Monday, June 13, 2011


Sorry for the delay in posting, but we had a packed weekend of events and very sketchy Internet access.  The whole group, yes..all 46 of us...headed to Rome for the weekend.  We started very early Friday morning and arrived in Rome by 10:30.  Had time to drop our bags at the hotel and then head out to meet our guides for the tour of the Vatican. 

What can I say?  It was amazing!  We started with the Vatican Museum which houses thousands of art works including paintings, sculptures, and tapestries. 

I will post pictures, but they definitely do not do it justice.  You just need to add this to your "bucket list."  After the museum we visited the Sistine Chapel. Our guide, Ned, was a little verbose, but extremely knowledgable.

We learned EVERYTHING about the Chapel ceiling including the artists, the story depicted, and the politics behind getting it completed.  Did you know that Michelangelo worked 17-18 hour days and it took him 4 years to complete the ceiling and The Last Judgment?  He stayed in bed for one entire month when he was finished.  Also, there was one religious leader who told the Pope he didn't really like the way the painting was looking.  The next time he went to check on the progress, Michelangelo had included the critic's face on one of the sinners in hell in The Last Judgment. 

After the Chapel, we made our way to St. Peter's Basilica.  WOW!  The church will hold 60,000 people!!  And they allow 17,000 tourists at a time.  So, we were there with 16, 950 of our new closest friends.  :) But words cannot desribe this place.  Grandeur beyond your wildest imagination. 

Michelangelo's Pieta

Even though we were all pretty much exhausted by this point, it was worth it all.  But by the time we finished walking around the Basilica with guides constantly talking in our ears, we all felt like this:

So, after a harried subway ride...trying to keep up with 42 college students in a metro during rush hour..., we checked into our hotel rooms.  A quick dinner and then back to the hotel to rest and enjoy our first night's sleep with air conditioning in almost 3 weeks!  AHHHH!!! 

The next day started early again.  We had the same guides from the previous day.  First, we went to the Forum and the Roman ruins.  

When you think about all of this being here for thousands of years, it kind of puts time into perspective.  We are all just here for the blink of an eye.  Once again our guide was full of colorful stories as he dramaticized the murder of Ceasar and the actions of Marc Anthony as he carried the body through the crowd of citizens.  He really made the stones around us come to life. 

From here, we moved on to the Colisseum.  One!  We had all seen the postcard before, but nothing prepares you for seeing it in person.  It's so huge and again, so amazing that's it's still around after all these years. 

The Colisseum ended our guided tours for the weekend and although we enjoyed them and learned a lot, I don't think any of us was sad to see the ear buds go! 

So, our own personal guide, George, took over and we headed to the Pantheon.  But there were so many interesting things to see along the way.  It's just a very unique city with so much history.  The Pantheon was great too, but I have to say that once you've seen the Sistine Chapel and the Basilica, all other churches pale in comparison.  But...nevertheless...Pantheon...check!  After this we walked to the Trevi Fountain.  How beautiful!  We all threw our coins in and made wishes.  The theme song from the old movie "Three Coins in a Fountain" kept playing in my head. 
On Sunday we had a free tours!!  YEAH!!  A group of us went to the Villa Borghese gardens.  It was so pretty and peaceful.  It was nice to be out of the hustle for a few hours.  We rented these fun bicycles and pedaled around the park for an hour. 
All in all it was a great weekend in Rome!  But by the end of Sunday we were all ready to get back "home" to Florence.  Funny how we think of this place as home after only a few weeks.  Here we know our way around and we know where to get the best pizza and the best kebale,.  Yes, this is home...for another 3 weeks.  Casa dolce casa!

1 comment:

  1. Man I am loving that picture you posted of us Mrs. Pat. I must say mine is a little better though. :) Thanks for not getting mad at me.