After our couple of days driving through Tuscany, we turned in our rental car and took a train to Rome, Italy where we were meeting up with my aunt and uncle and going to spend a few days.
In case you missed it:
- Europe Trip Part 1 – Paris
- Europe Trip Part 2 – Amsterdam
- Europe Trip Part 3 – Venice
- Europe Trip Part 4 – Florence
- Europe Trip Part 5 – Cinque Terre & Pisa
- Europe Trip Part 6 – Tuscany
Once our train arrived in Rome, we found a taxi and took it to the hotel. The driver was a very aggressive driver and we were glad to make it safely to the hotel. He took us the long scenic route because it took over 20-25 minutes and cost 50 euros whereas my aunt and uncle said their taxi took 15 minutes and cost 20 euros. We were staying at The Hotel Atlante Star, which was nice but really conveniently located and had a nice rooftop bar area with great views.
My uncle planned our itinerary for Rome and he did a great job of getting us to all the major sites! The first full day we were planning to do a walking tour and other outdoor activities but it was pouring down rain so we decided to swap our plans and do the indoor sites instead.
We went to St. Peter’s and entered through the Holy Door, which is only open during holy years, which are supposed to be every 25 years but Pope Francis declared 2016 a holy year and we do not know why. We listened to the Rick Steves audio tour as we went through the basilica.
Afterwards we went to the Vatican Museum to see the Sistine Chapel. Sorry, pictures are not allowed inside and to be honest, it was so crowded that it was hard to enjoy. But still incredible to see something in person that I have heard so much about!
After getting some lunch, we went back to St. Peter’s so my cousin and I could climb to the top of the dome. At this time of day, the crowd was much larger but it only took about 30 minutes to get through security. We got some nice views of Rome from the top of the dome.
And this pretty cool mosaic inside the dome.
Later that night, we went to Trattoria Polese for dinner and I had a GIANT calzone.
After dinner, we walked towards St. Peter’s to see it at night.
We saw some girls taking reflection pictures in a puddle so we got in on the action shot as well.
And another photo of Rome in the evening.
The next day, the weather was much nicer so we walked to the Pantheon and stopped at the Brazilian Embassy square with 3 fountains.
Then we moved on to the Pantheon. We went inside and listened to the Rick Steves audio guide. The center was marked off because it had rained the day before and there is no cover over the top. We learned margarita pizza has the colors of the Italian flag – red tomatoes, green basil, and white mozzarella.
Then we walked to San Lorenzo church, which had beautiful painted ceilings.
At some point in the day, we stopped and had a snack of macarons!
And saw this awesome watermelon scooter.
Then we went to the Trevi Fountain and each threw a coin into the fountain (which means we will return!)
We then went to the Spanish Steps but they were under construction.
Later that day, we went to the Colosseum, which I was fascinated by! It seems to me like a real life Hunger Games happened there. We learned that when two people were fighting, the crowd would vote by thumbs up or down whether or not to let the loser live.
Stay tuned as next we head to Athens, Greece!