I will refrain from giving you all the details that are only interesting to me, but it really was a fabulous trip. The only thing that would have been better is if my family had come with me. But, going with a girlfriend comes in a close second!
I won't bore you with all the pictures that you could easily find online or in a book. Plus, they really don't do Rome justice. Do you remember when you visited a historic place in the US? Perhaps you've been to Washington DC, or to Gettysburg, or to Philadelphia. When you visit those places, you often have this feeling...almost a solemness of what occurred on the place you're standing. The idea that you're standing on a piece of history is quite awesome. Well, imagine that history being multiplied by about 20. Where the US is about 200 years old, Rome is about 3000 years old. I stood on the place that the apostle Peter was martyred. The apostle Peter!! He knew Jesus for goodness sake!! I stood in the cathedral where Peter's remains were right under my feet. I saw the place where Julius Caesar was stabbed. I walked the halls of the Colosseum where the gladiators fought. I walked under to ceiling of the Sistine Chapel where Michelangelo painted the most important piece of art in history. When I stood in the Sistine Chapel, is was so moved by the gift that God had obviously given this man. We just don't see art like that anymore. I'm not even a real "artsy" person, but I know an incredible gift when I see one.
This picture shows a small portion of The Pieta, a statue which shows Mary holding the crucified body of Jesus. Yes, I know that this didn't really happen, but look at it! Michelangelo did this when he was 24 years old!! Anyway, I was moved.
And...the food was amazing. The driving was frightening. The language is beautiful. Now, I'm going to say something here, but I'm depending on you to not read anything into this...but, I could listen to a man speak in Italian all day! I don't need to know what he is saying...and he doesn't even need to be speaking to me... Actually, watching Italians have a conversation is as entertaining as the language itself.
OK, I lied...just to prove that I was actually there, here are just a couple of pictures :-)
Here's me on the way to the Colosseum.
Here's the inside of the Colosseum. I was right...a picture just can't do it justice... It had a seating capacity of about 50,000. The magnitude of what went on as "entertainment" was very sobering.
Here's me next to a big marble bathtub. A girl could really relax in this. This is in the Vatican Museum, the place that houses the Sistine Chapel. We weren't allowed to take pictures in there, but it was amazing.
Here's the view from my hotel room balcony. That long blue thing you see going across the picture is an awning that covers seating for a parade they were going to have the next day. Just past the awning, you can make out some arches, which are a tine bit of the ruins of The Forum. This is like the "Washington DC" of Rome. It's the center of ancient Rome's government, trade, etc...
Here's a picture of me sitting in front of the famous Trevi Fountain. I believe that is a statue of Triton...he's huge! Tradition says that if you make a wish and then throw 3 coins in the fountain, your wish comes true. The city takes the money in the fountain and gives it to a local orphanage. All the water in all the fountains in Rome is fresh and clean. You can take your water bottles to any fountain and fill up! This is one of the largest and most beautiful fountains. During the time we were at the fountain, we saw 3 wedding parties taking their pictures there.
OK, that's all. I don't want you to fall asleep at your computer!