|on top of the world: overlooking Rome from the top of Palatine Hill|
|Fe and me tossing our coins into Fontana di Trevi, in the hope that we will one day return to Rome|
|Fontana di Trevi at night|
|inside the wonderfully painted halls that lead to the Sistine Chapel|
|AB drinking from the fountain at Vatican City|
|Pretty little post-dinner cappuccino|
|DB capturing the sights|
|a little bit of rain didn't stop us from enjoying the Coliseum!|
|toss in your coins girls!|
|Pillars of the Forum. They are huge and it's amazing that they're still standing!|
We arrived in Rome on Saturday after a train ride through the Italian countryside. We were greeted by beautiful warm weather that lasted well into the evening, and friendly staff at our adorable hotel.
After dropping off our bags, we headed off in search of food; but, because we'd arrived during the Roman siesta, it was kind of tough to find places to eat as many were closed until dinner. And this is how we stumbled upon the shopping district which totally distracted us in the best kind of way for the rest of the afternoon. We were able to cross more souvenirs for family and friends off our lists and snag limited edition Italian Pandora beads from a local jeweler.
In the evening, we trekked to Fontana di Trevi, the stunning fountain that runs in front of what was one of Rome's first cathedrals. It is rumored that you must throw in a coin to guarantee that you will one day return to Rome. Next, we visited the Spanish Steps, which are centered in a wonderfully lit plaza with palm trees and twinkling lights, where people were just hanging out, enjoying the weather and each other. High end Italian stores like Prada, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Escada made up the perimeter of the plaza.
At dinner at a nearby trendy restaurant called RJ Numbs Piazza di Spagna, we consumed--nay inhaled--more amazing Italian pasta. We cleaned our plates obviously, and made room for decadent desserts like chocolate mousse dripping with chocolate sauce, and authentic tiramisu.
On Sunday and Monday there was more sightseeing to be done. We took in Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel, which were absolutely breathtaking. I cried a little bit inside the Sistine Chapel because it's just so moving to see all those scenes from religious history depicted in such a larger-than-life way. All the ceilings and walls that lead to the chapel are painted, but inside it's just on an entirely different level. The ruins at The Coliseum and Forum are equally as awe inspiring, but for different reasons. They, along with Palatine Hill, just evoke a feeling of having slipped into a different moment in time. You can understand how it would have been easy to laze about Palatine Hill, taking in the vibrant green grass, thriving gardens and the 360 degree views of Rome's skyline. And to know that the Coliseum and Forum have been there for hundreds of years is really almost unbelievable given the size and scope of the buildings--you really get a sense of just how much back breaking work must have gone into them at a time where most things were made and put in place by hand and without the modern tools that are available today. There were restoration efforts in place in some areas which was kind of cool to see as well; they made me think of my young man who, at one point, wanted to be a geologist. He still wants to be a scientist so I know this is something he would thoroughly enjoy in person. Maybe I'll take him one day....
At lunch on Monday, we found out that what we had been dreading came to fruition: the terrible storms at home on the East Coast had resulted in our flight home on Tuesday being canceled. Rome might not sound like a terrible place to be "stuck", but after 9 days of travel and sightseeing in multiple cities, we were all definitely ready to head to the comforts of home--despite how amazing our time had been. And it was AMAZING!!!
I won't bore you with the details of our frustration at being stuck, lol (suffice it to say, it becomes a very different trip when you're away by choice and then someone tells you that they can't get you home)--but finally on Friday night, after 2 days of waiting, 2 days of plane hopping and an overnight stay at London Heathrow airport, we made it home.
For more of my travel diary, please check out these posts: