italy vacation photos: rome

after sicily, we spent two full days in rome. rome was definitely one of my favorite cities of the trip. it was definitely packed with tourists, but seeing all of the history was unbelievable. it's hard to really grasp the incredible feeling of walking through areas that are thousands of years old. i think it might be because the united states is kind of a young toddler compared to other countries, and the ruins in rome just blew my mind.

when we arrived at the airport, we were picked up by our tour guide alessandro. he had been recommended to us by a friend/travel agent, and he was fantastic! he drove us around to several major spots in the city, and we would have never been able to see everything that we did if we were on foot.  so that was really cool. he kept referencing the movie angel and demons, which was filmed in rome & covered a lot of big sightseeing locations around the city. i watched the movie as soon as i got home and LOVED it, mostly because i recognized all of the locations. i don't know if any of you do this, but i love watching movies filmed in places that i've been. like scenes in the dark knight around chicago, the closing fountain scene of ocean's eleven in vegas, and now i can watch angels and demons and say, "omg! i was standing right there!" please tell me some of you are like this. otherwise my nerd status just hit an all-time high.

here are some photos of what we saw that day:

alessandro kindly showing us around // roman forum // view of rome // outside the pantheon

pantheon // trevi fountain // roman church // roses

the next day was dedicated to exploring vatican city. my family is catholic, so this was a must. we woke up early and went to the vatican museum. we bought tickets ahead of time & avoided the awfully long line, which i would definitely recommend. later that afternoon we went to st. peter's square, and inside the basilica. we also decided to climb the 107 winding stairs of the cupola to view the entire city. at the very top the stairs wind around the dome, and the last set is so narrow that you have to use a hanging rope to keep your balance. that climb was crazy, but it was so worth it. and we earned our gelato for the day.

st. peter's on that stormy morning // laocoon & sons // la pieta // st. peter's basilica

view of rome from the cupola // mailing a postcard at the top // enjoying some drinks afterwards

we were pretty exhausted after that, and decided to see some things later that night. the colosseum being one of them. it was really cool to see it lit up at night, and we spent some time taking photos around the area.

my sister and i had some drinks at a local bar later that night, and the next morning we were off to tuscany. all in all, rome was incredible!

next up in the photo series, tuscany & venice :) check out my sicily post too if you haven't already.

i uploaded a handful of photos (well, 50) to flickr. there will be some overlap with those photos and the ones i share on here, but if you want to check 'em out here's the link.

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