My first day in Rome was so fantastic and I filled the day with as much of the tourist stuff I could. In the morning I started walking to the bus stop but my hunger decided to dictate my actions. In short order I found a cafe and in shaky italian/spanish I ordered a cappuccino and this little spiral orange pastry. The Cappuccino was fantastic and it pleased my OCD tendencies to unravel the little pastry after each sip of my drink . After finishing I took the bus into the center of the ancient city back to where I had arrived Roma Termini station From there I made my way to St Peter’s on foot.
I wanted to take in the city on foot and the city is so packed full of incredible sculpture and art it did not let me down. after passing by old fountains and buildings I stumbled upon the Pantheon. This giant building is truly impressive especially considering it was constructed in roman times. The inside though is the true marvel. Its dome is perfectly spherical.
As I continued on my way I passed over a river and eventually I could see the stone columns of St Peter’s ahead of me. Besides the beggars and pesky street venders it is truly a marvel, the scope of the plaza in front of as well as the front of the basilica alone are enough to make one take pause and wonder.
The columns form halls that lead you to the grand church itself. The security was fairly minor x-ray and metal detector. That day the line was fairly long, there was plenty to keep my mind busy.
As the line moved forward I made some small talk with a Irish woman and her daughter. They were both very excited she had been there before but her daughter had not. They asked about my travels and happy to have someone to share my story with told them everywhere I had been so far. At the entrance we parted ways, waving and smiling.
The only way I can really explain St Peter’s is as a spiritual place. It is truly giant and that plays a part but you are surrounded by masterpieces of sculpture and painting from the moment you step foot inside.
All of it draws you closer and closer to the back of the building where the ceremonies are held. The golden glow of Bernini’s masterpiece The Chair of St Peter truly looks like a gate to the heavens.
Michelangelo was the chief architect of the basilica and his style and attention to detail were evident everywhere. His pieta was one of the highlights of the visit as it is one of my all-time favorite sculptures.
After lingering as long as I could in the church within reason I made my way out and then around the Vatican walls to the Vatican Museum My visit there will be the topic of its own little write-up. If you don’t feel like checking it out though it was fantastic.
After staying in the museum until closing time I decided to make my way back to the flat on the other side of town. After passing by a couple of metro stations I finally ended up heading to the Colosseum station. I figured why not take a look around while I was at it! The size of the colosseum truly is astonishing. besides that the architectural beauty is also so classic. you could fit about 4 and a half football fields in total size.
The train sped me back to Roma Termini and Once I arrived I waited around for the bus to get me back to the flat. I watched a man get in a fist fight with the bus driver and no one even budged as this seemed to be somewhat regular behavior as the police seemed somewhat indifferent as they mosied over to see to the situation. My bus arrived ending the show and I noticed that no one was really scanning a ticket, one tourist asked about a ticket and just got told to sit down. This was to become something so regular that I just stopped worrying about tickets. I kept an old one on me just incase a bus driver got curious, but even this was over thinking. Once I returned to the Airbnb My host Giuliano asked me if I was planning on going out for food, I told him I was and he said he would call his cousin around the corner and tell him I was coming and to take care of me. Needless to say Giuliano was a super friendly guy who went out of his way to take care of me. He repeatedly apologized for having to work so much as he wanted to show me around the neighborhood.
I made the short walk around the corner to the little pizzeria and a tall bald man greeted me in english, Giuliano’s cousin he said as he showed me to my seat. He brought me a glass of wine as I decided on what to get. I asked him what his favorite was and he pointed at the sausage and mushroom pizza. That sounded fantastic and I went with that as I was tired and starving. It ended up being a good recommendation as the pizza was fantastic. Fresh cheese and mozzarella as well as local mushrooms and sausage. The crust was thin and crisp and I was in heaven.
After the pizza I decided to explore a little at night for a gelato place and 2 blocks later I found one. I never had gelato until this point and I figured rome would be a good place to begin my gelato consumption.
That’s all I got for now! Thanks for giving it a read, hope the photos were enough to keep your eyes happy. Keep a lookout for the museum adventure!