August 19, 2008

redemption!

Posted in rome tagged , , , , at 7:32 am by Malia Yoshioka

well i must say, things definitely got better after our last post! i normally hate to cram too much sightseeing into a short period of time because it tends to take away from your chance to actually tune into the heartbeat of a place, and to really get a feel for the life that you can live while you’re there. however, rome is SO full of history, so full of things we just HAD to see. so kim and i signed up for a few walking tours of the city to cover the major sights, and they were definitely worth it.

niether of us are catholic, but i really don’t think you need to be a member of the faith to appreciate vatican city. our tour guide, kristen, was full of information about the history of the church that would normally have made me fall asleep on my feet, yet somehow she kept it enjoyable as we walked through the “pilgrim’s path” across the bridge of angels towards vatican city, arriving at st. peter’s square.

st. peter's square, rome

as a group we toured the vatican museum, with the highlight of course being sistine chapel. it was truly amazing. first of all, as the herd flows into the sistine chapel (the crowds were crazy!) a hush naturally falls over the crowd. every few minutes, a guard will say “ssshhhhhhhhhhh!” and the excited whisperings will stop for a few seconds while everyone stands in awe of michelangelo’s incredible work. i had to stop for a minute to pinch myself – i am really in rome!! i’d always wanted to come to rome, and standing there under the sistine chapel, i really felt it for the first time.

after leaving our group, we climbed the 330 steps to the top of the basilica of st. peter’s and then walked through the church itself. after we left the vatican we stopped at a nearby restaurant and had all of the amazing italian food that we’d wanted the day before – RED wine, delicious pizzas, and a fresh caprese salad. we savored every bite while talking about what a difference this day had been compared to the day before!

pizza and caprese salads... yum!

the next morning we set out to galleria borghese, a private collection of art from one of rome’s oldest families. it’s set in the middle of villa borghese, which is now a relaxing park area in the middle of the city. from there we headed to the spanish steps and the nearby keats-shelly memorial house where the young english poet john keats died.

since we’d enjoyed our vatican tour so much, we signed up for another tour of ancient rome in the afternoon, which took us through roman history and all over town. we saw the circus massimo, the roman forum, the pantheon, the mouth of truth (made famous by the movie “roman holiday” – ahhh i love audrey hepburn!), and even a stop for some homemade gelato.

gelato!

as the sun began to set on our last day in rome, we realized that there was one site left that we couldnt miss – the colosseum! we rushed over to the ticket office (which promptly closes at 6:15 – we made it at 6:10!) to make use of our roma pass cards, which gave us entrance to the colosseum.

the coloseum, rome

it was the perfect end to our time in rome to make it to the colosseum just before closing. the crowds were thinning out and we were able to walk around the entire stadium, imagining gladiators fighting to the death on the field below. the fading sunlight on the ruins was amazing too… you can see all of our pictures from rome here. such an amazing time, even though it was only three days… i hope that the coin i tossed into the trevi fountain works and that i will be back someday…

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1 Comment »

  1. Kim said,

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. =)


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