On the last day of my weekend in Rome my sister and I walked around the streets of Rome without any particular goal. It was Sunday and the Roman streets were busy, both with Rome's inhabitants and sightseeing tourists. So below are photos from our Sunday Walk In Rome as well as some photos of the Italian food I tried in Rome. :-)
Sunday entertainment in Rome, Italy.
Now there were many ways to get around in Rome.
Like via a guided tour on Segways.
Horse and carriage.
Or of course via the many popular Open Roof Sightseeing Buses.
But no matter how you got around in Rome, there sure was a lot to see there. Like this stunning building for example, The Ministry Of Culture And Heritage.
My favourite statue on that building.
Behind The Ministry Of Culture And Heritage was this church.
With many steps.
Also nearby was another piazza with more fascinating statues and buildings. My sister pointed out that the men holding the horses in those statues in fact look bigger than the horses...hm.
When we got up to the piazza we arrived in the middle of an Italian wedding party - "Salute!". ;p
Another interesting statue.
A roundabout in Rome.
At the beginning of Via Del Corso, a busy shopping street in Rome.
A typical side street in Rome.
One of many markets we encountered this Sunday in Rome.
Hand bags were a common sight at the markets.
As were different type of paintings.
We also saw many various street performers, "Hello.".
Roasted chestnuts, another common item for sale along the streets of Rome.
Snack carts like this one were also a common sight in Rome.
As were pizza shops.
And of course Gelato shops - Italian ice cream.
All I can say is Y-U-M-M-Y!!
My Gelato with melted chocolate and forest berry flavour. It was so good, not as cold as "normal" ice cream though and I thought it had a lot more depth in flavour as well.
Shopping in Rome, still at Via Del Corso.
The Italian river the Tiber which run through Rome, in fact the Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy.
You could canoe along the Tiber.
Or, why not live there?
We, however, chose to just walk along the river on this very narrow pavement.
Along the river we saw this beautiful church.
The Supreme Court of Cassation, impressive building indeed.
Then it suddenly started to rain...
After the rain we arrived at Castel Sant'Angelo, or in English - Castle of the Holy Angel.
Which was opposite this bridge.
Castel Sant'Angelo from the other side of the river, almost.
Fooooood! There were many small Italian restaurants like this one in Rome.
This is a Burschetta
I had at one of them, I absolutely loved (love) that "ham".
Pasta Carbonara, tasted alright.
Seafood Risotto. This one was so and so, mainly because of all those mini/baby squid - not what I had in mind when I ordered it...
Pizza! My last dinner in Italy. This pizza tasted alright as well.
Now I had pizza slices for lunch every day in Italy, which actually all tasted a bit different. The best pizza slice I had though was one with fresh herbs, mushrooms, cheese and tomato -which I of course I did not take a photo of... Hehe. I was too hungry! But I found that the pizza dough in Italy was more salty compared to what we have in Sweden. They were also quite sparse with the pizza toppings, and there were usually not that many toppings to choose from either. The same goes for pasta, which usually was served in pesto or tomato sauce. So quite a lot of carbs in Italian food in Italy, at least where we ate. :p
In reality, considering I took over 2000 photos as well as some videos in Rome, I do of course have much more to share from my weekend in Rome. But I will save that for another time, or perhaps even another blog... Because I am currently working on starting up a travel blog called TheTravelingSoul.com, however due to a massive lack of time at the moment it is taking a bit longer than I had anticipated to get it up and running. Having said that, my plan is though to have a blog all about my travels in the near future. But I will be back with more info about that as soon as I get it going.
Anyway, Rome. I know have said it before, but I cannot say it enough - I did indeed have a great time in Rome. It is such a lovely historic city with so much to see, do and eat. In fact, Rome is an excellent example of why I think traveling is the best way to learn about the world, people, culture, our past and have a good time while doing so. In other words, my birthday weekend in Rome was a wonderful, educational, fun and exhausting weekend which I am very grateful I had the chance to experience with my beloved sister. So thanks for an unforgettable weekend sis! :-)
Next time I will be back with updates from Sweden, and I would not be surprised if my pretty little Lisen pops up in that post as well. So see ya'll then. :p
We spent the second half of my birthday at the amazing Vatican Museums in Rome, Italy. I had heard of it of course, but I had no idea of how big it was or of how much stunning art was actually in there. And even though the most famous part of the Vatican Museums undoubtedly is the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's beautiful ceiling artwork and the “Last Judgment”, the Vatican Museums also contained numerous masterpieces of paintings, sculptures and other works of art collected by popes through centuries. So I basically went "ooo" and "aaa" all my way through there. Also, because of this, it was not at all easy to pick out which photos to include in this post. But below are the ones I finally decided to go with, Photos From The Amazing Vatican Museums In Rome.
The Vatican Museums were located about one kilometer from the St. Peter's Basilica.
To get there we had to walk along the Vatican Wall which surround the Vatican City.
Quite a big wall by the way.
Before we got to the main part of the Vatican Museums we passed through this courtyard.
Where we could read about the artwork in the Vatican Museums on boards before we entered.
The tour begins. There were a lot of sculptures in the Vatican Museums.
This one is of Laocoön and His Sons. Laocoön was a priest who advised against letting the wooden horse inside Troy, but not only was his warning ignored the Gods also sent serpents to kill him and his sons. Which is what this sculpture is of, so quite sad actually.
Now I am not sure if this is a God dog? But it was a dog, so of course I had to take a photo of him. ;-)
But what really struck me were all these long halls packed with amazing art from top to bottom!
Stunning ceiling in the Gallery of Maps.
Another fantastic hall filled with art.
And all of these fantastic roofs!
Of course most of the artwork in the Vatican Museums are related to the Bible. And although I could not place all paintings, when I could recognize one it was very interesting to see the artist's interpretation.
Not quite sure which scene this is for example, but I have a few in mind.
This looks like when Jesus got baptized?
War. A mega painting by the way.
The infamous Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s artwork on the roof and his "Last Judgment" on the wall straight ahead. The walls on the side were also filled with art by other well known artists, but it is of course Michelangelo’s that is most famous here. And while we were in there the guards kept saying "schh" every other minute, because it is after all a chapel.
Now this was something, huge carpets of art!
This is the Tapestry of the Resurrection of Christ based on a cartoon by Raphael's school. Very vivid.
Looks like a highly interesting conversation indeed.
I found this painting quite intriguing for some reason, I think it is of Moses?
Now I wish I could have remebered what all the paintings were of, but I just don't have that good of a memory... I researched some, but could not find information about all of the ones I have posted here. But I think they kind of speak for themselves anyway. :-) Either way, I can say that I was very tired after this day of non-stop walking and climbing stairs. And having just become one year older, well it felt like my body ached just a tiny bit extra that night. Lol! Naw, it was actually not that bad to turn 30. Now I just won't ever mention my age again! ;p But seriously, I can honestly say that I will never forget this birthday because it was a truly amazing and unforgettable day in many ways.
Moving on, next post will be my last one from Rome and it will include photos from the streets of Rome as well as my experiences with some of the Italian cuisine. A rather yummy post in other words. :-)
On my birthday we decided to spend the day visiting the stunning St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and the Vatican Museum (Sistine Chapel). Now I had heard that you should be prepared to stand in line for about two hours to get into the St. Peter's Basilica, wow! Though, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical when I heard that - I mean really, two hours to get into a church? But, the rumors were true! Although, we ended up "only" having to queue for about 1,5 hours to get in. Even so, the waiting time was definitely worth it!! And it did not feel like it took that long either because the queue moved pretty much all the time. It was also quite fun to see how newly arrived people became just as stunned as I was when I realized where the queue started. Lol! But finally we got to go through the security check (which was what the queuing was for) and proceed into the very beautiful St. Peter's Basilica, where I of course managed to take a crazy amount of photos (as usual)...
So, initially my plan was that this post would be with photos from both the St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. But because I really want to share enough photos to be able to convey my experience properly from these places, I have decided to divide my birthday visits into two posts. Therefore this post will be all about the St. Peter's Basilica and the next post all about the Sistine Chapel. So below are photos from my birthday at The Stunning St. Peter's Basilica In Rome. :-)
My sister and I were not the only ones on our way to the St. Peter's Basilica...
The St. Peter's Basilica seen from down the road of the St. Peter's Square.
Now in Roman Catholic tradition the St. Peter's Basilica is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. It is also said that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. The St. Peter's Basilica is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and it remains one of the largest churches in the world. Some of its architects are; Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Raphael, Donato Bramante and Carlo Maderno. The St. Peter's Basilica is located in the Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world. Each year nearly 4 million people visit St Peter's Basilica.
And this is where the queue to St. Peter's Basilica started, in the middle of St. Peter's Square...
... and it continued all around the square.
After 1,5 hours we finally got to go into the St. Peter's Basilica.
View over the St. Peter's Square from the entrance to the church.
Beautiful art we saw on our way to the elevator to get closer to the top of the tallest dome in the world.
And I am very glad we paid 7 Euros to take the elevator by the way! Because, although it says 320 stairs to the top of the dome AFTER taking the elevator, it felt like a lot more!!!
Halfway to the top of the dome we stopped in here to check out the view.
A very glowing roof.
With many, sacred I am sure, men.
The walls were also filled with beautiful art.
And now we are on our way up to the top of the dome via the very narrow 320 stairs...
N-A-R-R-O-W I tell ya!
But, once we made it up all the stairs and after I caught my breath and drank a ton of water (maybe I am not in very good shape...lol) this is the view we were greeted by. So climbing those narrow steps up all the way there was worth it indeed! And this is the classic view over the St. Peter's Square, where you can also see the never ending queue...
View over the Vatican Museum.
Of course my sister and I were not the only ones up there.
Here we have gone back down those 320 very narrow steps to the halfway point again.
And here I am looking up at the dome we just came down from.
We were aaall the way up there.
At the halfway point I also took a closer look at these fellows, namely Jesus and his disciples.
Who look like this from the ground.
Finally we entered the main part of the St. Peter's Basilica, where it naturally was very crowded.
But I can certainly see why it was, and always seem to be, so many people there - it is filled with stunning art!
And all so vivid.
The biggest altar I have ever seen! More specifically this is Bernini's first work at St. Peter's - The Baldacchino. The Baldacchino is a pavilion-like structure 30 meters (98 ft) tall and claimed to be the largest piece of bronze in the world, which stands beneath the dome and above the altar.
The light was even artistic in there.
But finally we had to leave, I think that is the pope's balcony by the way.
St. Peter's Basilica's Guards...
The Vatican City, with its less than 1000 citizens, actually has its own post office.
We finished off our visit at the St. Peter's Basilica with some birthday lunch at the St. Peter's Square.
Which we shared with this very unafraid birdie. Hehe.
Say: "Aaaa.". :-)
All in all I had a very pleasant, though quite exhausting, first half of my birthday at the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Now I knew churches could be beautiful, but this was really breathtaking. So much spectacular art and masterpieces in one place, not to mention all the wonderful views we got to enjoy over the city. And my birthday became even more lovely as we made our way to the Sistine Chapel to enjoy all the amazing art there, but more about that in my next post. :-)
This Monday I came back home from a warm and cozy Rome in Italy, where I had a fantastic time with my sister, to a freezing cold Sweden - brr!! Now in Rome my sister and I went sightseeing on foot every day, so we did A LOT OF walking and climbing stairs. Lol! But it was so worth it! And even though we only spent a few days in Rome we did manage to see and do a lot, which of course also means that I took an insane amount of photos (more than 2000!!) of this lovely city. Therefore I will do three posts about my visit in Rome.
In this first post I will share photos from our visit to the amazing Colosseum, Forum Romanum, Palatine Hill, Pantheon, Fontana di Trevi and the Spanish Steps. The second post will be all about our visit to the beautiful St. Peter's Church and the Vatican Museum (the Sistine Chapel) with its gorgeous collection of art. Finally, in the third post I will focus on what we saw when we walked the streets of Rome and some of the Italian cuisine I tried. In other words, I have a lot to cover in these three posts - so let's get started!
The very first thing we did when we arrived in Rome was of course to buy pizza (slice)!! Lol! Which we devoured next to the Colosseum (behind me).
We actually lived just a few hundred meters from Colosseum, this is the view from our hotel terrace.
So our first stop for a closer look - the Colosseum.
The entrance. Now Colosseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre, is the largest ever built elliptical amphitheatre in the Roman Empire. It was built of concrete and stone and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. Its construction started in 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD.
Though the Colosseum has a rather violent history, involving both humans and animals, today its visitors, also both human and animals, enjoyed the remains of this amphitheatre in quite a harmonious way. In fact, this cute little black cat seemed very relaxed in there, almost like he/she lived there. :-)
Inside Colosseum. At the bottom there they have removed the "floor" to show what it looked like below floor level, where all the gladiators, animals, slaves and so on where kept during the games.
Only groups with guides were allowed down there though.
Now I think Colosseum always looks gigantic on TV or in photos, but I actually thought it felt smaller than I had imagined. Hm...
View from the other side.
A view shared by many.
In the aisles of the Colosseum you could read and see photos, illustrations, statues and other objects that have been found there over the years. The illustration to the right is of how Colosseum looked like during Gladiator games.
An illustration of how Colosseum looked like when it was whole.
Right outside Colosseum was this beautiful arch, Arch of Constantine. It was built by the Roman Senate to celebrate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312.
Included in the entrance fee to the Colosseum was entry to the nearby Palantine Hill and Forum Romanum. In the photo we are at the Palantine Hill, which is the centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome and one of the most ancient parts of the city.
It is a big area with lots of ruins and big trees.
This reminds me of our own Castle Ruins In Lyckeby here in Sweden, though the version in Rome is about ten times bigger. Lol!
Of course on a hill, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy Rome's fantastic scenery.
On to Forum Romanum, where the ruins of several important ancient government buildings in Rome are located. And where the weather became a bit indecisive...
Ruins in Forum Romanum.
This is Pantheon, a temple dedicated to all the Gods of Ancient Rome. It was first commissioned by Marcus Agrippa and then later rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in about 126 AD, so a very old temple.
And a beautiful temple as well.
Very big doors! Which was a common theme throughout Rome by the way.
Pantheon is located on this square.
As is this fountain,
Which I found to be quite creepy...
This fountain however, the very popular Fontana di Trevi, did not feel as spooky at all. Hehe.
And here I am (in pink), acting very touristy! Lol! ;p
Actually, Fontana di Trevi is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome and one of the most famous fountains in the world.
So no wonder people were crazy with their coins, poses and cameras around it... Lol!
Final stop for today, another very crowded sight in Rome - the Spanish Steps.
Where this guy apparently was very thirsty...
The Spanish Steps is the widest staircase in Europe, so a lot of people can certainly fit there.
And at the top of the stairs is the Spanish Embassy and the Trinità dei Monti church. Also up there is this lovely view to enjoy, where I think I see the cupola of the St. Peter's Church? Which was another place where we climbed A LOT OF stairs to get to the top - way more than the Spanish Steps!! But more about that in the next post. :-)
Now back to reality in below zero degrees Celsius temperatures here in Lyckeby tonight, another brr!!
Tomorrow I fly away towards new adventures, in more than one way.
So Rome in Italy is where I am going to spend this weekend and thirty years of age is what I am going to celebrate there, wahoo!!! Though I must admit that I have had a bit of, or a lot of, anxiety over stepping into the era of thirties - super yikes!! But, I do sincerely hope (and believe) that being in such a magnificent city as Rome on my birthday will ease the transition into the thirties somewhat.
Because Rome is a city I have wanted to visit for a long time, mainly because I love the history of the city and the many historic buildings there. But also because of the wonderfully delicious Italian food culture. I mean, I cannot even begin to describe how much look forward is to try all the amazing Italian food and drinks - in Italy! Pizza, pasta, risotto, ice cream, cappuccino and wine of course. Needless to say, I am insanely excited about this trip!! And I will be back with a full report of my weekend in Rome next week. But until then, arrivederci i miei amici (good bye my friends). :p