Euro Trip: Rome, Italy

April 4–8, 2017 | Our third stop during our spring break was in Rome, the booming city of history, art, and tourists. 

Our hotel in Rome was located along the Vatican City wall, and it ended up being a strategic location given our early morning Vatican tour the first morning of our stay. Though the Vatican often comes up in conversation, I didn’t know what to expect.

One of the most surprising things to me was the quantity of art that the Vatican holds inside its walls. Our early access pass to the Sistine Chapel was certainly a highlight of the visit to the smallest country on earth, but in order to arrive at the chapel, we had to walk through what seemed like a dozen hallways covered with priceless pieces of art.

Hallway filled with art, including the back of my head in the foreground ;)

When we finally did arrive at Sistine Chapel, we were floored. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed inside the chapel, but I no doubt recommend visiting it when you go. Michaelangelo’s (and all the other artist’s) contributions truly make the space feel special.

St. Peter’s Basilica from a distance

Bit by bit we started to understand the grandiosity of Rome, especially upon entering St. Peter’s Basilica. I really had no idea what to expect, but even after having seen some of the other great cathedrals in Europe, this one took my breath away.

Soldiers of the Swiss Guard, de facto army/security of the Vatican

We spent close to 8 hours inside the Vatican City walls, and we were sure to pick up our first gelato (pictured below) on the way back to our hotel. This filled us up for the afternoon until we went to a delightful dinner at a charming restaurant across from our hotel. Jenni’s pizza was definitely the highlight there, though the homemade pasta was quite good as well.

Jenni’s pizza at Locanda di Pietro

I might have been tempted to think that after the Vatican, nothing would seem that impressive. How wrong I would have been to think that! Our stay kept getting better. The main activities over the next few days included touring many Roman ruins from Ostia Antica to the Coliseum to the Roman forum. No trip to Rome would be complete with selfie pics at Trevi Fountain, so alas, we happily stopped by (after grabbing some more gelato).

Pictures tell the story better than words, so have a look!

-T

Majestic bird atop an interesting art piece inside the Vatican
The first of many cones of gelato
Roman theater at Ostia Antica
More ruins at Ostia Antica
Nancy enjoying the tour!
L'arcangelo mini cars
First time I had seen toy cars as table decorations
Some of the best scallops we’ve ever tasted
A tranquil-looking Trevi Fountain, conveniently hiding hundreds of people
Moody clouds and Spanish Steps
Storms brewing above the Spanish Steps
Jenni at Spanish Steps
Jenni looking happy on the Spanish Steps
The Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Roman Forum and two teeny humans
Tim and Jenni under a massive Roman
Italian pride
The Italian Flag waving proudly outside the Alter of the Fatherland
Mini Mini Mini
Smaller vehicles like this are common
Pantheon circles
Looking up at the ceiling of the Pantheon
Laundry day
An Italian lady drying out her apron
Market veggies
Fresh produce at a market we stumbled upon