So we left Hamburg bright and early. We had a layover in Vienna (another country! Yay!) and then landed in Rome shortly after noon. We took a bus into the city from the airport and then went straight to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. In order to get to the Sistine Chapel, you have to wind through a whole bunch of the museum, which is HUGE! I think they know most people only want to see the chapel so they do that to get traffic throughout the rest of the museum. It was cool though.
After a looong time, we finally made it to the Sistine Chapel! There are museum workers around saying “Quiet! No photo!” but of course I was sneaky and took some anyway.
After getting our fill of chapel (trust me, it took awhile… there was so much to look at!) we headed outside.
By this point, it was probably 5 or 6 PM, and we were STARVING! We didn’t have time to stop for lunch since our tickets to get into the museum were at 3, so we got our bags from where we stored them and went to the first restaurant nearby that we could find. I had lasagna and it was not great, but the rest of my pasta experiences in Italy made up for it! The stereotype is totally true. And delicious.
After that we made our way to the hostel; our 4 AM wakeup, two plane rides, and trekking around Rome with all our luggage wore us out! We stayed in and went to bed early. The next morning, we had tickets for a “Skip the Line” tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum at 10 AM, so we headed there. The Colosseum was SO COOL. We got out of the Metro station and it was just right there. Amazing. While waiting for our tour to start, we took some pictures in front of it.
When our tour started, we were all given little radio things and earbuds so that we could hear the tour guide without having to be right next to her. It was pretty cool!
In this picture you can see where the top part of one side of the Colosseum has crumbled away. There’s a lot of the Colosseum missing; the whole top on one side, and a whole ring around the outside!
Sorry for the overload of pictures. It was just amazing. Okay one more…
After walking around the inside, we went outside and headed toward the Roman Forum.
Okay. Roman Forum. It’s the ruins of the old marketplace, with several important government buildings in it.
Our guide told us a lot of cool stuff, 99% of which I can’t remember. However, I do remember what this was: it’s the place where Caesar’s body was burned. It’s called the “Julius Caesar Memorial.”
According to my friend Mr. Google, this is the Arch of Titus. It was the inspiration for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris!
Another triumphal arch, the Arch of Septimius Severus.
It was built to commemorate the war victories of Severus and his two sons, who became joint emperors after his death. However, one killed the other and tried to destroy every mention of the dead brother, which is why one of the lines is kinda chiseled out:
At the end of the tour, we went to two lookout points on Palatine Hill. Also on the hill are the ruins of Domus Augusti, which is where Caesar Augustus lived during his reign.
It was a good view of the city.
When our tour was over, we had an AMAZING pasta lunch and then headed to the Trevi Fountain, where everyone goes to throw coins in the fountain. I thought you were just supposed to make a wish, but I guess if you throw it in (backwards, of course!) you’re supposed to be ensured a visit to Rome! I think I was too busy hamming it up for the camera to make a wish though. I don’t believe in that stuff anyway.
If you look closely at both the above photos, you can see our coins in the air! Woo fancy camera!! I think we actually threw in pence (from the UK) to get rid of them.
Then we headed to the Pantheon, which used to be a temple dedicated to all the Roman gods, and is now a Catholic church.
We then walked across the Tiber River and saw the beautiful Castel Sant’Angelo.
We tried to go inside St. Peter’s Basilica, which is a church in Vatican City, but the line to get inside was INSANE. We enjoyed taking pictures outside though!
We walked through some markets near there on our way back to the hostel, where I got a soft 100% wool scarf for 5€! They guy wanted 10 but I offered 5 and walked away, and then he agreed. 🙂 We went back to the hostel, had dinner at a pizza place near there, and then Mom and Dad went back to explore the city a little and I went back to the hostel because I had a headache. They went back to the St. Peter’s and got some good photos, I guess! The next morning we headed to Florence for the new year, which will be next!