I finally got wifi in my apartment so I will catch up on what I did the last day in Rome and then my arrival in Firenze.
The last day in Roma was great, I visited the Vatican City which exceeded my expections. But it was a museum and a church......so get ready for some really exciting pictures!! :)
I went on Saturday which probably wasn't the best planning as it was pretty busy, but a beautiful day, sunny and breezy. I first went to St Peter's square and intended on climbing the dome right away, however the line was ennnnnndless. I actually took a video of it, I'll post it so you can see how long it was. I can't imagine being there in peek tourist season, usually even more busy. Luckily I had my Rick Steve's book and a little tip is to go to the Vatican Museum first and from there you get to the Dome through a side entry, by passing the long line (I thought I was so cool:).
The Vatican museum was beautiful, but I really went pretty quick through it, a person could spend days in it. But I bee-lined for the Sistine Chapel, which took me a good hour of meandering through the museum (and gift shop, watch out for the shipment of rosarys!). The Sistine Chapel was amazing and overwhelming...talk about spending days looking at something. It's beautiful but also the mechanics of painting such a masterpiece on a ceiling is what's really mind boggling.
After taking my shortcut I easily made it to the Basilica Dome. I did not quite prepare myself for the task ahead. The Climb to the top of the dome is spectacular views but a hard 500 stairs to climb! Not only is it the fact that you have to climb all those stairs but to the very top level the stairs become very tight, just allowing one body per stair, and they climb around the dome so you are against the round walls, making it a fun house effect. I have to admitt I did get a brief anxiety attack on my way up! It is small, crowded and it's not like you can just turn around....the only way to go is up up up!! The finally stairs are a spiral staircase with just a rope to hold onto! But once I reached the top I learned "Uff da" was a univerisally recognized phrase! lol. The view was spectacular and I am so happy I did the climb and also realized I am probably smoking to many Italian smokes! That night, legs shakey I made my way home and had a pizza at a local place near my hotel. I was very excited to make it to Firenze and be around people to talk to and hopefully make some friends in my program :) I was quite nervous about the train ride. On to Firenze!