Friday, August 5, 2016

Day 2 - Rome in a day..... - August 5th

(pics to come after we return home)
Rome in a day……


We woke up pretty early our first day in Rome.  Actually, it was our only full day in Rome, so we wanted to pack as much in as possible.  We had tickets to the Vatican Museums for 12:30pm, and wanted to see pretty much everything before that, and Shawn made that happen.  

We started out by catching the shuttle from the Waldorf Astoria to town.  We then walked by a café close to a university and had cappuccino – one of the best cappuccino’s I’ve ever had.  After my very quick morning pick me up, I was ready for the day.  We walked from the café to the Spanish steps, which were closed, but we took pictures anyway.  They were doing some restoration of the steps by filling in micro cracks and small chunks that had fallen away over the course of time.

We then headed to the Coliseum, and on the way we stopped by Trevi Fountain.  That was pretty cool.  But again, they were doing some light ‘housekeeping’ by sweeping up the massive amount of money in the fountain.  We hung out for a bit before heading onto the Coliseum.  

Holy crap!  There TONS of people there.  From what we learned later, it’s not normally that busy there.  We just happen to come to Rome on a very busy day.  The Coliseum was pretty awesome – large, old, crumbling – everything you’ve ever watched on the Discovery Channel.  

From the Coliseum we went towards Palantine Hill near the Forum.  As an aside, we had eaten no food, only coffee for me, and it was about 984% humidity and approximately 85 degrees.  We were walking pretty quickly to get everything done in a decent amount of time, and by the time we got to the hill, we were pretty spent.  Both of us were dripping sweat and chugging water, but it wasn’t nearly enough.  Trying to recover from the time change, and walking over 7 miles while in Rome, we thought we were pretty close to death while climbing a decent hill – with no breeze – dripping sweat – with no food.  Get the picture here?  It was damn near miserable – except we were in Italy, y’all.  That was the only redeeming factor.  Well, that and the historical aspect of it all.

Moving on……  After we trudged down Palantine Hill hear the Forum, we walked to the Pantheon.  This was a pretty cool experience.  Not temperature cool of course, but an awesome experience to be able to sit in the Pantheon and reflect for a little while.

From there we walked to Vatican City where we were directed to walk around the outer wall and to the museum entrance.  We had wisely pre-purchased tickets, otherwise we would have stood in a que for nearly two hours.  We should the gorgeous Italian guard…or was he policia?  I can’t remember, because O-M-G!  The Policia here are freaking adorable.  Like models, adorable.  I know I’m minimizing these gentleman based on their looks, but holy crap – the younger (30-something) guys look like they are straight out of a magazine.  Back to my point…..we showed the guard our e-ticket and were directed right in.  For the first time all day we were in air-conditioning and there was a bathroom.  An actual bathroom.  Cause y’all, those are a little hard to come by in Italy.  

The museums were packed to the gills with people.  I’ll spare you the details of the Sistne Chapel, but it was pretty damn awesome.  After winding our way through the museum, and through the troves of people, we finally made it into the main area where the Hand of God was giving life to Adam.  It – was – breathtaking!  The Policia wouldn’t allow pictures, and to my shame, I snapped some secret pictures.  I had to.  This was God.  Giving life to Adam.  As depicted by Michelangelo.  IN THE 1500’s!  There’s no way to explain that experience. There’s just not.

From there we walked through the Vatican Museum which was also amazing.  But nothing, in my humble opinion, can compare with God giving Adam life.  

By this time it was nearly 1:30pm or 2:00pm – things were pretty hazy because we were so exhausted and famished, so we made our way to the cafeteria in museum area.  We had some pasta, yogurt and some much needed water.

After leaving the Vatican we just couldn’t walk anymore, but we pushed on to visit a local grocery store to purchase some items for an al fresco dinner.  We purchased yogurt, fresh mozzarella, salami, prosciutto, strawberries, fresh baked bread and a few bottles of water.  We had decided after lunch, and after walking over 7 miles in the heat, sun and horrid humidity, that we were done for the day and wanted to stay in for dinner.  Thankfully, we did.  We were spent.

Once we got back to our hotel we collapsed and fell asleep for a few hours. By the time we woke up, we snacked, relaxed and called it a night.