Start: Rome, ITA
End: Rome, ITA
Miles Driven: 0 (10850.9 total)
We woke up bright and early this morning in order to get to the Vatican, which opens at 9am. The museum is free the last Sunday of every month so we thought this would be a good day to go. Unfortunately every other tourist in Rome thought the same thing. The line was 4 city blocks long and growing when we arrived, but thankfully it only took us an hour to get inside. The highlights of the visit were Raphael's vibrant frescoes and the magnificence of the Sistine Chapel.
A trip to Vatican City would not be complete without a stop by St. Peter's as well. As we came upon the piazza in front of the basilica, we were met with an enormous and lively crowd. Turns out the liveliness was in response to the Pope, who was addressing the masses from his apartment window high above the Piazza San Pietro. We still have no idea what he said.
After the Pope spoke, we joined the masses on their pilgrimage inside the basilica. We saw the tombs of many popes, inlcuding John Paul II, and also the ornate shrine where St. Peter's remains rest. The basilca itself was breathtaking.
Next we headed back to the city center and happened upon the Piazza Venezia, where a gigantic shrine to Italy's first king Victor Emmanuel stands. We thought for sure the structure which contains giant columns and statues of chariots dated back hundreds of years, but it turns out it is modern by Rome standards as it is only a century old.
Our last sightseeing stop for the day was the historic Pantheon, the most well preserved structure from Ancient Rome. Over the centuries, it has served as a temple to the gods, a Christian Church, and now a tourist attraction for all.
Dinner was a feast of exquisite pasta dishes and Italian chianti. It was so good in fact, we had a second dinner down the street immediately after our first. Our new motto has become...when in Rome, eat dinner twice.