19 March, 2010

Rome Picture Post!

I'm at school, so the Internet is a tad bit better than at home, and therefore I can hopefully get some of these to work.

Here we have the lovely Miss Emily Marshall in our hotel room in Rome. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Fleming, which is actually a four star hotel with continental breakfast, and it was just as cheap as staying in a hostel. So fun travel tip: hostels are not always the cheapest option for traveling on a budget. This one was a really big, beautiful, nice place to stay. The hotel staff was brilliant, very helpful and sweet to us, and the rooms themselves were great. It wasn't in the centre of Rome, but that was fine for our purposes. It was just a half hour bus ride away from the walls of Vatican city, and the bus ride was gorgeous, it passed by all sorts of beautiful scenery, as well as the Olympic stadiums from when the Olympics were held in Rome.

Our hotel also had a bidet.

St. Peter's Square was amazing. Luckily, most of the time we were in Rome, the weather was very cooperative, and so standing in line to get into St. Peter's was not a miserable experience, but in fact kind of fun. There was a little boy chasing pigeons while we were in the massive, massive line (of which I have a video that I will upload later, because it was too long to show in a single photo.) and he was fun to watch. Also, for obvious reasons, the Vatican is where groups of priests and nuns go on field trips, and it was so funny at first to see nuns all over the place.

Drivers in Italy are worse than those at Ithaca College. We saw so many cars parked on the curb, some parked perpendicular to it, rather than parallel. Also, on that note, Italian drivers parallel park by ramming into the cars in front of and behind them until they can make themselves fit. There are a lot of really nice cars in Italy, but most of them are really dinged up in the bumper area, and we saw more than a few with smashed headlights. Had my dad been there, he would have been appalled.

This guy needed to be featured in here. He managed to trick us into paying him 2 euro... EACH... for a few photos with him. Big rip off. And I don't even have my 2 euros worth on my own camera. Hmph. Oh well. It was a learning experience! Too bad it cost us collectively 8 euros and Geoff's life...

One of the really cool things about Rome is that amidst the typical city buildings and streets are ancient ruins. Seriously. They just chill out in the city like this. It's amazing. And thanks to Greg Robbins and my Georgian Styles class, I can no longer see these things and think, "Oh, that's pretty." Nope. I see them and go, "Oh hey look! Corinthian fluted columns! With an egg and dart motif!" Thanks Greg. You've ruined me.

The Colosseum is really cool. Before I came to Rome, I read online that it's not as exciting as everyone makes it out to be, and it's overpriced and there are huge lines and it's just not worth it. False. The colosseum is awesome. Also, the lines were huge, but that was only if you wanted to go in and explore by yourself. It cost about 12 euros to get in that way. BUT we found a tour that took us to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum, without even having to go through the lines, all for what would usually cost us 28 euro with that tour, but since we happened to be there on ladies' day, only cost 10 euro! For a guided tour, too! (But since Geoff isn't a lady, his price was still 28 euro. So we all had to chip in for his. Which sucked, but we still only paid 15 instead of 28.

This was just really cool. Our tour guide was a tiny little Italian lady who looked like she should have been on a safari rather than leading tours in Rome. She was adorable.

The basement has always been my favorite part of the Colosseum, even when I've just seen it in pictures. I wish we could have walked around down there, but alas, it was roped off. The entire Colosseum was just amazing though. Fun fact: back when it had a roof, it was made of fabric, and they hired sailors to tie it in place because they were the only ones who knew how to tie the knots. Another fun fact: the Colosseum is built with bricks and stone, but used to be covered in marble. But they took down the marble facade and actually used it to cover the exterior of St. Peter's Basilica. So a lot of the marble on St. Peter's actually used to be part of the Colosseum.

History lesson COMPLETE!

The trees in Rome all looked like this, it was really cool and kind of reminded me of the Lion King a little. But this tree was by far our favorite, for no reason other than that it was just really awesome. It's  on Palatine Hill, which was basically the Beverly Hills of ancient Rome.

The Trevi Fountain is really big, and really awesome. The sculpture in the centre is of the god Ocean, and the others are all his seahorses and cronies. And by seahorses, the ancient Romans mean a horse with a mermaid-like tail, not what we call seahorses today. We all threw coins in the fountain and made a wish, which is supposed to ensure you will someday return to Rome. 

Emily and I with our "sexy wine" at one of the restaurants we were at, when the lights went out. I had the BEST pizza of my life at this restaurant. Topped with slices of fresh mozzarella. It was AMAZING.

The four of us with our waiter at that same restaurant. From left to right, it's Emily Marshall, me, our waiter, Lauren DeCicca, and Geoff Pictor. He (our regrettably nameless waiter) was really funny. And made fun of me for not knowing what anything on the menu meant. Oops! 

This photo is from inside St. Peter's basilica. The place was monstrously huge, and really beautiful. I remember thinking how much I would have loved to sing in there.
The inside of the big dome in St. Peter's. It was so hard to get any good photos in here because it was so dark, but I love this one. I wish I could let you all see this place as I saw it though, because it's impossible to understand how epically huge and gorgeous it is without seeing it for yourself. A lot of the things I saw were like that. Kind of a "you had to be there" moment, I guess. I wish it could communicate better through photos.
Here's a photo of that metal structure you see in the bottom left of the previous photo. There are some people milling about at the bottom of it, so it give you an idea of how big the place is. The dome from the last photo begins just above the frame of this photo. This is the best indication I have of how huge the place really is.

A sculpture by Michaelangelo of Mary holding Jesus. Fun fact: the figure of Mary is very out of proportion, although she looks correct here. It's because she's sitting down. But if she were to come to life and stand up, she would be over ten feet tall, almost twice the size of the stone Jesus. Silly Michaelangelo!

And speaking of whom, here is the Sistine Chapel. We wren't supposed to be taking photos in here, a fact which was constantly reminded to us by the security personnel repeating over and over and over again the words, "No photo. No photo. No photo." But they weren't really enforcing it, and I couldn't resist. I don't think I've ever realized how humongous it is. When I think of the Sistine Chapel, I always just think of the Creation painting of God and Adam, which you can see in the centre of the photo, but it's a very sizable space, and the entire ceiling and all the walls are covered in paintings. Fun fact about this place, via Lauren: Michaelangelo did NOT want to paint this. He preferred sculpture and hated to paint. But he did it as a favour, and it's become arguably his most famous piece of art. It's absolutely beautiful. 

So, that's Rome, or some of it, anyway. It was an amazing time. I'll be sure to let you know about Greece as soon as my fingers heal from all the typing I've done on this blog in the past few days! I hope you enjoy some of the photos. For those of you who use Facebook, these and more will be up there very soon.


Get it? Hehehe.


  1. SO JEALOUS YOU GOT TO SEE THE PIETA ("sculpture by Michelangelo of Mary holding Jesus"). One of my favorite sculptures EVER. Did you know that it's behind glass like that because some crazy guy a few years ago whipped out a mallet and started attempting to hammer it into smithereens? Thanks, guy. Also, everybody thinks that it is "Michael"angelo when it is actually "Michel"angelo, pronounced "mickel", rhyming with "nickel". /end art history rant

    I am really enjoying reading this, Em!! It's so informative and funny. I miss you.

  2. That guy is an asshole. And I DID know that about the pronunciation of his name, actually!

    I'm glad you like it, love. I'll try to continue being informative and funny. I miss you too! xoxoxo