Tuesday, July 19, 2011

EUROPE TRIP Part 1: Rome

Well, we're back! After a 19 day European Adventure we're back to home sweet home! 
We had a great time and saw a lot of really amazing things while some sweet memories which I'm excited to share with you!

Our vacation started with 1 day in Rome followed by 4 days in Bulgaria then another day in Rome, I'm going to talk all about Rome in this post and I'll get to Bulgaria in the next one.

But to start off...a funny comparison: on the way there vs. on the way home.

At our first hotel.
Can anyone tell me where I can get some jam?
(I think they're short on storage space in Italy.)
First real Italian Pizza - wasn't really good, but not bad either!
Can you tell I am sleepy? 

We arrived in Rome early on Friday morning and after a quick 1-hour nap, headed to the Vatican to see St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel! 

We were soooo tired and my feet were soooo swollen. (That's what happens when I fly.) So every step was a little bit more painful and by the time we reached St. Peter's we were struggling to keep our eyelids open. But we pushed through and did a lot on our first day!

In the Vatican Museum...lot's of marble statues.
It's amazing to me how many ancient things are in Rome, it's almost like they don't know what to do with them, they are everywhere!

We didn't get any pictures of the Sistine Chapel (you can't), but it was awesome. Literally  - awe inspiring. The chapel itself was smaller than I expected and the ceiling was higher than I envisioned, but the paintings are just amazing! That project was Michelangelo's first painting that he ever did! Our necks started to get sore looking up at the paintings! Some people look at them with mirrors. We downloaded Rick Steves' FREE audio tour and listened to that. It was great. We love Rick Steves!

Loved the free water! Bless those Romans and their aqueducts! 
St. Peter's Basilica.
I studied Art History in high school with the most amazing teacher in the world -
I love seeing things that I learned about years ago. This is one of them.

Michelangelo's Pieta. Very reverent and peaceful...makes me say...Piet-aaaaa.
Interesting tidbit: He made Mary look much bigger than
Christ on purpose to make Him look like a child in a mother's arms.

Outside St. Peter's

Our first Gelato...they got better every time!

After the Vatican we rummaged up some more energy to do the Rome Free Tour - a free nightly tour provided by local Italians!

Ahh, Trevi Fountain. I love this! I dare say it is my favorite piece in Rome!
I love how it is so full of energy, yet so still. Took my breath away.

The Pantheon. The oldest functioning church in the world -
just celebrated it's 1,400th year anniversary!
Interesting Tidbit: The columns are one solid piece of marble (unusual)
and they were pre-ordered and accidentally cut shorter than planned!
So the pediment is lower than they originally wanted it to be.
Oh, you Type 3 Romans...don't you know to double check?! 

Yummy! Lasagna.
Dinner cost almost $100. Yikes!
Fortune-ately we figured out to do meals a little cheaper.

The next morning we decided to take it a little easier. We had to catch the plane to Bulgaria by 2PM so we just went to a nearby park and rented this little bike/car thing and had a lovely time cruising around.

After returning from 4 days in Bulgaria (that post coming next) we spent another great night and day in Rome.

Yummy! Another great (and more affordable dinner) in Rome.

Enjoyed another entertaining Rick Steves' audio tour in the Forum.
Home of the Vestal Virgins. They were in charge of keeping the
Harth Fire burning at all times, and of course, were supposed to stay virgins.
Those who were caught fooling around were buried alive!! Yikes.  
Again, I just find it crazy how all these ancient ruins
 are just lying amongst a modern city!

After touring the Forum we headed over to the Colosseum. I kept thinking to myself, "It's amazing they thought of this back then!" But then I realized it's because they thought of it back then that we have what we do today, duh.

The Romans definitely were Type 3's (Italy is Type 3 still today). The Romans were all about bigger, better, and being more productive! Rick Steves' said if they were to come visit us today they would be most impressed with our freeways!

I was shocked how close the streets are to this ancient masterpiece.
Just another day in Rome driving by a 2,000+ year old artifact!

Someone's arch...Tito, Titus? Not sure.
But he conquered something and wanted me to remember...
Inside the Colosseum. Makes me want to watch Gladiator again!

Some ancient stone that has our intials on it!
 T + A = Love
(Crazy how you can just touch whatever you want, I'm used to bullet proof glass)

Emperor Nero's profile.
Tanner always says he has a Roman Nose - he is right.
St Peter in Chain's Church featuring Michelangelo's
Moses. Really beautiful.

Another beautiful thing...Giolitti's Gelato! YUMMMMMY! 
The best gelato the world has to offer.
Happiness smeared all over our faces!

...and stuck in our teeth...

And we happened upon some Italian Fashion Show. Check out that dress!

Another successful dinner!
A little black stone was on each table, we asked why...
decoration, of course.
And we returned to Trevi Fountain at night.
Throwing my coin in for a return trip to Rome! 
In "line" at Giolitti's again! 

And that's it for Rome! Ciao, bella.


  1. What a FANTASTIC post! So well documented and cute. It was so fun for me to read because it brought back so many memories from my trip to Europe. Write before you wrote about your hs art history teacher I was thinking, "oh anne, did you just think about Mrs. Hues the whole time?" lol. Her voice will always be in my head when I see the amazing things she exposed me to for the first time. Can't wait to see the other parts ;)

  2. Ok - all that gelato is making me hungry! Looks like a wonderful trip and amazing amount of site seeing bundled into 2 1/2 short days! Well done.

  3. AHHH! I love it!

    My favorites (aka the things that made me smile...the biggest)
    The picture of you two in front of the Trevi fountain--definitely frame it
    The gelato on your faces--yum! in a cone of course :)
    Stone on the table
    and the fact that you are back and get to tell me all about it! yay! I am so happy you had such a great time and I can't wait to hear about Bulgaria

  4. It was fun to live out one of my fantasies through reading your blog. One day, we'll tour Europe too! For now, thanks for feeding my imagination! Looks like you guys had a blast!