Ah, Rome. You are a treat for the eye. The eyes, I mean, as I did keep both open while walking your confusing labyrinth-like city streets.
View from the top of St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican
Standing at the top of St. Peter's Basilica was only possible after climbing a potentially heart-exploding number of stairs...which wound upward like a tiny stone spiral...getting increasingly tighter and more precarious with each step...but it was quite worth the near-death experience once we made it to the top. The view was magnificent. If I were the Pope, I'd spend most of my time up there reading in a comfy chaise-lounge.
Rainbow at the Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps were quite nice, too, as we found them at the tail-end of a rain storm, highlighted with a gorgeous rainbow. It seemed like a sweet gift to look up and see the colorful arch perfectly placed for our enjoyment. Awww, Rome...you shouldn't have.
View of St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican
We enjoyed exploring the Vatican and its museum. So many show-stoppers along the way. There was no way we would ever be able to see it all...and lord, was there a lot to see. We stood before masterpieces in hushed awe. It's always mind-blowing to see things in real life you've only studied in books. The Vatican does not disappoint. Its museum is filled to the brim with the stuff dreams are made of.
The School of Athens, by Raphael
While exploring the rich history all around us I was filled with a palpable, excited energy. Of course, after a time the excitement began to wear thin and was replaced with a desperate, gnawing hunger. Thank god for Gelato. I'm most certain our trip was a success due mostly to Roman Gelato. Every few hours we stopped to refuel with a new flavor.
Come to Mama, Roman Gelato
Suffice to say, we ate our way through Rome. The food, it was magnificent...the Antipasto, the pizza, the pasta...there were moments I was so overwhelmed, with plates of god's own food in front of me, I felt as though the only thing to do was weep for my happiness. Of course, weeping had to wait as I was inhaling enormous amounts of food...also an awe-inspiring sight, if you were to see it with your own two eyes.
The Vatican Mercenary Guards from Switzerland
So many things to see...like the Vatican guards in their colorful uniforms designed by Michelangelo...no less. (Not the Ninja-turtle, mind you.)
Seeing the Main Altar in St. Peter's is enough to make you fall to your knees. Though I don't recommend it on those marble floors. It is most certain you will develop a crick in your neck--and possibly step on and/or run over other tourists and their children, as you make your way around the atrium. The senses are overwhelmed with so much beauty to see. Nevermind the painful squeals of others as you trample them...you've got too much ahead of you to look back.
Temple of Antoninus Pius and Faustina, The Forum
Slightly confusing were all the ruins as we made our way through Roman Forum. C'mon guys, it's been 2,000 years--let's fix the place up already!
St. Teresa in Ecstacy, by Bernini
Rome certainly can't be summed up in a single post, though that's what I intend to do here. Just be assured there's a million other fabulous sights and historically important places I've left out. We walked and walked the streets of Rome until we could barely make our way back to the hotel at night. We got lost a lot. Our plans changed hourly. We had the happiest of Thanksgivings, surrounded by wonderful people, while eating the best pizza on the planet. Being there with my family...watching them all stuffing pizza down their cake holes...was magical.
The Trevi Fountain
Maybe that's why so many people throw their coins in the Trevi Fountain...hoping to return one day...Rome is just that great.
Well, it worked for me...twenty-one years later I returned. (And threw yet another coin in the fountain...hoping to return again.)
Every moment in Rome is worth savoring.
Ah, Rome...you are a beauty.