Monday, September 20, 2010

Last but not least!

Our final day in Rome, we set off in the morning for the Coliseum. Albeit, moving a little slow after the birthday festivities!

We arrived and decided to take one of the 20 people, selling tours without standing in line, up on their offer. Maybe it was the hangover, but our tour guide was TOO informative. We came to learn about the Coliseum and Gladiators and ended up with a 40 minute history lesson on all of Rome. So, as soon as we made it inside, we decided to defect from our group and explore on our own. While I am sure he had some great stories and information, we enjoyed envisioning the seats packed with people and Russell Crowe emerging from below!
The only thing we had a time frame for in Rome was the Vatican. After all, we had to get there to thank the Pope for Scott's annulment. Honestly, it probably would have been easier to just fly it to him ourselves! But, he was busy (probably signing annulments since this apparently takes quite a long time) so we headed on to the Vatican Museum.

Holy art! Once again, we skipped the tour and opted to decipher everything for ourselves. Maybe not the brightest idea but I am not sure I could have stood to be one of the tour groups clogging up every hallway in the place! We did see some incredible things, including the embalmed mummy. Oh, and the Sistine Chapel. You'll have to Google it to see it, no pictures allowed. Ok, in all seriousness, it was incredible. We just stood and stared for a good 20 minutes. It is hard to wrap your mind around the vision that it took and then the time it took to paint such a masterpiece.
After finding our way out of the museum (this is harder than it sounds), we wondered back to St. Peter's Square where we pondered whether to try and get into the Basilica. We were under the impression that once again you needed tickets and it might just be a lost cause so late in the day. We decided it was worth a shot and jumped in line.

Quick sidebar...after leaving the museum we were on a mission to get another suitcase. We had officially purchased too much wine to fit into our luggage and under weight limits. So, we bartered with a street vendor and walked away with a souvenir roller bag for 15 euro.

As we stood in line with our newly claimed piece of luggage, sweating in our long pants (necessary to get into the museums and Basilica), we came to realize that all it took to get in was a trip through security. SO glad we decided to get in line. The Basilica is beyond unbelievable. It is hard to even know where to look it is so breathtaking and elaborate. We thought St. Ignatius was massive and gorgeous...the Basilica makes it look like a baby church.
The entire Vatican experience was a favorite of mine. I would love to go back and make it to a mass. I can't imagine anything could be more impressive.

Our final day concluded with a quick nap (in our incredible beds which adjust so you can raise your feet after a long day of walking) and a final delicious Italian dinner.

While leaving clearly doesn't make me happy, coming home to our little poms made returning to reality bearable! Can't wait for our next visit!


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