Rome is absolutely beautiful in different ways than Paris and yet some things are the same. The roads are super narrow and the elevator is even smaller! I commented to our driver that there didn’t seem to be that many traffic lights in Rome. His response? “They are for decoration only, just like the lines on the road. We like to be creative with our driving!” #hesnotkidding. The good news is that both countries understand the importance of coffee. #Loveit Our hotel is very beautiful and right in the middle of everything with a private balcony and a terrace where we have breakfast and it’s sound proof when you’re inside. I think we actually found the real Gespetto and his workshop just two doors down. Lovely plazas and fountains and so many people from all over the world.
There is so much to do and see. Some of the highlights include the Coliseum, Pantheon, Vatican (#wheresthepope #fledthecountry), Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Basillica, the Sistine Chapel #shoutouttoMichaelangelo and the Forum.
Needless to say, you don’t worry so much about the pasta carbs when you do as much walking as we did. #sensibleshoes. #carsandpeoplesharetheroad We’re off to the Almalfi Coast to continue the adventure, but not before a few Kunkel observations:
- Coliseum- It’s incredible because it’s old and it makes you wonder what it was like to live that long ago. There are several displays in English and Italian that attempt to tell the story so again, we opted to tour on our own. It’s original intent was for entertainment (dance, drama, song) and at one point they had mock naval battles as the bottom part was filled with water and small ships. And then came the days of Gladiators (slaves that fought to the death and some who sought fame that weren’t slaves) and the persecutions of the Christians. I”d really like to believe that once the lineup of events changed, I never would have taken my family there, even if it was free, even if by today’s standards our seats would have been decent. Today, there is a cross in the core of what’s left and arches that represent the stations of the Cross. A sense of awe and a sense of sadness.
- The Vatican– Apparently the Pope double booked and was not there to greet us, as he had planned some kind of trip to the United States. No worries, we left a note on his pillow. The museum, basillica and chapel are breathtaking. The detail in everything is amazing. We were told that in Rome alone, there are over 300 churches, and some Italians joke that there are 365, one for each day of the year. We were told that some of the marble from the Coleseum was actually stolen and the presented as a gift to be used to build some of the churches. What talent and gifted artists. In the midst of all of this wealth and beauty, were the widows and orphans and those less fortunate always taken care of?
- The Guards: There were armed guards at the Louvre and more in Rome at various sites and embassies. There are also people who stand guard inside the Pantheon in front of the crypts of the first two kings of Italy. You must really love your country to stand at attention all day and not be able to talk or wave to anyone. #notmywheelhouse
- No Subway System. Because they are constantly excavating and finding new discoveries about ancient Rome, they have no underground rail system. They need to protect the past and what they might find. Even when you are just walking along or driving you will see areas that are fenced off from the latest find.