Roma, Italia - Today has been a packed day. Yesterday, upon our arrival to Rome, we stopped at the Colosseo to experience the awesomeness of Roman arenas. It's absolutely amazing to stand in the same place as countless historical figures have and to imagine what it must have been like to be there when the Colosseo was at its peak.
After our first dinner in Rome we headed back to the hotel to rest, knowing that today's day would be filled to the brimm with walking, exploring, and shopping. Some of us did relax at the movie theatre next door to the hotel to watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which was quite amusing in its dubbed Italian form (and I'm sure even more amusing in its original English).
But today we visited not Rome, but the Vatican - enjoying the beautiful frescoes of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, the impressive mosiacs within the walls of St. Peter's, and the stunning baroque work of the great Bernini.
A bus trip across town took us to the peak of the Spanish Steps were we began our walking tour of the city. Richard is an absolute plethora of information and knowledge. On our way to the Trevi Fountain he was able to treat us to what is probably the best ice cream in all of Italy - Gelato di San Crispo. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed that melon flavored goodness. But we continued on, visiting the Pantheon, crossing the river and various piazza's on our way to traditional pizza dinner, ending our adventure back on the other side of the Tevere in Piazza Navona where we were able to enjoy the night life of Italy among beautifully lit artistic masterpiece. I blend of Italian history, culture, and fun all in one place.
It has been an extremely long day - starting early in the morning at 8am and ending just a little before 11pm. Tomorrow our exploring continues as a group in the morning followed by a completely free day to enjoy Rome on our own. I'm extremely excited.
Until the view from Sant'Angelo, travel on.
-- post made from iPaolo