Rome is Freakin Sweet

Trip Start Jun 06, 2009
Trip End Aug 31, 2009

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Where I stayed
Veio Park Hotel

Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Not much time to write anything right now but Ill post some pics and a story in the next day or two.  Rome is awesome though!!

Rome was really really cool!  I met a friend that I met in a previous city in Rome and we explored the sights together for 6 days.  The first day we went to Vatican City and tried to see the sights.  The line was the longest I have ever seen yet at a tourist place so far .  The thing was wrapped half way around and back some on the piazza so we decided to make it there a lot earlier than 1130.  So we headed out to Piazza de Popolo which was pretty cool.  Then we made our way south and saw the Spanish Steps-which actually have nothing to do with Spaniards in anyway.  I think the church on top was a gift from the French and somehow the steps are called Spanish.  Afterward we made it to the Fountain di Trevi which was awesome!  It had Neptune and some other dudes.  The thing was so awesome to see.  We had some lunch at a nice little restaurant that had meats, cheeses and veggies that was really tasty. 

The next day we went to the Coliseum.  Just seeing the thing from the outside was really cool.  Knowing that people were fighting to the death with each other and other wild exotic animals was cool.  The Coliseum is only a fragment of its former self but it is still neat to see.  Knowing that it was built 2,000 years ago and probably looked insanely big for its time, makes it pretty cool.  Just walking around the place was really amazing!  Fun fact: The floor used to be made of wood with sand on top and had a bunch of trap doors and pulleys so they could put people and animals into the ring.  Afterward we went to the Palatino site and Fort Romano.  Palatino is an old villa/estate thing that is so massive it took us a few hours to not even make it through the whole thing.  It was riddled with all kind of old buildings, stadium, ruins galore, bath houses, and everything else a rich guy would need to live in the lap of luxury.  The place was strewn with old walls, columns, and tablets from back in the day.  We almost finished the whole thing before a grumpy lady came through kicking everyone out.  She seemed to be in a big hurry to get home because there was no time for pictures for anyone.  It was comical! 

The next day we went to underground Christian graves known as Catacombs.  We arrived at Catacomb di San Callisto at about 1230 and found people meandering around the entrance.  Then we saw a sign stating that the staff had a 2 hour break for lunch and wouldn't open until 2 pm.  What I thought? I've heard they take long lunch breaks before but hadn't seen it yet.  Luckily we brought some food and hung out.  An hour and a half later they reopened and we were herded into language groups. English was called last because all the 2nd language English speakers went into their respective groups first so they wouldn't go with us.  We walked down a few flights of stairs and was immediately in the thick of things.  There were dead bodies all around us.  They were big holes/graves on the walls 3 or 4 high sometimes.  The place was creepy as hell and would have made a great haunted house because you couldn't see in the holes at all.  Cameras weren't allowed down there so that's why there isn't any pictures.  After 30 minutes of some Italian lady with a thick accent and ending most words with "O", we came back up to the light.  Catacombs are Christian graves that are underground because they were being persecuted in Rome at the time and they had to keep it a secret.  The lady said the # 300,000 graves.  Not sure if that's in the one we went into or all or Rome.  But we walked past a whole lot of graves and could have easily gotten lost there.  Like everything in Rome, I think it was built 2,000 years ago.  The oldest bodies are on the top and they just built downward as people died.  The place seemed like an endless maze to me.  And they have 52 different catacombs around Rome-I believe. 

The next day we went a pretty awesome museum.  They had a TON of statues.  I thought I had seen a lot statues before this place.  I saw a lot of incredible ones that were so neat to see.  There were body part statues that were bigger than me.  So that means that back in the day, there were some really big statues.  There were 2 feet, 2 hands, and a really big head that were all bigger than me.  Now if they were all together, that would have been a sight to see.  Afterward, we went to another museum that wasn't that good.  Probably because it was slightly empty, and seemed to get all the stuff that the bigger ones couldn't handle.  So it was a bit lame. 

Vaticay City day.  We managed to get out quite early and made it there at 8:30 and well before the crowds.  The Piazza(Square) itself is a sight to behold.  I read that there are 300,000 people in the square when the Pope makes his prayers from the balcony of the Basilica.  It is an oval shape with 2 huge fountains, and huge statues lining the top of the oval structure.  It was free to get into the Basilica and let me tell you in one word, WOW!!  This is the MECCA of churches.  Everything is so big, incredibly detailed, and freakin awesome to see.  The ceiling was so dam big and had so many paintings and stuff all along the dome and what not.  After my obligatory holy water for myself(Not Catholic), we walked around the place for a bit.  There was some famous statue of St Peter who everyone touches his feet for whatever reason.  And naturally I did too.  They had a guy just to monitor that.  After, we paid our money so we could walk up the top of the Basilica.  It was 513 or so stairs and we headed up to the top.  After a bit, we made it to the inside of the dome and could walk around the top.  It was cool to see the people on the floor look like ants because we were so high up.  Then we made our way up another flight of stairs to reach the very top of the outside of the dome.  We made it up and the view was really cool.  We could see the whole piazza down below and Rome as far as the eye could see.  Next we went to the Vatican Museum.  The museum was a little of a walk to get to but well worth it.  The museum was kind of costly but again, well worth it.  We started to walk around and was trying to wait to see the Sistine Chapel until last.  After about an hour, we were tired and just wanted to see the Sistine Chapel and bolt for the day.  We kept seeing signs for the Sistine Chapel this way and that way.  We were following the arrows but could never seem to reach it.  I think we went through the whole museum because it took us another hour to reach it.  The museum had a lot of stuff that wasn't Vatican related.  Roman this, Greek that, and Egyptian stuff as well.  There was a really long corridor that had immaculate paintings on the top.  Then we made it into the Raphael Rooms.  There were big three rooms that were covered with his work and it sure was a sight to see.  It was all one big picture/story that was of course biblical.  I think it took him 8 years to paint one or all of the rooms.  The detail was just so incredible.  Finally we made it into the Sistine Chapel.  I must say-I think this was one of the coolest places I have ever been in.  The Sistine Chapel was incredibly big inside and had a masterpiece of masterpieces painted on it by Michaelango.  It is a private chapel used by Popes for personal prayer.  We just found an open bench and sat and looked for probably 30 minutes or so.  It has been redone recently because it is well....500 years old.  Everywhere the eye could see was artwork and it was incredible!  Then we went to some on the way place for dinner and let me tell you, the food was disgusting! We both got spaghetti whatever and afterward I felt kind of sick.  This was our first bad food experience thus far in Italy.  All the food so far was awesome!  The pizza is just so tasty.  I have yet to eat pizza with tomato sauce on it and it is just as good without it. 

The last day, we kind of milled around the city walking around and finishing the stuff that we couldn't see the first few days.  Nothing really comes to mind so it must have not been that memorable.  There was a pretty cool piazza though. 

After 6 awesome days in Rome with a great friend, it was time to split ways once again. 
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cwald on

Sounds like you had an amazing time! Who was the friend you met and hung out with? Did you know they also filled the Coliseum with Water for Naval battles? Saw it on the History channel or something. Great pictures, love the moped shot!

quinn000 on

Amazing images!
What beautiful paintings! I can't wait to go there (someday) but I think I have learned to just eat pizza!! lol
Glad you had a buddy in Italy for a week. Makes it nice to share with someone sometimes.

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