Day 1: We left Madrid pretty early in the morning, so we got to Rome pretty early as well. We were able to check into our hotel right away, so we got some good rest and then set out to find some lunch. After eating a delicious panini sandwich (the best we had while there, they put some amazing seasoning on top, I'm still not sure what it was), we made our way through the city. We ended up walking around a bunch of ruins (they're everywhere) including the Roman Forum, Palantine Hill, a big white building that we just found out was called the Vittoriano Monument, etc. We didn't actually go in any of these places, but we got a good view of everything.
Next, we walked over to the Pantheon. We got there just before it closed. Part of the outside was under construction, but it was still pretty amazing to see.
After spending some time inside, we had dinner at a cute little cafe. We shared pizza and pasta, quite the Italian meal, and it was all delicious.
I know this picture might not look that great, but I promise, it really did taste good. Then, we went to what is apparently the best gelato place in all of Rome. There were seriously probably 100 flavors. It was incredible. I am in love with gelato.
And that's only the chocolate section
By the way, those are not both my ice cream cones. One is Greg's. He goes for the fruit flavors, but I'm all about the chocolate. If I come back 50 pounds heavier, you will know why.
Day 2: We spent the second day in Rome touring the Vatican. When we got there, the lines were incredibly long. We found out that the next day was a holiday, meaning the Vatican would be closed, so more people were coming that day than normal. We decided to skip the lines and payed a little bit extra for a tour guide. It turned out to be very worthwhile as bypassed maybe 4 hours of lines total between the Vatican Museum and Saint Peter's Basilica. Plus, the tour was very interesting.
The highlight of the tour for both of us was definitely the Sistine Chapel. You're not really supposed to be able to take pictures, but apparently the guards that day had given up, because everyone was going crazy.
It was definitely one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. We also learned that Raphael suggested that Michelangelo be the artist for the ceiling because he hated Michelangelo and thought he would fail, thus ruining his career (Michelangelo hated fresco, sculpture was his thing). Obviously, the plan totally backfired.
After the Vatican tours, we walked through the Piazza de Fiori and the Ghetto where the Jews were walled in during World War II. Next, we randomly happened upon the Trevi Fountain, which was beautiful.
Then we walked to the Spanish Steps, which gave us another amazing view of the city. It was a very full, but incredible day.
Day 3: We spent the third day looking at the ruins we walked past on the first day. It's ridiculous how much history this city has.
Of course, one of the coolest things we got to visit was the Colosseum. It was ridiculous.
Day 4: The last day in Rome we spent at Capitoline Museum looking at some great Roman sculpture.
Then, we caught the train to Florence, checked into the hotel, and went to bed.