We are in Italy?!?!Kev and I have both dreamed of being here since we were kids and now we are seeing all of Rome in 3 days.Our boat docked in Civitecchia, Italy at 8 am on July 1st and from that moment on we were off in the bus to Rome.We stayed in a Bed and Breakfast with Kevin's roommate Cameron and his girlfriend Danni (and actually a few others that crashed on our floor b/c they lost their group)!Everything building is Rome was more magnificent than the next.It was as if each one was trying to out do the next.One of my favorite things was seeing ancient historical buildings in the background with modern ones in the forefront.It was incredible to know that so much life has happened in this one city (probably more than any other one in the world!).On the first day, our bus dropped us off at St. Peter's Square where the Pope was actually giving a blessing.It was cool! It's free admission into St. Peter's Square and the Basillica (inside the front part) but we were on a mission to see the famous Sistine Chapel.Of course, being the savvy internet generation we are, Kev and I booked our Vatican Museum tickets online and skipped all the lines!Well…. All of them until we actually got into the museum… and then we looked like a big herd of cattle!To make it to the Sistine Chapel you have to go through several different exhibitions starting with the Map Room (old maps of different places in the world), the Drapery Room (HUGE woven rugs that looked like paintings), the modern art museum (a Picasso-style painting of a Cardinal was Kevin's favorite haha!), and then finally... you are there!
For those of you that don't know, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel and it took him FOUR years to paint it.He actually did not paint it on his back like most legends say, he actually was standing with his arm straight up.Just ask my Dad how hard that is to do on a job site and you'll understand how incredible it is that he did this for FOUR years straight.Another interesting fact is that it took the Vatican TWENTY years to restore the painted ceiling!For such a remarkable thing, the museum staff did not do a great job monitoring people with in the chapel.Everyone was packed in there like a can of sardines and it was not quiet out of respect for such a place.It almost took away from the experience of being there but then you just looked back up at the ceiling and saw the famous depiction of Jesus touching the fingertip of God and you remember how amazing an artist Michelangelo is.
From the Sistine Chapel we head to our B&B so we didn't have to carry around our backpacks in such a crowded city.After regrouping ourselves we decided to explore the city.We walked from the Vatican to the other side of Rome seeing many amazing monuments along the way such as St. Angelo's Castle.While getting our barrings around the city, thick black angry clouds rolled in within seconds and let open the floodgates.Obviously we didn't have an umbrella so Kevin and I ran in the rain until we came across a restaurant for a snack.It was hilarious!Apparently we didn't get the memo that around 4 pm every day it rains in Rome! HahaBut we had fun running around in it!
The second day, Kevin and I had bought online tickets to go see the Coliseum, the Palestine Hill, and the Roman Forums! The coliseum was incredible to say the least!Every square inch of it was magnificent. To think that at one point it was made out of marble that has since been stripped away by Roman was ridiculous.Can you imagine a baseball/football/soccer stadium these days made out of marble?The Coliseum was made to hold roughly 80,000 spectators for FREE.Every event there was FREE as long as you got there early enough to get a seat… maybe we should pass that memo along to the Giants and see if they will take that up? Hmmmm…
After seeing those three mind-blowing pieces of history, Kev and I decided to get dressed up and walk from the Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain.If you ever want to know what to do in Rome for the night, head to the Spanish Steps and just listen to people.It is the center of nightlife in Rome.The Trevi Fountain was amazing.As the legend goes, you must throw a coin from your right hand over your left shoulder and you will return to Rome so OF COURSE Kev and I did that!While meandering the streets of Rome from the Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain, Kev bought me MY BIRTHDAY PRESENT! He got me a white Prada purse and a Swaroski Crystal bracelet!!! I am a very, very, very lucky girl and love it so much!I love him so much too! J
The 3rd day we all slept in a bit and then headed to the train to make our way down to Naples.Now, Naples is notoriously the "Pickpocket Capital of the World" so we clutched our belongings in a death grip and did not let up until we reached our hostel for the night.Naples was nothing spectacular; it was very dirty…garbage every where… and little Gypsy children running around!So the next morning we woke up and head to our ship where we hung out during the two days while in Naples as did many people.We did go to the first pizza place EVER! It started in 1780 and was the must remarkable pizza I've ever had.I'm not a huge fan of pizza so if I'm saying this, the pizza must be goooooood!!! 50% of Naples is run by the Mafia, as quoted in a text book on board the ship, but we decided after much speculation and "investigation" that Brandi's (the pizza place) was not run by the Mafia after all… bummer! ;)
Well, I hope you guys feel like you were in all these places with us because we both wish you were here!!NEXT STOP DUBRAVNIK, CROATIA! XOXO
Andria and Kevin