My Time in Rome, Italy - 2011 Edition
It's been a bit since I have shared a travel post. While I have a few adventures planned out that I'll be sharing in the future, I wanted to share a few photos from one of my favorite trips of all time - my time in Rome.
It has, sadly, been a few years since I was last in Rome. I've been itching to go back recently - hopefully these photos will fully convey just why that sentiment remains so strong.
I went to Rome with a large group of friends I met while studying abroad. We were an eager group - staying up late and waking up at dawn, all with the idea that we couldn't miss a thing and that it was all a once in a lifetime experience. I am so glad we had and shared that attitude. We saw so much of the city, especially when I consider that we were only really there for two days.
Of course, the Trevi Fountain was a must-see, and if I remember correctly, one of our very first stops after dropping off our bags at the hostel.
The Trevi Fountain is quite monstrous and busy, brimming with tourist and vendors. Don't let this picture below fool you - I had to work very hard not to capture any of the masses surrounding this large fountain. I made two wishes at this fountain - one following with the legend, which states that if you make a wish to return to Rome at the Trevi Fountain, it will most certainly come true - and another one that I obviously can't tell anyone about, lest I jinx it and keep it from coming true.
It's a detailed sight, with an energy that is invigorating regardless of the time of day. I was sure to keep my belongings close though - I believe there may have been a few signs warning of the dangers of lurking pickpockets, and I certainly paid attention, trying to be observant and aware of my surroundings, even while enjoying the beauty of the fountain.
No trip to Rome would be complete or even thinkable without a stop at the Colosseum - a word that, despite having an English degree, I always end up misspelling the first go-round. Here's a quick shout-out to spell check! Anyway, this was where our group split - some to tour the Colosseum, the others to continue wandering. While I am glad I chose to wander, I do know that if my first Trevi Fountain wish to come back to Rome comes true, I will most certainly take a tour of the inside. For now, I have only the exterior photos and thoughts to share. I have to say that, despite the amount of suffering that history reports went on inside those walls, the building does have its own unique beauty, and it must have been quite the imposing sight in its prime.
By some lucky planning, we also happened to be in Rome on Palm Sunday. As this is day is pretty widely celebrated in Rome (a city with many Catholics) we headed over to the Vatican on Sunday morning only to see the Pope. It was an experience to be sure - and without getting too cheesy or too spiritual, it was a powerful feeling to be there with so many others. Even though I couldn't understand what the Pope was saying, I could feel the sentiment, and it was unlike anything else.
Although this is not a great photo of any of us (it was super early and we had been doing lots of traveling), I like that it gives a better idea of just how many people were there. Plus, you can see the Pope on the screen in the back.
After the mass, we explored St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel - both incredibly stunning visually, to the point of overwhelm and beyond.
The pictures admittedly do not do this place justice at all. No one was allowed to take pictures in the Sistine Chapel - a rule that was vehemently enforced by many guards. They were not messing around! The photo below only shows the way to the Sistine Chapel, in fact, just before entering it. The whole way to the Sistine Chapel was decorated like this, to a level where it was almost too much to take in. Inside the Sistine Chapel, it was even more ornate, while paired with the famous ceiling paintings of Michelangelo that everyone knows and would recognize.
It truly was a beautiful trip - a city that beautifully blended the old buildings and tradition with the modern necessities of life. There were gelato shops on nearly every corner and a ruin just down the street, no matter where you happened to be. It was a truly dignified and historical city that I loved and hope to visit again soon.