I do not know what to say about Rome. I was fully prepared to have an underwhelming experience, but really have no concrete gripes with this place. Sometimes going into a situation with built in low expectations is the best thing that can happen. Some day, I may even get around to employing someone to travel around with me and talk about how much everything sucks, just so that my expectations would always be exceeded.
The food has been outstanding, the people a tad miserable though not necessarily rude(Italy has the most unhappy people in the West according to a recent poll by Cambridge University), and the sights are obviously world class. I cannot think of a more grand way to spend an afternoon than skipping along from the Colosseum to the Pantheon to the Vatican. Everyone should definitely visit, once.
We like Rome, but have definitely been in Italy for long enough. I have eaten so many cured meats that my stomach itself feels as though it is in the throes of the early curative process. I have perhaps said my last gratzi, though I may have a Ciao or two left in reserves. I could not imagine why anyone would want to live here, but The main thing that bothers me about Italy and Europe in general, is costs. Europe is an expensive place. Sure, we try to stay in local areas and eat with the local people, and this does cut down on costs considerably, but not enough. Food is just really damn expensive here. Our daily budget has decreased by about 5 euros each day due to dwindling reserves. I will provide a few rules on saving some money eating and drinking in Europe. The tourist price will usually be double a local price.
Our hotel has a shuttle that dropped up off here in the old area of Rome. And while I wish this strange little yellow van was our shuttle, it is not.
Some statues outside of the Capitoline Museums, one of these museums is the oldest public museum on the planet
The Capitoline Museums at Piazza del Campidoglio
Rome is one of those places where you can seriously just wander aimlessly and just stumble upon massive amounts of history.
Looking out over the ruins
We decided to walk along Via del Fori Imperiaii to the Colosseum
Some more statue
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Colonna Di Traiano. A column built it 113ad and covered in reliefs of early Rome victories
The column with some more recent historical buildings in the background
For the first hour or so, we really though we were going to have a pleasant day
The rains seemes to have stopped and some blue peaked out
Some Caesar dude. I wonder how it feels to be a country that once ruled the world, but has really really come far off its 2000 year highs.
The "you already know"
Krispin reading about Rome.
I believe this is the arch of Constantine, situated on the Colosseum grounds
In the Colosseum
Messing with perspective
It is very interesting to walk around this old structure. The seats are all long gone.
The grandness of it all really translates how great this place was
Kristin told me that animals came out of here
A cross section
The weather had changed for the worse
Florence, Rome, and Venice all have this wow quality, where, when you are in the right area, there are impressive sights in every direction. Rome definitely is the most impressive in this regard, but also the least charming.
Some mossy steps
The outer ring
Rome subway, complete with live music
Piazza Barberni. Kristin and I were wondering if this is the fountain where Tom hanks rescues the Cardinal in "Gods and Demons"
Kristin spending hard earned loot on wishes at Trevi
Rococo at its finest, Neptune at his most impressive
Crowds were not too bad
The Pantheon, and its perfect dome
Outside, we build up our anticipation
Entering the naturally lit chamber puts most entries to shame
Hard to believe it has been around for almost 2000 years
a column of rain fell through the center
The Pantheon was originally a burial chamber for the exalted, and now has essentially become a word that implies you are in very rare and talented company at the top
The tomb of Raphael
More interior statues
Directly outside of the Pantheon, rain was really starting to get on our nerves. We wanted to see as much as possible though, so we headed towards Vatican City.
I liked how these trees along the Tiber sort of formed an interpretive tunnel
Castel Sant' Angelo
I have not shaved in weeks, in fear that all of the rich food I have eaten has completely taken out my jawline
Castel San Angelo seems perfect in this weather
More views of the Tiber
Ponte Sant Angelo and Ponte Emanuele II
St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peters Square
Not too busy
It really feels like you are being watched in here
Obelisks are everywhere in Rome
Fountain and Dome
The very large entrance to St. Peter's
Place was pretty crowded
but not too bad
It is really so so big
Epic as it gets here on earth, and I suppose that is the point