After departing Venice in northern Italy, we boarded a train to head south. The train station was a bit confusing given that everything was in Italian. Our communication skills were put to the test once again as we asked people, many of whom didn’t speak any English, how to specifically get to our train. We eventually found our train with plenty of time to spare and started the almost 4 hour journey to Rome. The ride was uncomfortable, but the landscape we passed made it worth it. It was especially beautiful passing through Tuscany.
Day 1 – Surprised by the Pope
After a long trip we finally made it to Rome. We got out at the Roma Termini station which was walking distance to our hotel. Although we still got lost, it wasn’t for nearly as long as we were lost in Venice. There were also more people who spoke English in Rome. Rome was a big bustling city and of course the architecture was beautiful. Everywhere we turned there was a historical sight to see. The first thing I wanted to do was go to St. Peter’s Basilica and see the Sistene Chapel. Uber is in Europe as well so that was extremely convenient. Upon arrival to St. Peter’s Square we were surprised to see so many policemen with large guns, I’m talking AK-47s. There was a huge crowd and we had no clue why. When trying to enter the Basilica we were disappointed to learn that it was closed for the rest of the day. Not too long after that, The Pope walks on stage in front of the Basilica. We couldn’t believe it and then it all made sense. There was so much security and the Basilica was closed because the Pope was there. It was quite the experience.
Castle Sant’Angelo was walking distance from the Basilica so we decided to sight see there. After that we went to a small restaurant where I had the best lasagna I’ve ever tasted; either that or I was really hungry.
Day 2 – Classic Sightseeing: Colosseum to Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain was packed to capacity. I guess we weren’t the only ones who decided it was a good idea on a beautiful Sunday. Following that we went to lunch at the always tasty Hard Rock Cafe. We then headed via another Uber to the Colosseum. The lines were super long. Apparently, the first Sunday of the month is free. After about 30 minutes of waiting we were able to enter. This was definitely a highlight of the trip. Standing in a place where gladiators fought and died, among many other events, was moving. Just thinking of how many ages this place withstood left me in awe. Not to mention the beauty of it all.
Day 3 – The Vatican to Sistene Chapel
We rose early in the morning since it was our last day in Rome. We headed straight to the Vatican museum. At 9:30 in the morning the lines were already wrapped around the building. We had a train to catch at 12, so we couldn’t wait in line. We got skip line tickets from a shady looking business, but they worked! It was very beneficial to buy skip the line tickets, it only cost us about 12 dollars more than the actual ticket. Online, the skip line tickets were $72 from viatour and they didn’t even include the actual museum tickets! I would encourage you to wait until you get to Rome to buy some of the excursions, it may be cheaper that way.
The Sistene Chapel was a breathtaking sight to see. And the history you get to witness is priceless. I never in a million years thought I would see Michelangelo’s work with my own two eyes but I did and I’ll never forget it. The images painted on the ceilings portray biblical events including the life and death of Jesus. I was moved by the entire experience and I hope to return again.
I enjoyed Rome much more than I thought I would. The sights are amazing, the driving is horrendous and the people are a mixture of rude and kind. I guess that’s just like everywhere. The food is very good and the train station is very confusing. Hopefully the next time I go I will get around easier and spend more time there.
See more of Davia’s adventures at www.iamdavia.com.
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