Wednesday, July 25, 2012

ITALY Rome | Day 5

When in Rome...
St Peter's Dome (Basilica)
DAY 5: We started our day with our buffet breakfast at our hotel {which was amazing and really nice to have at all 5 of the hotels we stayed at}.  We lounged in our hotel room for a few hours, then took a taxi to our lunch spot called Duecento Gradi {does this mean 200 degrees?} which was right next to the Vatican Museum where I had made reservations for 1:30, or 13:30. We had sandwiches and sat at the bar in the restaurant. They had a bunch of sandwiches advertised with this special 200 degree sauce which is why I thought that might be the translation.

Our sandwiches
The wall at Duecento Gradi, I joked it was the map of Rome
After lunch, we walked to the Vatican Museum.  We got to skip the line because I made reservations which turned out to be really nice. We got lost in the museum a couple times, but it was really amazing to see huge rooms with statues {on this trip we determined that we both like statues better than paintings}. Get this – just after we listened to the Vatican intro on our Rick Steve’s audioguides where he says that 10,000 people visit the Vatican every single day, we ran into our friend’s parents! It was total serendipity! We knew we were both going to be in Venice at the same time the following week, so we had planned a dinner, but we didn’t even know we were both going to be in Rome at that time – and to run into them was just totally crazy! Like Jake said, to be in the exact same spot, at the exact same time is just so hard to believe.  We chatted for a few minutes and then parted ways {we did reunite in Venice at the end of our trip}. How is that for it’s a small world! 
at the Vatican Museum entrance
Statue with baby

There were rooms and rooms full of Roman statues

This looks important... love how the light shines on it!
I loved this ceiling!

Jake said when he took this photo, our camera recognized the sphinx as a face {it highlights faces in green boxes}
The ceiling looked like this for an entire hallway... Incredible!
Amazing huge tapestry
We spent 2 hours at the Vatican and skipped probably half of it due to time constraints but we did see the Sistine Chapel at the very end of the visit and it was incredible. Just so much to look at, absolutely crazy that Michaelangelo was able to paint it all! They said he did it standing up, not lying down as people previously thought.  I cannot imagine standing up, and bending my neck back like that. My neck was sore just from trying to stare up at the ceiling for ½ hour.  We snuck some photos even though there is a man yelling NO PHOTO and SILENCIO the entire time.    

Sneaking our fist photo of the ceiling! Can you spot God and Adam in the center?
The color is so bright! Amazing!
Sistine Chapel!
Rick Steve’s taught us about a secret exit to get to the dome climb at St Peter’s Basilica.  We took the elevator up part way and then climbed the 300+ steps to see this gorgeous view of Rome.  It was claustrophobic at times, but well worth it! I highly recommend doing it.   
View from the top after all out hard work climbing! It was worth it!
Amazing view!
View of the Vatican Gardens
After the dome climb, we checked out St. Peter’s Basilica {per Rick Steve’s, it’s the grandest church on Earth}. I haven’t been to many churches but I would definitely agree. It was HUGE and glorious! 
St Peter's Church
Famous statue of Jesus where people line up to kiss his toe {look how flat it is from all that love}
The pieta behind bullet proof glass in St Peter's Church
I actually got in trouble for not having my shoulders covered, but luckily I had my cardigan in my purse.  The man who scolded me waited until I put it on before he walked away. Oops. It is tough to wear a cardigan when its 90+ degrees, but I did. I wanted to be respectful of the church.  
Our room service dinner and I just noticed my clothes in the corner.... nice touch.
We had room service for dinner – lasagna and pasta {it was actually very good}.  We never order room service so it was kind of fun to try to make a point once in a while to do it.  After dinner, we did something super fun and secret that I will be able to tell you about in 3-6 months.  Now, now... get your mind out of the gutter.  Then, we got back to our room and relaxed.   We gave each other footrubs with peppermint foot lotion that I picked up for us back in Seattle. I read that tip in the Rick Steve’s forum online and I think it really helped my poor feet.

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