Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I've been putting off blogging Rome simply because we managed to pack so much into 3 days! So hopefully I don't forget anything, but beware, this post is a long one!
The first day we decided to go bright and early to the Coliseum. We got off the metro stop across the street a little before 9 in the morning and were planning on going to the far end of the old city and then hitting the Coliseum during the lunch lull. But when we walked by, it didn't look like there was much of a line, so we decided to take a look. We were standing inside the Coliseum within 3 minutes of getting off the metro stop. 

Naturally this prompted the "how the HECK did we do that" face

But anyway, it was really cool! We walked all around and stopped by a few tour groups to listen in (its a  delicate art)

You know how in museums and things like that you aren't allowed to touch anything? That was very much not the case here and while Kali and Allison were in the bathroom, Lauren and I walked around taking pictures of us touching everything.

And laying down on a few things as well. Just cause we could. 

After that we walked around the ruins of the Roman forum and then went to find lunch. After lunch we walked to the Spanish steps and made a few stops along the way.

The monument of Vittorio Emanuele II.

The Campo di Fiori

The Pantheon

The ceiling was really cool, there is a hole in the middle so its all natural light inside. It is supposed to be really cool when it rains
These are the Spanish Steps. After we made it here we just sat down and rested for an hour. It was actually really fun, there were all these guys selling fake designer handbags and really touristy trinkets on blankets on the ground. We were watching them do their thing and started wondering aloud if you needed a permit or anything to sell stuff like that. Then we heard a whistle. I just had enough time to think "that is the WEIRDEST sounding bird I have ever heard" when I noticed that I was about to be run over by all the guys selling things. They have grabbed the corners of their blankets, in the process scooping up all their stuff, and were RUNNING up the steps and around the corner. Then we saw 2 policemen walk up the steps. Those guys had a system and were all working together. A few minutes after the policemen left they snuck back and were selling their apparently illegal stuff again.
Then we went to see the Piazza del Popolo
The Piazza del Popolo


sitting on one of the lion statues around the monument.
After that we went back to the hostel and had dinner at the restaurant that the people who owned the hostel also ran. Then we went to a really cool bar across the street (this bar had excellent taste, there were all these classic film posters on the walls, so I loved it there).
The next morning we went to the Circo Massimo

They used to have chariot races here. 
Then we went to the Vatican. We waited in line about 2 and a half hours, I was expecting to wait 3, so it was all good. The Vatican is basically a parade of fancy smancy ceilings. 

this was my favorite, there were also all these old maps of Italy on the walls.

Then again, this might have been my favorite...
That's right, the Sistine Chapel. 
Technically you are not supposed to take pictures in there, but once we got in every other person was taking pictures, and the many guards were doing nothing to stop it, so I joined in. I did turn off my flash though, I know that can damage paintings.

There was also an exhibit of those fancy eggs that were made for the Russian tsars.
This one was my favorite, so bright and cheery!

This was in a courtyard in the Vatican, I just thought it looked like the Death Star and thought that was cool. It spun!
Then we went to the Basilica. That was actually right after the Sistine Chapel, these pictures are out of order. We went through a group exit so we didn't have to go through security again. By this point we were basically expert tourists and could bend the rules like no one's business. 

It was really pretty inside.

And so big! I put this pic in so you could see how tiny the people look. 

These were the guards. They had funny uniforms.

Then we sat outside in this square for an hour, we were tired!
The next day Lauren left early in the morning to meet her family in Greece. Allison Kali and I explored the more residential southern part of Rome and saw the synagogue and the pretty church below. 

The river running through Rome. 

And the pretty street we had lunch on. Allison's flight left at 6, Kali and mine left at 10. We got back into London really late and were on campus by 1:30.

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