Rome…Where do I even begin? I can go on about this place for pages and still have more to write about so I figure the best way to convey my time in Rome is mainly through pictures.
Attending Catholic School and being interested in history I have always been fascinated by the Vatican as well as the Roman Empire. I have always wanted to attend a Papal Mass and kiss the Pope’s ring. However, due to the harsh summer weather in Rome the Pope did not give his occasional Wednesday Mass. It was all good since I was going to the Vatican and in a sense be in his presence and one day I will.
I should be very ashamed that I did not know this but I found out that the Vatican is actually its own independent city state that was protected by its own walls. Its a sovereign state with the power to make and administer its own laws. It is actually the smallest independent city state and includes the Pope’s summer residence in Castel Gondolfo (I also visited it and will include a brief muss about it in my next post).
By default my first excursions in Rome had to be visits to the Vatican City as well as the Colosseum.
In Vatican City, I visited the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Unfortunately, I was not able to take any pictures of the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel which was painted by Michelangelo. It is pretty amazing how he was able to paint such a breath taking ceiling and he was not a Painter. He was a Sculptor, his piece the Pieta which was a heart breaking sculpture of Jesus holding Mary after the crucifixion.
SHOCKER- The Vatican is protected by Swiss Guards who still wear Renaissance uniforms. The Swiss Guard is the smallest army as it is just used to protect the Vatican. It was Europe’s most skilled army during the Renaissance and was ordered to protect the Vatican by Pope Julius II. It has been over 500 years and they are still guarding the Vatican and wearing the same uniforms.
It is unacceptable to come to Rome and not visit the Colosseum. The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater in the world and is one of the eight world wonders. The architecture is unbelievable!
Even though it was under construction, I had to visit the Trevi Fountain and through a coin in over my shoulders. It is said that if you do this you will be back again. I really hope I get the opportunity to visit Rome again. No amount of blogging could do justice to such an amazing city.