ROMA! This was the city I was most excited to see on my tour of Europe. I have always dreamed of seeing the Colosseum for the first time. How I would feel? What would it be like? I anxiously anticipated touring the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, and the Trevi Fountain.
On my first day of Rome, I took the metro to Barberini. I got off at Barberini to see the Trevi Fountain and made my wish! It was so beautiful to see the fountain early in the morning because there were no other tourists there making a perfect photo opportunity. The fountain is a lot bigger than I had imagined. The architecture was absolutely stunning. Also, I learned that every night the money in the fountain is collected and donated to charity. If you throw in one coin that means you're returning to Rome. If you throw in two coins, that means you will meet a new love interest. If you throw in three coins, you will get married! I won't tell you how many coins I threw in.
Next stop was the Colosseum! It is considered one of the seven wonders of the world for a reason. I toured the inside. Some fun facts about the Colosseum: 75,000 people could fit inside and the whole Colosseum was built in only 12 years. As soon as I walked inside the Colosseum, I thought about Russel Crowe in Gladiator. I can picture the crowds of men and women sitting separately wearing white robes and waiting to be entertained. I also learned that it wasn't uncommon for people to bring their kids to these events to watch. The Romans brought the animals from other parts of Europe and the Middle East to fight against the gladiators. The animals were starved and locked in pitch dark dungeons so they never really had a fighting chance. I learned from my tour guide that Romans were not very civilized back then. These events at the Colosseum were their main form of entertainment. Even when they held plays, they would legitimately kill people in the death scenes instead of just acting it out to get the full effect for the audience.
On my last day in Rome, I toured the Vatican and saw the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo in the 16th century. The Vatican lies in the center of Rome and it is considered it's own country. Vatican City is the official residence of the Pope. I did learn that you can get your passport stamped there, but do not get it stamped. If you get your passport stamped there, it automatically makes your passport invalid. The artwork in the Vatican is absolutely stunning, I was just mesmerized and in awe. Once we entered the Sistine Chapel, photographs were not allowed. The entire room was filled with fresco paintings telling different narratives. The narrative begins at the altar and then is divided into 3 sections. In the first three paintings, Michelangelo illustrates the story of the Creation of Heaven and Earth, then the Creation of Adam and Eve and the Expulsion of the Garden of Eden, then the story of Noah and the Flood. The cost of the ticket is 16 euro and priceless.
I was trying to find the best way to describe and give the same feeling that Rome gave me. That's why I added the optional music below because this song is exactly how I felt in Rome. If you ever wondered what Rome feels like, press play and give it listen!
Rome, I loved you.
Off to Florence!