Here is one of my favorite photos from a trip to visit our eldest daughter during her semester abroad in Florence, Italy. I hope some visitors will post links’ to their blogs with pictures of favorite trips and places.
We took the train from Florence to Rome that left the station at about 5:30 a.m. Thank heavens a friend had recommended really comfortable walking shoes, because my husband, who loves to walk and has a very long stride, decided we could walk Rome in a day. And we did. We walked from the train station to the Coliseum, to the Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain, passing at a near jog endless lesser ruins and monuments. I was an art history major, and my husband knew, that if I stopped at an obelisk or statue for too long we would never get it all in. It was now probably 10:30 a.m., and we had covered ancient Rome.
On to the Vatican—early November was a wonderful time to be in Rome. The wait in line for St. Peter’s was about 10 minutes. Just enough time to scarf down a sandwich and bottle of water. The weather was cool, not cold and sunny. We actually stopped to wander and wonder in St. Peter’s, that one man Michelangelo, could be responsible for such magnificent art and architecture is awe-inspiring. The incredible vastness of the domed space, built without any modern tools. There are these beautiful doves with olive branches on the columns, simple and perfect. Then the Pieta, it almost glows with perfection.
There is an elevator most of the way up the thousands of steps to the top of the dome of St. Peter’s, but we are not the sort to waste time and money on such things. So we climbed them, all 1 or 2 million of them it seemed, around and round we went. If you walk on the inside it feels much shorter, only a mile or so of steps. Invigorating? The view is actually worth the effort. Then the last section, is a narrow low stair up the inside of the dome. I imagined the workers hauling the stones up these last stairs to complete the dome. It was built for men who were my size 5’5” not a modern man’s height.
There is no way for a picture to convey the view from the top,so this will have to do. If you look closely, at the end of the road leading up to St. Peter’s are the Bridges from Rome to Vatican City.
Having lingered at St. Peter’s, we soldiered on seeing the Vatican museum in about an hour—which requires that you almost run.I had to yell stop ever so often when we were about to pass a true masterpiece without so much as a second glance. Then stopping to marvel at the Sistine Chapel. I wish you could lie on the floor and look up. We stayed until our necks could stand it no longer.
Our day ended watching the sun set from the Spanish steps. I was too sore to find it romantic, but we will return and linger at the places we rushed through… someday.