We woke up early, had breakfast, said goodbye to Montepulciano and headed to the last town of our road trip, the Eternal City aka the Italian capitol Rome. We went first to the Citta’ del Vaticano (Vatican City), which is the smallest country in the world in terms of size and population. Catholic or not, the Vatican has gorgeous works of art, architecture, and history that everyone can enjoy. I would have loved to see again the Sistine Chapel ceiling – Cappella Sistina in Italian – famously painted by Michelangelo, but unfortunately the line was too long for us that had only a day in Rome. So we walked around St. Peter’s square and admire St. Peter’s Basilica and all those tourists for a bit.
Since all the corners of the Vatican City are within walking distance, Dustin suggested to walk around (literally) the Vatican City following the outside walls that surround this small city. It turns out the Vatican City has a boundary of 3.2 km around, and we can actually say that we walked around the entire Vatican.
After that we headed to our car and drove to our hotel that was right in the center of Rome. We showered and off we were to walk all around Rome. This is what we do on most of our trips unless we absolutely have to get somewhere too far away to walk.
First stop, the Spanish Steps – Piazza di Spagna. I love this spot. Great place just to hung around, sit on the steps and enjoy the view. And of course I love the shops that surround them. The streets here are lined with just about every designer boutique you can think of. It’s shopper heaven.
We passed on shopping and continued our walk towards the Trevi Fountain – La Fontana di Trevi. Arguably the most famous fountain in the world — thanks to La Dolce Vita by Fellini and Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck – Trevi Fountain is a must -do in Rome. However, it was so crowded with tourist that it was impossible to enjoy it.
Dustin threw a penny in, made a wish and vowed to return to Rome one day.
Next, we marvelled at the construction of the Pantheon. This building was rebuilt as a temple to all Roman gods, we stepped inside to see the legendary domed ceiling, which, in addition to the entrance, is the structure’s only source of light.
At this point we were hot and melting in the hot sun walking towards the Piazza Navona where the fountains welcomed us with cool water. La Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (the “Fountain of the Four Rivers”) was the one featured in ‘Angels & Demons’.
We decided to take a break and chill at one of the most historic cafe’ in the square – Tre Scalini - and settle in for some people-watching while enjoying their renowned for its delectable chocolate home made tartufo ice cream ball.
Nice and refreshed we were ready to take in more of what this ancient city had to offer. For us the most interesting and fascinating part of our visit in Rome, was visiting the older parts of Rome, the Roman Forum, Palatino and Colosseum (conveniently rolled into one 12 euro ticket). There is something equal parts breathtaking and sad about dilapidated ancient buildings. Some parts still have a hint of what they once were. We walked around walked around for quite a while, just observing the Roman Forum’s ruins.
Ahhhh the Colosseum! The Colosseum is a massive structure, the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire and in the world today. I was impressed by the interior of the site! It’s not particularly large inside, especially when compared to the sports stadiums we have today, but it is very well preserved and can momentarily transport you to ancient times. This is definitely a must-see if you are in Rome.
When we were inside of the amphitheatre, Dustin expleined to me that the underground chambers and passageways we were seeing, were originally covered by a wooden floor. These passageways were used to transport animals and gladiators to the arena. You will need to use your imagination to picture the Colosseum floor covered in sand to prevent slipping and to soak up the spilled blood. Pretty cool!
This was the end of our road trip. We had a blast and I can’t wait for our next adventure!