Posts Tagged ‘St. Peter’s Basilica’

On Tuesday afternoon we arrived back in Rome airport from Prague and immediately we were thrown back into the hustle and bustle of big city living. Except this city is slightly different in it’s architectural style than anything I have ever seen. It’s not often that you see a modern building standing beside one that has been around for approximately 2000 years or more!! Not going to lie, I was a little blown away. Although I much prefer seeing it from the relative safety of the sidewalk rather than the car ride from the airport as Rome appears to have no traffic laws and speed and lanes are a mere suggestion. A good back seat passenger, I am not 😉

Thanks to a good friend we had an excellent hotel recommendation and we stayed at the Albergo del Senato. It is a very friendly hotel with a fabulous location. We had a 6th floor room that had a little balcony that over looked the Pantheon. There was no better way to get an immediate vibe of the city.

The view from our hotel room balcony- the Pantheon and the surrounding Piazza

Now, being from NYC you would think that we would be used to walking but I have to admit that Ron and I definitely put in the miles while exploring this magnificent city. We used this to justify all of the wine, gelato, pasta and the occasional emergency pizza that we consumed. FYI -The best gelato was recommended by Beccarama and IS at San Crispino (on the way to the Spanish Steps). I could write a post on the food alone. And don’t get me started on the shopping… we may have had to buy an extra bag to get everything back home! Every morning we stopped and had our cappuccinos and croissants at the local coffee bar, Tazza D’ Oro. I would end my love affair with Starbucks, if I could visit this establishment every day.

Chai Latte, I love you... but when in Rome...

Shoe Porn!

We needed the caffeine because heading out to see the sights of ancient Rome is not for the faint of heart. It is hot and there are crowds but it is worth it to see the incredible structures and works of art. I am still in awe and wonderment when I think of the pieces of art on door frames, the statues in the courtyard of apartment buildings and tiny beyond beautiful churches tucked into alleyways, let alone awesome structures such as the Colosseum and the Forum. We visited the Colosseum and Palatine Hill on a very hot day but were very lucky to receive some valuable advice to avoid the hour and a half line up: if you pay 5 extra euros for the audio guide (which we loved) you can go through a separate line right on up to the audio line and buy your ticket/audio guide with little to no wait. Trust me, on a hot day, those 5 euros are worth every, uh, euro! I loved listening to the history of the planning and building of the Colosseum as well as the on-going re-construction. It does however freak me out a bit that it is said that when the Colosseum falls, the world will end. Lets hope it makes it through 2012 😉 The surrounding Palatine Hill where the remains of the ancient Roman palaces and grounds are, should not be missed, although be warned that it is quite a hilly walk especially in the heat. Keep refilling your water bottle at the many water fountains.

A View of the Colosseum

A definite highlight of our adventure in Rome was visiting St. Peter’s Basilica and then heading over to the Vatican for an evening tour, ending at the Sistine Chapel. I will have to write another blog later on after I return home about the powerful effect this visit had on me. Right now, only a day later, I am still trying to fully process all that I have seen. At St. Peter’s Basilica there was an extremely moving and powerful installation on the life of Pope John Paul II, this and the breathtaking Basilica is a memory that I will cherish forever. Our evening tour of the Vatican as the sun set over the city of Rome was also a once in a lifetime experience and one that I can’t quite find the words for right now.

St. Peter's Basilica

Courtyard inside the Vatican Museum

I have to admit, I did fall in love with the beauty and romance that is the city of Rome. The energy, passion and pride of the people are evident in all of those that you talk to. There is soo much to see and do, I feel like we only scratched the surface. But, I know that I will be back because I stood with my back to the Trevi Fountain and threw a coin with my right hand over my left shoulder! Legend has it, if you do this, you will return to the incredible city of Rome =)

The Trevi Fountain

And now, I am sitting here writing this post from our third and final destination, a little villa in Tuscany. There is a glass of white wine by the computer, I am full of home made pasta, cheeses and bread. I think I may be slipping into a bit of a carb coma… I can hear nothing but the sound of my fingers on the keyboard… it is heavenly. The sun is setting over the rolling hills and I am melting into complete and utter relaxation. I have a feeling that this might be my most favorite destination of all or maybe it is just exactly the pace I have been looking for… Bouna Sera!

Do not disturb 😉

P.S. To my new readers that have found me through FP, thank you soo much for all of your wonderful comments, I look forward to reading your blogs and getting back to your comments soon… maybe after vacation 😉

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