Saturday, October 12, 2013

Roma


Last weekend I went on a trip with the school to Rome! We left Florence on Saturday morning and went straight to the Coliseum. Unfortunately, it rained pretty hard all morning and the coliseum was covered in scaffolding so it wasn't as beautiful as I had expected it to be.


The Roman Forum








After, we walked around the Roman Forum which was originally the central market in ancient Rome. It was amazing to see columns and such built in 7th century BC still standing in their original form! Following the Forum we took a bus to the Vatican City. Our tour guides said they haven't seen the line to get through the city walls as long as it was that day in centuries! We waited in line for over 2 1/2 hours just to get through. When we finally got through we walked through each of the Vatican Museums including: Raphael's Room, The Gallery of Maps (my favorite), and the Sistine Chapel until we finally reached St. Peter's Basilica.

The Gallery of Maps



While walking through each of these beautiful rooms, we were more worried about getting trampled over by all of the other tourists trying to squeeze their way through. I would love to go back one day when it's less crowded, if possible, and spend a little more time admiring each room. St. Peter's Basilica was a little more spacious considering it is, after all, the largest Catholic church in the world. It was stunning, both inside and outside.
Inside St. Peter's Basilica

Sunday morning we began our day at Piazza Navona, a beautiful center in Rome which includes the Palazzo Pamphilj and the well known Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi- both built in the 1650's.
Piazza Navona   

Our three hour walking tour included the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish steps! Of course at the Trevi Fountain we took the traditional "throw your coin into the fountain while making a wish" picture! Also, Piazza di Spagna, where the Spanish steps are located was a lot more beautiful than I had expected it to be!



 We ended the tour with the Trajan column and the Altare della Patria or "Il Vittoriano", which was my favorite building that I had seen in Rome! I don't know if it was the size, the white marble-like stone, or the chariots on top of the building which is why I was so drawn to it. Many Italians and also foreigners think the building is too large and pompous and glaringly white-- I was just stunned by it.
Altare della Patria
After the tour we took a bus to a restaurant located on the Appian Way for lunch. We had a delicious 4-course traditional Italian meal, one of the best I've had in Italy so far. After lunch we made our way to our last stop- the Catacombs. Although very eerie, the fact that 150,000 tombs were located beneath the ground which spread for 11 miles made the site very fascinating. We took a tour of a very small section of the grounds. The corridors, carved out of volcanic rock, we very dark and narrow-- definitely not suitable for anyone even slightly claustrophobic.

A painted tomb in the Catacombs
Overall, based on my very short 2-day trip to Rome I would most definitely love to go back! Compared to Florence, the "Renaissance City", everything in Rome was a lot more "grand" and the architecture is all Baroque style, as Rome is the city where Baroque began. Personally, I'm more attracted to the Baroque style in general, though I'm definitely glad I chose to study in Florence as it is smaller, more accessible and still very beautiful in its own way!

1 comment:

  1. Magnifico mio bambino!!! Roma must be soooo grande!!! With the architecture and the history - and the breathtaking ruins - sure it must've been like being in another time ... in another world! What an experience for my baby ... :) So, so happy you have this extraordinary opportunity in your young life, my Reggie =) Love you darlin'! Your mommy

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