Turning up the heat in Rome and the Vatican City!

*Again, this is a post written on my trip and posted retroactively on account of poor wifi.*

So, after Florence we headed out to Rome, which was another pretty drive. The Italian countryside is really beautiful, and somewhere I’d definitely love to go back and explore some more.  We stopped at one rest stop on the way to Rome, and got there around mid afternoon, so that we could have a walking tour of Rome. It was about 80 million degrees and incredibly sunny in Rome – the best weather for a hike around the city, naturally – and we had to try and manage cabs for the guy who broke his leg, but we managed the walk.

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We also saw a woman getting wedding pictures taken on our walk – there were a lot of wedding pictures in the cities we were in, especially Paris 😉 – and her dress was just so striking I stopped to take a picture.

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We started close by the “Cake Topper” or the Altare della Patria – the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II – which is a really neat looking white building that you can take an elevator up to the top.

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We had some potential free time for that the next day but I elected not too, because of the heat, but it will be on my list for the next time I go to Rome 🙂

IMG_0732 IMG_0748 IMG_0751 IMG_0747More “walking” shots 🙂

Next on the walking tour was the Trevi Fountain which sadly is being cleaned until 2017, and is thus covered in scaffolding and empty of water 😦 There was a little tiny fountain where you could throw your coins in, and so I did – and got it in, a much harder feat than with the actual fountain! – so I suppose that coin was so I can go back to Rome after 2017!
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After that we made our way to the Pantheon, which you can go in and look at for free, which is nice and rare in Europe!
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After that, we stopped in a plaza with a lot of cool street art for a couple of hours for diner, where I took advantage of being a mature adult and had gelato and tartufo – ice cream and more ice cream – and also a canoli instead of real food, because dessert is the best thing ever 😉
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It was in that plaza, waiting for our meeting time that I had perhaps the most unlikely thing happen to me all trip – I felt someone tap me on the shoulder, and when I looked up, expecting one of my group, I instead found one of my med school classmates! We didn’t even know both of us were going to be in Rome that day, much less in that same plaza, but in a true show of how small the world is, we still ran into each other thousands of miles across the world!
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What are the odds!?
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We ended up getting a picture together and then going our seperate ways, where after buying a little street art, me and the group headed for our next campsite, which was probably the nicest campsite of them all, as because of overbooking we were upgraded to deluxe cabins that had some much needed A/C! The campsite also had an amazing pizza oven, so I grabbed a pizza there for some real food and then headed down for an early night 🙂
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The next morning we got up early and made our way back into Rome using the metro to go to Vatican City. Thankfully, we had a fast pass group ticket, so we met up with out guide and got to skip the massive line and go inside. Vatican City is really pretty – all palm trees and well manicured lawns, with a lot of cool old buildings.
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We got a wheelchair for the guy with the broken leg, and he managed to make the whole tour with us, so if you are a wheelchair user and looking to do Vatican City, it is doable.
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We saw some of the Vatican museums, which were cool, but super crowded, which made you feel like a hot, sweaty salmon swimming up stream.
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We then made our way to the Sistine Chapel, where pictures are forbidden…though only if you get caught 😉 It was so full of people it was easy to keep my camera chest level and hide behind the tallest guy on our tour and get some pics of the ceiling. It is amazing to think that Michelangelo painted that ceiling in four years, but I found it hard to appreciate the majesty of it with so many people in there.
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I actually found St. Peter’s Basilica more awe inspiring – the church is just SO big, there is no way I could even capture it all in photographs! Its also massively tall, and over all you can’t help but feel a bit small standing in that massive church.
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It was also really neat to see the Vatican Square, as I’ve seen that on TV so much 🙂
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After the Vatican, we had two hours for lunch before our tour of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, so while some people climbed the cake topper I elected to just chill in a really cool meatball cafe and had an amazing – and really affordable – meatball sub while enjoying the A/C and excellent free WiFi 😉
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IMAG0206At 4 Euro, this was serious one of the most delicious and affordable things I ate all trip!
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After lunch we met up with our next guide for the Forum and Colosseum tour, which started in the Roman forum:
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Where we saw the tomb of Cesar:
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The ruins and the victory arches that Napoleon likely based the Arc du Triomphe on.
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We then made our way to the Colosseum, pausing only so that one guy in our group could have a dildo sword fight with a guy busking dressed as a gladiator – I can’t even believe he took that dildo everywhere sometimes! – which was hilarious beyond words.
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We had another fast pass for the Colosseum and so, after the gaurd harassed our guide a bit unjustly – he totally pushed her and then tried to blame it on her! – we made our way in. The Colosseum is really another site that is a must see in Rome, as it is just so big and iconic.
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I discovered the panorama button on my phone at this point – the fact that I’ve had the phone for a year now and just noticed is is irrelevant 😉 – so I managed to get a pretty good shot of it!
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After that our scheduled activities were done for the day, and although we had the option of having around and trying to do more on our own, we all opted to just make our way back in groups on the metro – our tour guide was gone at this point – so that no one would get lost on the metro and so that we could get the coach and not the shuttle back to the campsite. That night there was an I love Roma party if you wanted to buy a T-shirt, but the heat and the fact that I was sick made me decide to hit the hay early – and also our early departure for Pompeii and Corfu the next day!
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Overall, I liked Rome a lot. I’d love to go back some time, though in the spring or fall next time, as the summer heat was just oppressive!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice post and beautiful photos! I visited Rome exactly 3 years ago, it was so nice… This brought back happy memories! Come and visit Finland one day 🙂

    1. dellaliz19 says:

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it – yeah, Rome was fantastic, certainly a place I hope to return to! And I’d love to go to Finland – I’m looking at maybe Helsinki for part of my next summer trip 🙂

      1. How great! If you decide to come, be sure to let me know and I can show you around! 🙂

    2. dellaliz19 says:

      I missed this comment sorry! If I end up doing the trip I’d love that! 🙂

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