Rome, Italy Days 1-4
Over a year later, I’m finally getting the time to sit down and go through photographs from our Italy vacation. This was my favorite trip ever! Every time I think back on this dream vacation it makes my heart happy.
Here is the Reader’s Digest version of our day to day…
After a much needed nap at our hotel, Infinity Hotel St. Peter, we set off to Piazza Navona to see all the fountains. I purchased two original watercolor paintings by an artist here.
We saw the Trevi fountain and threw our coins in, to be sure to visit Rome again.
We then made our way to the Pantheon. As we turned the corner and caught the first glimpse of it, it was absolutely breathtaking!
We had a rough start trying to figure out the city buses. Since the buses show up super late and had a ton of stops we decided to just take a taxi instead of wasting the day. The taxi to the Appian Way was well worth it and only cost about $25. Best $25 I ever spent!
The Appian Way is the very first highway ever and people like Julius Caesar and St. Peter are said to have walked this cobblestone street. We then made our way to the Catacombs of Callixtus. The Catacombs were incredible! There are 12 miles of tunnels, 90 acres and 4 levels that hold over half a million tombs. Church services were held down there in secret. There is also some of the earliest Christian artwork there.
After that we ate at an outdoor restaurant, Giardino di Giulia e Fratelli, with lemon trees for shade.
We took the Real Rome Colosseum Tour. I highly recommend this tour. The guide was amazing and super knowledgeable and it’s the only way to go both on the stage and under the stage.
The tour continued to the Roman Forum ruins. This was very cool and we saw where Caesar was cremated.
After a quick bite and trying this yummy lemon soda, we made our way to the Scala Sancta (the Holy Steps.)
The Holy Steps are believed to be brought to Rome by St. Helena, and are the steps from Pontius Pilate’s mansion. They are thought to be the same steps Jesus walked on for his trial before being crucified.
These 28 marble steps are mostly covered with wood to protect them, and you can only walk up on your knees. This was such a humbling and reverent experience. Brant and I walked the steps on our knees and it was very difficult. They also offer a book of scriptures of Jesus’s trial and prayers to read on each step. This was one of my favorite things we did in Italy.
Another amazing religious site was the Mamertinum, which is the jail where Paul and Peter were imprisoned. It was incredible to be here and see these places.
We walked so much this day and our next stop was the Capitole Art Museum, where we saw Medusa and She Wolf. This was so cool!
We ended the night visiting the Trastevere area of Rome, filled with eateries, shops and copplestone streets. We walked through a street market, a bookstore and ate at Vincenzo alla Lungaretta, which was one of our favorite meals in Rome. The best bruschetta ever and the cheese gnocchi was amazing! Not a fan of the tripe, though. Haha. Brant ordered it thinking it was pasta… it is cow stomach. Ewwww!
We spent most of the day on our Vatican tour. I once again highly recommend a tour here. It was during the Jubilee celebration and so it was so crowded! We were like cattle.
The Sistine Chapel was beautiful and way more vibrant than I thought it would be. There were no photos allowed and there was heavy security so, sorry no photos of that, but we were allowed to take images of some other amazing art. We ended the tour at St. Peter’s Basilica, which was the most amazing church I’ve ever been in.
We ended our last day in Rome by taking another trip to the Pantheon & then to Torre Argentina, where Caesar was murdered. It is now a cat sanctuary, where over 150 cats live (many of which are injured). They have volunteers there 7 days a week.
Our last stop was dinner at Cafe da Claudia right in front of the Pantheon. It was the most amazing dinner I’ve ever had, from the rosemary focaccia bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the amazing sunset view of the Pantheon.