Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Roma - Part I

Disclaimer: So I started this a while back and just never posted...there are a lot more like this, so I'm gonna go through and start posting again (even though we have been back for 3 months now!)

Back to our tour of Italia! Rome was our last stop, and by this time, Kai was pretty exhausted (So was I, but at least I stayed awake longer than he did). Within minutes of getting on the train from Florence, he was out!

After arriving, we decided to head to our hotel to drop off our stuff. I had found a deal at a 4 star hotel (Hotel Campanelle -- definitely recommend it) and since I was sick of being in cheapo hotels, I jumped at the chance. The website had advertised a shuttle service from two different metro stops, so we got off and were waiting for the shuttle (see how happy I look waiting for the shuttle? Or is it because it was warm enough for me to NOT wear my jacket?!)

Funny story about this place...Since there is a definite difference in quality between US and European hotels, I didn't know whether the shuttle was going to be a van, a car, or a bus. For whatever reason, I had my doubts, and since there were no signs noting where to wait for the hotel shuttle, I called the hotel to ask. The guy who answered just told me to wait in the front and the shuttle would be there shortly. After I hung up, I realized that there wasn't really a 'front' of the metro stop, and so I sent Kai across the street to wait, just in case. After about 10 minutes, I was worried we missed it, so I called back again and was asking the guy what kind of shuttle it was, and he was telling me, it was a shuttle. In my mind, I was thinking of some small car coming up with a paper sign on the window, as I was trying to clarify whether the shuttle was a van, or a car, he finally said, it seats 27 passengers, and then I saw it. It was a bus with HUGE lettering all down the side that said, "Hotel Campanelle". Lets just say I kind of felt like an idiot, or the guy at the hotel was thinking it!

Getting to the hotel was a pleasant surprise! It was finally what I expect from hotels! Nice bedding, balcony, clean bathroom, blah, blah, blah. Lets just say I was sooo happy to end our trip in this place.

After dropping off our stuff, we headed back out since there was a lot to see and not much time. Our first stop was the Pantheon, but on our way, we saw this little tricycle car thing! It was soooo little! Yup, there is one wheel in the front and two in the back...

The Pantheon was awesome! It was so cool to see in real life, especially since I learned about it in my freshman humanities 101 class at BYU (but don't ask me to explain what its all about...I don't remember).

After the Pantheon, we headed toward the Trevi Fountain and we ran into this huge monument (I can't remember what it is called now...its been a while). The plaza was really pretty though, it seriously felt kind of magical (especially with the guy/girl in the background)

The Trevi Fountain is seriously AMAZING! We were walking through these little streets, and then all of a sudden, you see it and it is sooo cool (not to mention packed with tourists). The pictures really don't do it justice...

We left the Trevi Fountain and walked around taking pictures with my good old Canon Powershot. This city is seriously so pretty!

The next morning, we woke up early and went onto the roof of our hotel to watch the sunrise, which to be honest, was cool, but took WAY too long, and got a little too cold. BUT, Kai made sure to document it with a picture.

After eating a delicious breakfast at the hotel (not your typical 'continental' breakfast...i'm talking meat, eggs, fresh fruit, yogurt, etc.), we headed toward the Vatican City. On our way, we ran into a lady who asked us if we wanted to bypass a 2 hour line and get into the Vatican Museum with a tour guide. I didn't know how much it would cost to get in normally, so I asked and she quoted me some prices for the Vatican Museum and the She said it was only like 7 Euro more than if you wanted to get in on your own, but for some reason, I just figured we should just stand in the line. We didn't know how much the tickets would cost, so I almost took her word. Thank goodness we didn't. The tickets were WAY cheaper that what she had said they would be, not to mention that the cost to see the Sistine Chapel is included, which she had said was not. We spent the ENTIRE afternoon there. There were so many guided tours going on that we just listened in to different tours as we went along and pretty much got the guided tour for free (yup, we are ghetto). It was pretty cool, although I will admit...I was museumed out WAY before Kai was ready to go.

Top - Left: In the Vatican Gardens / Right: Sculpture Room
Bottom - Left: The Map Hall / Right: The EXIT!!!

Once we made it out, we decided to go back into the city to see the rest of the sites...

Kai outside the city walls

So we finally made it out of the museum and made our way to St Peters Basilica where they were setting up for some big conference where the pope was going to speak. We saw lots of churches while we went around, but this one was by far the nicest. I felt really smart when I went inside and saw this sculpture, Michelangelo's 'Pieta', another thing I remembered from my Humanities 101 class my freshman year!

Michelangelo's 'Pieta'

Me in front of the Basilica

The view from the Basilica

In the main plaza, there is a huge open area and if you stand on this spot, the columns all line up so it looks like there is only one row, but really, there are multiple rows! So, if you look at the picture below, it looks like there is only 1...don't be fooled. Totally made me think of Magic Eye books from elementary!

St Peters in the background...pretty awesome!

The bridge behind me is famous..and really pretty...too bad I can't remember the name :(

There was a lot more stuff we wanted to do, but of course, time ran out...guess we'll just have to take another trip!

Part II to be posted in the near future....hopefully!


  1. Good to see a new post!! I loved Rome! We waited forever to get into st. PEters basilca. I wish we would have paid to skip those lines! We were too cheap... Cant wait to see the rest!

  2. Love your pictures! I remember being surprised at how much I enjoyed st peters. I was pretty focused on seeing the Sistine chapel but st peters blew my mind, the pieta makes you nearly weep at its beauty and I totally fell in love with bernini's baldachino.
    So glad you are taking the time to post!