploring as much of St Peter's Basilica as we could. In the course of our wanderings we found a statue whose feet people rubbed for good luck, a door that is only opened every 25 years, and we even found the famous smokestack.

Apparently the smokestack is a little bump just above my finger

Oh, did I mention that we really, really enjoyed our Rome gelato experience?

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