Friday, January 29, 2010
Our last stop on our tour of Italy was Rome.
On our first day we went to see St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican city. However, it was insanely crowded and it wasn't even tourist season. I'd hate to see the crowds in the summer. We stood in line for about an hour and through the museum we had to constantly move ahead with the crowd. It was beautiful, glorious, stupendous and a shame that mom and I were both ill!!! This is a picture looking towards St. Peters
And here's one as if you were at the top of St. Peter's looking down
And here are a whole bunch of amazing views of what it looks like inside the Vatican.
This is the view of Rome from inside the Vatican
And this is the ceiling of the Vatican, including the well known ceiling of the Sistene Chapel painted by Michaelangelo.
This is a small statue inside the Vatican that I really liked. It's a statue of Mary holding the body of the crucified Jesus.
My first companion, Maria-Rosa Silva, actually met up with us on our final day, and she gave us an excellent tour. It was so great to see her again and we kept chatting in Italian for hours. Rome was incredible even if it did pour all day.
She told us the story about Rome's origin. Here's a statue that represents the two brother's being raised by a wolf mother. Here's what wikipedia says about it: Romulus and Remus appear in Roman mythology as the twin sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war, Mars. Rhea's uncle Amulius was enraged at Rhea's pregnancy, and ordered that Rhea and the twins be thrown into the River Tiber. The servant ordered to kill the twins could not, because they were too beautiful and innocent. The servant placed the two in a basket and laid the basket on the banks of the Tiber and went away. Romulus and Remus were kept safe by the river deity Tiberinus. He protected them and then brought the infant twins up onto the Palatine Hill. There they were nursed by a wolf.
We also got to see the Colosseum, but we didn't go inside to look around. The Colosseum is capable of seating 50,000 spectators and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. As well as the gladiatorial games, other public spectacles were held there, such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology (wikipedia).
You can see the Colloseum in the back of this picture. It's just amazing how many incredible structures are crammed into this historical city.
Maria-Rosa also took us to see ancient Roman ruins
I think it's bizarre to be able to see ancient Roman ruins in this picture, and also a modern apartment building just behind them.
Unfortunately it rained pretty much the entire time we were there. The day we left and boarded the plane, it was sunny and beautiful. But Rome's still pretty incredible, even in the rain.
Maria Rosa later took us to the building where Mussolini would make speeches and present medals to people. It's called the Tomb of the unknown soldier.
Our last stop was at the Fontana di Trevi (Fountain). Maria Rosa told me that if you turn backwards and throw a coin into the fountain with the wish that you will return to Rome, you will. So I did. Unfortunately I have not been back yet, but I'd love to go with my husband someday.
And in case you haven't seen enough beautiful pictures of Rome, here are some more