The Trip: {Rome}

On to the next adventure:

We said goodbye (for now!) to Hannah, took the tram down the mountain to the train station, and set off for Rome…

…we were tired at this point. Very tired.

So exhausted, in fact, that once we found our seats, we popped in our ear phones and each listened to a book on tape the entire hour-plus ride. Apparently, we didn’t say a word, because an older Australian gentleman next to me almost jumped out of his seat when we arrived at the station and started to converse about how to reach our apartment. “I thought you were deaf mutes!”, he laughed..

No, it was just all of those dang stairs.

Arrival in Rome was a bit hot and hurried. The Husband’s phone was acting up, and we couldn’t get a hold of our apartment manager to let them know we had arrived! In the end, we waited by the door until an American staying in the same building happened to walk by! A quick text, a few more minutes of sitting on suit cases in the middle of the street, and we were in our cozy, cool, lovely room… what a relief!

{More stairs, a terrace, cozy bed, cool doors, amazing views}

We booked this spot using Vacation Rentals by Owner, or VBRO.com (I would highly recommend for the U.S. or European travel). It was perfect! At the top of a historic building, it had a queen sized bed, a lovely balcony, a kitchen, table, bathroom and pull-out couch. The neighborhood was fantastic and lovely, and we were about a 5-10 minute walk from the Colosseum and Forum!

{Yes, that’s “it”!…}

After a quick bus tour our first night, and a good night’s rest, our first full day was packed to the brim with tours and stops at the Colosseum, Palentine Hill, Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, the “Mouth of Truth”, the Pantheon and numerous other fountains, squares, shops and sights!

{Our first day of sights – beyond lovely! Trevi was our favorite: Bottom, second from left, but each spot was just as we imagined. I don’t think anything here could disappoint…}

The next day, we woke up bright and early and visited the Catacombs of S. Callisto and the Vatican city, including St. Peter’s, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. We almost skipped seeing the catacombs, but they ended up being one of my favorite stops in Rome – if you visit, it is worth the extra distance! We used our hop-on-hop-off bus pass to drop us off and pick us up, and it worked out perfectly (Only one company has a route that travels along the Appian Way, so double-check before you purchase).

{Catacombs along the Appian Way were so moving. It was fascinating to learn about the incredible faith of the early church in Rome. Michelangelo’s Pieta at St. Peter’s was incredible to see, and the Vatican at night was totally beautiful – glowing with golden light}

As we checked sights off our list, and did our best to absorb every bit of what we were seeing, we couldn’t help but just sit there in silence at times – nursing sore feet,  with brains that were overwhelmed with facts, and hearts full of the emotion of this place – his how could we comprehend all that we’d witnessed? By the end of the second day, the Husband put it nicely: “Rome won.”

Yes. At certain points during the trip – including an unexpected extra hour-long walk back from the Vatican late at night – we were conquered just as the other thousands of souls this empire has defeated through the ages. Somehow, it almost seemed appropriate… in a small way, we could wrap our minds around this place a little better than when we arrived.

Fortunately for us, we had a breath of refreshing air awaiting us for our final full day in Rome. Hannah and Federico came to visit! Hannah stayed with us, and Federico stayed with relatives in the city. Ahhh… at last, we were blessed with two guides that spoke the language, knew their way around, and made us the best lunch we tasted in Italy the next day. JUST what we needed! That, and a week-long cruise, of course :)

{Walking into each church was like opening a treasure chest. Each one was different, and completely astounding. The care taken to adorn each building amazed us – many took hundreds of years. It was obvious that these perfect works of art were an act of worship in and of themselves}

We spent our last day in this blessed, dangerous, beautiful and brutal city following Hannah and Federico as they took us through some of the most lovely and interesting churches in the city; had an amazing meal; found a cool, sweet park with lots of fresh breezes and glorious views; and then, said goodbye…

{Groceries were purchased, and the most amazing lunch on the planet was created: Pecorino Romano, ripe tomatoes, Pizza Bianco, Salami, strawberries, fresh mozzarella, and garden greens… bliss!}

We were more cultured, awed, and humbled than when we arrived, and we were sad to go…

But, crystal clear blue water, free frozen yogurt cones, and four more fascinating destinations awaited us as we boarded the train once again.

Next: We’re off to sea!

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4 thoughts on “The Trip: {Rome}

  1. I actually teared up seeing pictures of you and Hannah together. The Italy part was great too. I can’t wait to go back someday….maybe I’ll take my husband with me!

  2. Pingback: The Trip: {Sicily, Ephesus, Athens & Crete} « FreshlyMinted

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