I, along with 3 friends, spent a long weekend in Rome over Halloween weekend. Here's some Halloween spirit we saw at an outdoor market:
During our first day in Rome we had a wonderful tour of St. Peter's Basilica. We were accompanied by my dad's friend's friend, Father Joe. He is lives in Vatican City and is an archbishop and canon of St. Peter's. He met us at the bus stop and then brought us into St. Peter's through a back entrance. He then showed us several rooms, one of which was a private sacristy for the canons to prepare for services. After this we went down to the part of St. Peter's that is open to the public and he pointed out the highlights. One thing that stuck in my head was the size of it. On the floor there were markers of other huge cathedrals in the world. The markers showed us where each of those cathedrals ended...none of them even came close to the size of St. Peter's!
Next we went down to the chapels which surround the tomb of St. Peter. In addition we saw tombs of some previous Popes that had passed away. After this Father Joe brought us up to his lovely apartment. He had just come from Kuwait so he also served us some cookies from Kuwait...YUM! We all enjoyed meeting him, he is a very warm person with a great sense of humor (he had us laughing quite a bit). I wish that I had asked more questions but I was so in awe of everything that I did not know what to ask!
Here is a view from the top of St. Peter's:
Here is a view from the outside of it:
And finally from the inside:
And here is my favorite part, the Swiss Guards...
as well as a funny story to go along with them: At the end of our visit, Father Joe was sure to take us out this particular door because as an archbishop, the guards are required to salute him. He said he did this so that everyone thought they were saluting us ;) Unfortunately I have no photo of this (I took this one after the fact) but a lot of tourists do...on the other side of this were a ton of tourists taking our pictures!
Here is a monument. For some reason the part I remember most about it is the fact that you cannot sit on these steps. If you do a guard will come over and blow a whistle in your ear! We witnessed that quite a few times.
Here is the Colosseum from the inside (apologies but my pix from the outside didn't come out very well). You are looking at the basement of the stadium, this part was originally covered by the gladiator floor, which is where men and animals used to fight one another. The basement held various animals until it was time to fight and they were then brought up onto the floor through a series of pulleys and trap-doors
Here is the Trevi Fountain...there were too many people to get a better picture.
We also did lots of walking and wandering and came across lots of beautiful scenes, such as the one above.
Wow I have written all this and have yet to even mention the food! As a pasta lover I was in pasta heaven. Everything was so fresh and done to perfection. Not a strand of spaghetti went over-cooked ;) Also the language is gorgeous. I was able to understand a bit because it is similar to French and Spanish but I would like to be able to speak it! As far as communication goes, there were many who spoke English but I found they understood me better when I spoke in Spanish because the languages are more similar.
Okay I did it, I finally made my Rome post...I hope that wasn't too long for you. I tried to keep it as short as possible