Day 9: I’m going back – Rome can’t be appreciated in one day

Posted By on July 20, 2009

Colosseum Wall looking up

We debarked in Chivitavecchia, Italy on Monday and headed by bus to the ancient city of Rome (Roma) and a visit to the Vatican. The thoughts that I had prior to visiting Rome  were of  just another old and somewhat dirty city, but the impression I left with was one of awe … and a “we must return” attitude. For those contemplating traveling to Italy, you need to spend more than a day; there is too much to see and appreciate if you try to do it with less time. A view of Ancient Rome (below) from a distance is impressive to me and can give a slight idea of what it is like ‘just’ trying to see Old Rome in a day … let alone the Vatican too!

Arch of Constantine
The Arch of Constintine
– Ancient Rome

View of Old Rome

We started with a drive into the city and explored the ruins and ancient buildings on our own, Small Church in Old Romealthough a tour or English guide book would have been helpful. One detour took us down a winding street which ended in a small, but old church (left) that wasn’t really tourist-y.

Map of Ancient RomeThe massive Colosseum of Rome (below) is perhaps the most well known structure, but there are so many other structures that triggered memories of history lessons and biblical stories … it would have been better to have been prepared prior to walking. (to the right is a map of Ancient Rome — click image for larger, same for photos)

Colosseum of Rome

Perhaps there is an audio walking history MP3 for one’s iPod or phone … that in my opinion would have been great.

Base of Colosseum pillars

After our busy and whirlwind morning in ancient Rome, we ate lunch at an efficient, but less friendly restaurant than we had lunch at the day prior. We  joined up with a tour (highly recommended) of the Vatican after some tasty Italian pasta and wine thinking about the Spanish siesta which were the norm just a couple days earlier (Malaga, Spain pretty much shuts down from 2PM til 4PM).

What a fascinating city/state Vatican City is … and very full of tourists. We thankfully had a couple audio headsets and an English speaking guide to help us through the crowded museums and massive halls stuffed with ancient statues, followed by the Sistine Chapel (a bit disappointing and very crowded) and St. Peter’s Basilica (extraordinarily beautiful and massive). Our visit was on Monday is considered a busy day and since it was summer and just a couple days after a visit from President Obama, we had people everywhere. Again this is another place one could spend days looking at art and learning details about. I do know that with my limited historic perspective of the Catholic Church, I came away with much more appreciation of the history recorded and preserved behind the Vatican wall for all who appreciate Christian and ancient history. This is a ‘Bucket List‘ visit for everyone.

Sistine Chapel
Full 2.5meg “illegal” photo
of ceiling of Sistine Chapel (no photos permitted) :mrgreen:

Instead of including individual photos, here’s a Google Picasa slideshow … or click for a larger version.

Caution: ONLY 92 photos from the Vatican in this slideshow. 😯



Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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