Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Semana Santa -- Rome

Photo Albums:

We landed in Rome in the mid afternoon and paid 11 € (ouch) for the train into Rome. When we got to the main station, Termini, we had no idea where we were but we had directions to the hostel and we walked around the station for about 30 minutes until we found the street we needed. Finally we arrived at the hostel, checked in to our room and then got a little rest before heading out to walk around the city.

The weather was fairly good so we just decided to walk around the city for a while looking at some of the more "touristy" things in the city. We saw a bunch of really cool monuments but didn't have any idea what they were or what they symbolized but we finally saw something we knew about -- the Spanish Steps. As we were walking down the steps, we ran into my friends from Alcala just by chance! We all decided to grab some dinner together and then go to the Colosseum for the Stations of the Cross -- to see the Pope! The program was quite long, about an hour and a half, but it was quite worth it to see "Il Papa" even though I am not Catholic.

The next day, my friend Liz and I, got up very early to get out to Vatican City to avoid the long lines at St. Peter's Basilica. Our plan worked and we only were in line for about 30 minutes. We got into the Basilica and WOW it was absolutely amazing. The structure on the inside was beautiful with intricate sculptures and memorials for past Popes. After walking around the interior of the Basilica, we took an elevator then what seemed like a million steps to the top of the dome for an epic (yes, epic) view of Vatican City and Rome.

Next up--the Vatican Museum. The World's Richest Art museum does not fail to impress guests, with art from all over and it's centerpiece -- The Sistine Chapel. There was mainly religious art -- obviously, but I even saw a mummy! With so many different things, it's better if you just check out the link to pictures at the top of this page.

After we were done with visiting the Vatican City, we decided to walk around Rome and visit some of the random "cool things" to see around the city. We saw the Trevi Fountains and the Pantheon -- with it's perfectly spherical dome that architects still marvel at today. At this point, we were pretty tired so we decided to head back to the hostel to get some food and rest up for the next day at the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

The Colosseum, the model for stadium architecture around the World and one of the most visited cites on the globe. It was very interesting to see the place where gladiators battled for their lives and the Roman Empire put on spectacles to keep the Plebeians entertained. If only walls could talk as history was just seeping from the grounds of the great building. The Roman Forum used to be the center of all things during the Roman Empire. With the old senate building, temples to all sorts of gods, and the burial mound of Julius Caesar. It was quite the experience to see the epicenter of the ancient world first hand. That was pretty much it for the day of sightseeing and after eating dinner, I lucked out and was able to watch the final round of the Masters on the TV in the hostel.

I didn't have any problems getting to the airport in Rome and made it back to Madrid. Once I returned, it was time to finish all the homework I didn't do during the week. Next update will come very soon about my trip to Barcelona.


No comments:

Post a Comment