From Venice to Barcelona: Part 7
Rome was a non-stop exhausting day. However, we asked for it! They say Rome wasn’t built in a day but we wanted to see it all in one day…and we did a pretty great job of getting most of the important stuff in there!
We got off the boat bright and early in the morning and were shuttled to the bus stop where we then rode quickly to the train station to meet up with our tour group. We gathered from there and rode into Rome together on the train, about a 45 minute ride. We were able to see so much of Rome in one day because our group tour used only public transportation and mostly walked around the city. We hopped on the subway a few times to go from spot to spot but in order to keep us all together, we all had headsets so we could hear our tour guide. It was still a hectic and quick-paced day.
First stop was the Colosseum. It was awesome to finally see this iconic Roman structure. You can’t visualize Rome without picturing this amphitheater that held around 50,000 spectators. Its sections were connected by an elaborate network of stairs and it was the scene of various kinds of combat.
We were also able to stop by the Pantheon, Capitol Hill, Trevi Fountain (under major renovation), as well as the The Spanish Steps.
We then got to spend a good deal of time in The Vatican. If you didn’t know, Vatican City is actually the smallest country in the world and is the seat of government of the Roman Catholic Church. Pretty cool to go into a museum and be able to add another country to my traveled list!
Inside The Vatican, we were able to explore and see so many amazing works of art including Laocoon and Sons(Laocoon Group). A Trojan priest and his two sons who were crushed to death by two giant sea serpents as a punishment for warning the Trojans against pulling the wooden horse of the Greeks into Troy.
We were also able to go into the famous Sistine Chapel for a viewing of Michelangelo’s spectacular work. I don’t have any photos of the work because there is a strict no photography policy inside the chapel. The chapel gets its name from Pope Sixtus IV of the Della Rovere Family. Believe it or not, Michelangelo completed the Sistine Chapel completely by himself. Ordinarily, artists of that time would work on only certain parts of a work and let apprentices complete minor details. However, that is not the case with the Sistine Chapel, it was all completed by one person! Which makes it all the more incredible when you stare up at the ceiling, which is extravagant and never ending in detail.
After exiting the Sistine Chapel, and stepping outside The Vatican Museum, the beauty didn’t stop. We then entered St. Peter’s Basilica, also inside Vatican City, as well as the largest church in the world. Which, I would have to say was my favorite place in Rome. The basilica was overwhelming in beauty and size. It stands on the traditional site where St. Peter was crucified and buried. St. Peter’s tomb is under the main altar in the center of the basilica. The dome of St. Peter’s Basilica was designed by Michelangelo.
After an exhausting day in Rome, I can see why it clearly wasn’t built in day. The art, history, and culture is extraordinary in this city. Although I was able to see many of the main stops, I have to back someday and relax!