*Make sure to read my previous blog before this one.*
We finally made it to Rome after a long night. We felt pretty tired, but we still couldn't wait to see Rome. Our feet were pretty tired, so we decided to really be tourists and purchase tickets on the double seated tour bus. It didn't really cost very much, and we could see the entire city sittting down. The bus made stops at all of the major attractions and you could catch the next bus when you were ready to leave that destination. (They came around every 10 minutes). So off we went to explore Rome (sitting down)!!! The bus even had an audio tour guide that you could listen to to learn about what you were seeing. I had never been to Rome and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I thought that Rome would be interesting and neat with all of the Roman ruins, but I had no idea what treasure lie ahead for me to see. As the bus started making its rounds, my eyes almost popped out of my head.
The one word that I can use to describe Rome is magnificent! There are huge detailed buildings/statues/fountains/cathederals/etc... EVERYWHERE! They are placed on hilltops and in lower areas as well. I was so impressed and I just started snapping away with my camera. I got about 10 photos (in the moving bus) and I got a warning that my battery was almost dead! My heart sank to the floor, I was so upset. This was the coolest place we had been so far, and my camera wasn't going to work. So I decided to save my pictures and only take them when absolutely necessary.
The Capitoline Hill is very impressive. It was designed by Michelangelo in the 16th century. The Piazza del Campidoglio is famous for Michelangelo's design. Museums that house some of the worlds most famous works of art are in this area of Rome.
Next, we saw the amazing Colosseum. It was constructed in AD 72. Deadly gladiatorial combats were held by the emperor. They would take the prisioners and force them to fight the gladiators or even wild animals to the death. Wild animal fights were staged where slaughter was evident. The Colosseum could hold up to 55,000 people and they were seated according to rank. Reamer and I started at the Colosseum and tried to imagine what it was like when it was in use. It seems amazing that they were able to have such an intricate system of entertainment. Reamer enjoyed teaching me all about it and how they held their events.
The Palatine is another interesting part of Rome. It was once the residence of emperors and aristocrats and the ruins range from the simple house in which Augustus lived to the Domus Augustana which was a multiwing palace. The ruins were quite impressive with many differnet types still left for us to see how amazing this empire truely was.
The Pantheon was one of our favorite things to see. The Pantheon is the most copied and imitated of all ancient works. Where it stands was not chosen by chance, but is a legendary place in the city's history. According to Roman legend, it is the place where the founder of Rome, Romulus, at his death was seized by an eagle and taken off into the skies with the Gods. The Pantheon's amazing structure is still a mystery today. It is amazing that they were able to construct such a perfect building without modern technology. The oculus, the only source of light in the Pantheon, is a round opening in the center of the dome and as the sun moves, light illuminates the walls and floors in beautiful patterns. We were amazed to learn about this impressive structure.
Vatican city was beautiful. We toured St. Peters Cathederal and climbed to the top of the cupola to see the town. (Reamer always wants to go to the absolute highest place of wherever we visit). The interior was magnificent and took our breath away. We didn't have time to see the Sistine Chapel, but we will be back to see it. St. Peters holds many famous works of art but to me the entire Chathederal looked like a beautiful work of art.
We split up these historical and beautiful tours into two days. We were tired and decided to stay the night in Rome in a charming hotel. Luckily we were able to ride the tour bus for 1/2 a day on our second day so we saved our feet for the tours. We enjoyed the food in Rome and found it to be some of the best we have had. (especially gelato's--Rome is famous for their gelato!)
After our first day in Rome we were enjoying a romantic walk back to our hotel and we turned a corner not knowing what to expect, and we saw one of the most beautiful sights. A huge, georgous fountain stood in our pathway. It was surrouned by people making wishes into the fountain. We were so happy that we stumbled upon the Trevi Fountian and it happened in perfect timing. We were mezmerized by its beauty. It is Rome's largest and most famous fountain.
We were sad to leave after our two day visit to Rome and felt like we wanted to see more. This is one trip we will have to make again so that we will feel like it is complete.