Our last full day in Rome was devoted to seeing the last of the major sights. The first thing we did in the morning was head to the Colosseum. Naturally, it was impossible to get in. The line was easily four hours long and any tour guide would have asked for outrageous fees to skip the lines. Jeff and I walked around the structure snapping pictures all the while vowing to come back to explore the inside. Hopefully, the scaffolding will be gone when we come back, too.
We walked into a huge monument to the first Italian King, Victor Emmanuel II. The structure was out of the world and resembled a Grecian monument to the gods. The artwork was sparse, but the main exhibit in the building was about Italian immigration. Of course, everything was in Italian, so we didn’t get the full enjoyment of the exhibit, but the pictures were astounding.
The main attraction of the monument was the rooftop panorama of the city. For €7, you ride an elevator to the top and view the city skyline. In the distance we could see the Colosseum, The Circus (where the Roman games were held), the Vatican, and even snow capped mountains in the distance. We stayed up there for a while watching the flood of bodies fill the streets. Rome was preparing for their 2,767th birthday complete with chariots and gladiators. We didn’t stay for too long due to the other things we wanted to see, but we did get the chance to see the chariots take their riders in full costume down the streets of Rome.
I don’t know how we keep running into the most random things when we travel, but it certainly makes for good fun and adventure. We were able to catch the changing of the Italian guard. Felt just like home.
The day before we came across a small fountain thinking it was the famous Trevi Fountain. Talk about a let down. We looked at it in the middle of a street roundabout completely disappointed. But I tossed my coin in and made a wish. Well, we were horribly mistaken. Our brain function was only at about four hours sleep, so when we saw the sign for the Trinity Fountain, we naturally assumed Trevi and Trinity were the same thing. Thankfully, they are not.
All the people who were at the Vatican were crammed around this giant fountain. We both felt so much better that we were staring at this marvel and not a small fountain near the Spanish Steps. I fished out another coin and tossed it in the fountain. Now, for sure, my wish will come true, right?
The last thing we did was to go see Santa Maria Della Vittoria which holds Bernini’s great masterpiece, the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. After so many sculptures and beautiful artwork, we both thought we wouldn’t be very impressed with it, but we were wrong. It was gorgeous and hidden away in a church off the beaten path. The church was not even listed on our tour map, which made us think there were so many things we didn’t see just because we didn’t know it was there.
All in all, our trip was successful. We should have planned better in getting tickets ahead of time, not just for trains, but for exhibits and monuments. But we now have an excuse to go back with our new found knowledge and do it thoroughly.
We are now planning our next trip to Paris at the end of May! If anyone has any recommendations for things to check out, feel free to leave a comment!