Sunday, April 24, 2011

Traveling in Italy: Rome Part 1

Chris and I recently took our big 10 day trip to Italy! We flew into Rome and stayed for 3 days, then continued on to spend time in Pompeii, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Cinque Terre, and finally ended up in Venice. Since we saw so many things and I took SO many photos, I've decided to break it up into a few posts.

I'll start with Rome, which was the biggest photo chunk of our trip since Rome itself has an incredible amount of sights to see. On day one we decided (actually I begged) to go see Aqueduct Park since we had a couple hours that were unplanned (yes, if you know us, we plan a detailed itinerary down to the minute). After a 30 minute Metro ride (luckily the metro was actually running) and a 30 minute walk, we arrived at the park. It is so strange to see a huge chunk of Roman Aqueduct just looming in the distance. As we got closer, it was cool to see how civilization has just built around these structures. We crossed a field that had a some sheep, and then on the far side, there was a running/biking trail and even a golf course.

Later that night we met up for the New Rome Free Tour and learned some of the history of Rome and some random facts that I hadn't expected. This is where we started the tour, the Spanish Steps, which was covered with people and street vendors. We didn't climb to the top because there wasn't enough time before the tour started (we did plenty of climbing the rest of the trip to make up for it).

One of the random tips was that Rome has these water fountains all over the city that are free to drink from and if you use your fingers to close the bottom of the spout, the water comes out a smaller hole on the top and it's like a water fountain. We didn't try the water fountain technique, but did refill our water bottle whenever we ran across one. I am really picky when it comes to the taste of water, and I was very impressed with how great it was in Rome.

Our tour took us by the Pantheon and we only spent a few minutes here, but it is so overwhelming thinking about how old this is.

The inside was incredibly dark, but I managed to snap a few shots that weren't too blurry.

Our tour ended up in front of Trevi Fountain which was all lit up at night.

The next day was our "Ancient Rome" day where we started at the Colosseum.

Then hiked up to Palentine Hill.

And finally down to the Roman Forum, which was one of my favorite places for photos.

At sunset we made our way back to the Colosseum for a few more photos. I've heard people say that it is so strange to have ancient buildings on one side of the road and newer buildings on the other, but until you see it, it's hard to envision. (Google Maps Street View does a pretty good job if you want to save yourself the trip, haha.)

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