We just touched down from our flight to Rome, Italy. I anticipated heat and crowds but didn’t know just how busy this place would be at the start of summer. Thankfully the Mr. booked tickets online ahead of time and we were able to “skip” the queues at the Vatican and luckily also the Colosseum. The Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica were astounding, not only for their sheer magnitude but also the amount of work, artistry, and time it took to accumulate the Papal art collection and sculptures done by Michelangelo. The piece de resistance of course was the al fresco ceiling completed in the Sistine chapel and the Final Judgment. We were only allowed to spend 10 minutes in that space, which ended up being less so because of all the people bottle necking and forcing their way through. There were many security guards in there trying to reinforce the silent reverence rule and stop people from taking photos, but some tourists were incorrigible and disrespectful.
On our second full day, we were able to get into the Colosseum after a little wait in the queue. The selfie stick and line skipping vendors were relentless here and wouldn’t let us go five minutes without asking if we wanted ice water or parasols. Thankfully, we were able to jump a bit of the queue when they opened up another security lane next to us and we were able to go inside. I tried to imagine what it would be like being someone going there either as a gladiator or a spectator and it wasn’t hard to do because of all the people around. Similar to those times, the only people allowed to the top level were people who had paid more money for their tours. Also it was difficult to think that the Mr. could potentially volunteer himself to fight in this arena for glory and fame. I’m glad we’ve moved away from these types of bloodsport.
As usual, we hit up some lovely dining places. Our newest discoveries involved porchetta sandwiches, gelato de melone e pistachio, and pasta a la matriciana. The Mr. fell in love with his salmon pasta that he got “off the menu” at our dinner from La Cantinola. Also we discovered the Peroni Lemone, which is a light summer beer like Leininkugel or Summer Shandy. Lastly, we ate bread at a place that kept balsamic vinegar in a spray bottle. I don’t know why that simple solution, but I think it’s pretty genius.
Overall, I enjoyed our trip to Rome but wish there could be more money invested in preserving the beautiful historical pieces, paintings and sculptures in the country. The summer presence of tourists tainted my image of this city because of the increased litter, loudness, huge crowds and constant feeling of being squashed or pushed by other people. I hope to be able to return to Roma again when there are less people around.
We are actually living up to our blog name now and have VISIBLE tans. Catch you after our next adventure.