Roma & The Vatican

July 16th - 18th

Left Sorrento straight after our odd continental breakfast and headed up to Italy's capital- Rome! We didn't want to drive in the centre of Rome as we expected it to be really busy, so we drove to the airport and parked the car in secure parking for 2 days, then caught the train in, which all worked perfectly. After checking into our hotel we caught the train in-

We headed straight for the Colosseum, bought our tickets and waited in an expected queue but didn't take too long, then we were in... Wow it was so awesome, I was amazed but Shan loved it as it's safe to say 'Gladiator' is one of his best ever films. (Film is based on fighting in Colosseum, although filmed in Malta where we saw the real film set). We got an audio guide and walked around listening to all the facts, which was all interesting. There is so much history in that it was great to be there!

We then went across to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum.

We really crammed in as much as we could cause then straight after that jumped on the train to the Trevi Fountain. It was mobbed! I chucked a cent into the fountain which is meant to bring luck. We had dinner on a busy little street nearby and wandered around the area, then took train back to Colosseum, wandered around it; looking at it lit up and feeling quite spell bounded.

Then we just wandered right into another country, it felt funny that it was just like walking into another street rather than leaving Italy and entering Vatican City! We had purchased tickets online in advance for the Sistine chapel, th full entry ticket “Skip the Line” was £17pp, and were so glad we did as the place was choc a block with tourists queuing to get in. With our ticket we visited the museum, the Sistine Chapel, seen Michaelangelo's 'The Creation of Adam' mural on the ceiling; you know the one with the pointing fingers touching. Also that's the room where a new pope is elected, the room was crammed full and there was to be no talking.

We then carried on walking and ended up in the Pope's Gaff. We decided to climb the 551 steps of St Peter's Basilica, it was a spiral staircase most of way, getting tighter as you went up. (There is also a lift costing a few €'s) We arrived inside the dome, and could look down at the basilica and dots of people below.

We then carried on up to the outside of the dome, where we had amazing views of The Vatican and Rome. Then it was all the way back down, went inside the basilica and looked around. We saw the famous Swiss guards, guarding St. Peter's, (famous because they have a reputation for discipline and loyalty, and employing revolutionary battle tactics, they and are considered the most powerful troops).

We then headed out of the world’s smallest country back into Italy and caught a train to Spagna to see The Spanish Steps. We sat on them and watched the world go by, including a reformed druggie who loved Jesus, and a smartly dressed man waiting on his date, (she never appeared). We then wandered around the Piazza di Spagna looking for dinner.

We then headed back to the Colosseum to marvel again, got a long awaited Galati, then decided to head to the Pantheon, another famous landmark, we walked and walked and on the way past the Vittoriano a massive fancy monument build for the first King of Italy.

We were shattered after a fab few days in Rome, we covered it all! So really Rome might not have been built in a day but it can be seen in two...

#europe2013 #italy #rome #vatican #europe

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