I cannot believe how much we crammed into one day! Rome is absolutely amazing and my mind is currently in a daze as I try to soak in everything I saw today.
From the moment we awoke, it was a go-go-go kind of day. After a 6 a.m. wake up call, we met our tour group for breakfast at the hotel.
Breakfast was served buffet-style, so I grabbed a cup of yogurt and topped it with granola and Nutella.
On the side I also enjoyed a cup of coffee with cream and a baked apple. I was a little skeptical about the apple, but it tasted like apple pie filling, only slightly less sweet. Yum!
Up first on our agenda for the day was Vatican City.
After going through security and giggling with my mom and sister about a guard who looked like Batman (it got awkward because every time we looked back, he totally saw us looking at him), our bags passed the check and we were ready to go!
To try (unsuccessfully?) to avoid looking like tourists, my mom, sister and I kept our headsets in our cross-body bags (seriously love these things for easy travel!) and our earpiece in our ear.
I guess my dad didn’t get the memo.
The Vatican City is massive. From the museums and the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Square and the Basilica, there was so much to see.
Above picture: The outside of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Below picture: The inside of the dome.
I think I was most impressed by the ceilings in the Vatican… not just the Sistine Chapel (which was breathtaking), but the ceilings in nearly every room of the museum and the Basilica (all mosaic!) were unreal.
I really hope that the lady that totally photo-bombed this picture of me and my sister is one of your grandmothers because she is awesome.
Oh and I also saw a statue of Sadie!
Scrawny as can be and begging for people food? Sounds about right!
After our tour of Vatican City concluded, we hopped on a bus to the Colosseum.
We were a bit nervous that we wouldn’t be able to see the inside Colosseum because apparently a bunch of union workers were on strike. As we walked up to the structure, there was even a protest march occurring in the street!
I was enthralled with the Colosseum and its rich history. It was so fascinating to learn about the time of the gladiators (I have to see that movie now!) and I can’t even imagine being a spectator at that time and watching men and wild animals fight to the death. It sent chills up my spine to think about it!
We even saw one of the wild panthers that dominated the fights…
Okay, maybe not, but that cat was adorable and walked all over the Colosseum grounds like it owned the place.
After walking around the Colosseum and marveling at the Roman Forum, we took a quick lunch break for some pizza and gelato.
I ordered a zucchini and cheese pizza followed by a cone of tiramisu and crème caramel gelato.
Both were delicious and served as the perfect fuel to get me through an afternoon of sightseeing!
The Spanish Steps
After lunch, the first stop on our list was the Spanish Steps.
They were bustling with people!
Above picture: View from the bottom.
Below picture: View from the middle of the steps.
We arrived at the Spanish Steps at the top and when we walked to the bottom of the steps, we were immediately hit with the smell of roasting chestnuts.
Before I knew it, my parents purchased some for all of us to share.
They were fantastic!
One of my favorite stops on our super-tour of Rome was the Trevi Fountain.
The water was crystal clear and the sculptures in the fountain were ornate and so beautiful. Though the fountain was absolutely jammed, we made our way to the water’s edge to toss in two coins as all tourists do… one to ensure a returned trip to Rome and another to make a wish.
After a short walk, our group found ourselves in front of the Pantheon.
I’ve obviously read all about the Pantheon’s amazing architecture, but seeing it in person really allowed me to fully understand just how magnificent it is that this structure that was created in 27 B.C. is still in such wonderful condition. It’s incredible that such a massive and incredibly complicated structure was built so long ago.
Our final stop of the day took us to Piazza Navona, the same square we briefly visited yesterday.
We enjoyed exploring again today and my sister and I loved looking at all of the artwork.
Another thing we love about Italy is the way the Italians decorate their windowsills and balconies.
There are plants and flowers on nearly every one!
To be totally honest, one of the things I am enjoying most about this trip aside from visiting all of the “must see” sights and enjoying the delicious food is simply observing the culture. It’s so interesting to me to see how different people interact, how they dress and how they carry themselves. I love it!
And now it’s time for bed! I don’t have the energy to recap tonight’s four-course dinner, but hopefully I’ll be able to pop in to recap our day and special dinner in Florence tomorrow night!
We have a 6 a.m. wake up call again and my pillow is calling my name.
P.S. My dad has a special request for you Paris lovers out there. He’s on a mission to find a must-try local, delicious and “not too expensive” restaurant in Paris that is close to the Pullman Paris Bercy Hotel (1, Rue De Libourne, Paris, 12 F- 75012). He will love you forever if you have any suggestions!
P.P.S. The Fashion page was updated!