Remember my post on Vicenzia and the relaxed Italian way of life? This became more evident when we flew into Rome and waited for our bags. We waited in the baggage claim area for over an hour and a half before we finally got our luggage!
|Cristo dela Minerva|
|The church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva|
|Inside the Pantheon|
|Inside the Colosseum|
|Egyptian Obelisk with cross|
|Ruins of the Roman Forum|
After we'd been driven around most of the city (my head was spinning at this point with all the history and sites that I'd just seen) we went to Vatican City. Here we met our personal tour guide. She was an Italian originally from Canada, and had gotten her Master's Degree on the Sistine Chapel. She was very knowledgeable about the history and artwork around the Vatican. The amount of artwork in the Vatican will blow your mind. There are statues, paintings, tapestries, mosaics, and frescoes that date back hundreds and hundreds of years! It really helped having our personal tour guide, I think it helped us appreciate everything we were seeing more than if we just walked through alone.
The Sistine Chapel was simply amazing. When I walked in I gasped at the beauty and history that was surrounding me. Before we started our tour, our guide gave us a history lesson on what we were about to see, which made the experience even better.
|The nearly empty tour|
|Pope Benedict XVI|
Christmas Day, we went back to Saint Peter's Square to get the Christmas Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI. He gives the blessing in 32 languages. It was an incredible way to spend Christmas.
I also got to do a little Roman Holiday tour. I absolutly LOVE that movie, so I was really excited when I got to see The Mouth of Truth (but it was closed so I couldn't get a picture with my hand in it). I also ate chocolate gelato on the Spanish Steps, walked around the ruins of the Roman Forum, and threw three coins into the Trevi Fountain!
There is far too much information and sites to tell you about everything we saw; it is one of the birthplaces of Western civilization after all! I cannot recommend a trip to Rome highly enough. Also, whether or not you are a Catholic or any Christian faith, you must tour Vatican City
|The Mouth of Truth|
|Exterior of Colosseum|
|When these maps were referenced with Google Maps, they were over 80% accurate. Amazing when you think of the lack of technology of the era!|