October 10, 2011

When In Rome

We were lucky enough to have some free time in Rome so we could do a little sightseeing! So, when in Rome...

The famous Scalinata Spagna (Spanish Steps) named after the Holy See, lead up to the French church, Trinita dei Monti. In the 18th century the most beautiful women and men of Italy would gather here hoping and waiting to be chosen as an artist’s model. 
Today it is filled with locals and tourists alike, and many beautiful people. However, no one asked me to model for them.J 

Peters Basilica! “The first burst of the interior, in all its expansive majesty and glory: and, most of all, the looking up into the Dome; is a sensation never to be forgotten” Charles Dickens, 1846. I, obviously, couldn’t say it better than Dickens! 

The Colosseum! (That’s how the Romans spell it) Construction began in 72AD and was completed in 80AD. Capable of seating 50,000 spectators this massive ancient structure is impressive! 
When my son, James, visited Rome several years ago he sent home photos and he was flexing his muscles in all of them. We wondered why. Then he said “I don’t know what it is, but everything about this city makes me want to flex!” J Now I know why! I couldn’t help but feel the excitement that must have filled this Colosseum 2000 years ago. I imagined myself being there as crowds of thousands of Romans pushed their way through the great entrance gates. The wealthy finding their place in seats of marble. Others hiking to the upper levels with benches made of wood. But, honestly, there are no bad seats in this Colosseum. I imagined the excited, riotous cheers as exotic, wild animals were let out into the arena. I imagined the thunderous shouts and shrills as Gladiators fought for their lives. So long ago and yet distance echoes of it all seem to still float in the air.

The Sistine Chapel leaves me speechless. I know, hard to believe. But words cannot describe it. It is truly one of the most, if not THE MOST incredible pieces of artwork ever created. Michelangelo is pure genius. 
The entire Vatican Museum is filled with spectacular works of art from paintings to sculptures to frescos, draperies and more. However, the hundreds of artworks you see on the way through the Vatican Museum to the chapel pale to a distant, bland recollection as soon as you see the ceiling. Like everything else in this extraordinarily exquisite city the photo does NOT do it justice.

Gelato! Did I mention how incredible the food is here? Did I mention that we indulged in the deliciousness of Gelato every single day!

I must confess, I like ice cream in all its wonderful varieties, but the Italians have created something purely magical with their Gelato. It is Heavenly. The best part is you get three flavors at once! My favorite combo: cioccolato al latte(milk chocolate), Coco(coconut), and Caramello(caramel). A trip to Italy would not be complete without this tasty treat.

Everyone should visit Rome. And when in Rome… enjoy the beauty, the grandeur and the delicious cuisine! 


  1. I love that you had gelato every day! Good thing you're walking lots. And I love that you got to see the Sistine Chapel. Maybe you'll go back with us when we go (whenever that is, who knows). And I love what you wrote about feeling the excitement that took place in the colosseum. That's my favorite part of historic travel (if you will), whether it's somewhere far away, or a near-by Civil War battlefield; actually feeling the people's ghosts.

  2. Amazing, Kristen! I loved the pictures and the summary of your feelings about each place! I too loved being there. I would like to go back. I have forgotten so much. -Amy