Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Traveling in Italy: Rome Part 2 and Pompeii

Our last day in Rome was "Vatican Day". We made our way toward Vatican City on the bus just after sunrise and took a walking detour by Ponte Sant' Angelo (shown below) and the Castel Sant' Angelo.

It was actually a good idea to get to St. Peters early, because the crowds weren't nearly as bad as they got later in the day.

We decided to book our Vatican Museum tickets online ahead of time and it was well worth the extra 4 euro to skip the long line. Once inside, we had great views from the terrace.

This was one of the few museums we went to in Rome that actually let you take photos inside.

After the Vatican Museum, we waited in the long line to get into St. Peters Basilica. It wrapped around one half of the plaza but only took about 20 minutes to get through security. This place is just incredibly ornate with all the gold and the light coming in through the main dome was beautiful.

The wait to ride the elevator up to the first part of the dome was much longer than the wait to get into the Basilica. Then began the steps... But the view was totally worth it.

After experiencing the crowded streets of Rome for 3 days, we packed up our stuff and headed down past Naples, to Pompeii. We were forced to get the audio guide because they were conveniently out of info packets and maps in English, and the audio guide came with a map. (Plus I need all the maps I can get because of my scrapbooking obsession.)

It was really easy to get lost walking down the streets because they all looked so much alike. This was a typical street in Pompeii. The streets were sunken down so they could be flooded with water to clean them, and stepping stones were placed where people could walk across.

We didn't have time to hike all the way to the full amphitheater but this was the smaller theater that we did get a chance to see.

This was the bakery which still has the stove and mills in tact.

Mount Vesuvius was basically our compass every time we got lost. You could see it from almost everywhere.

Next up will be Tuscany, which was our most enjoyable part of the trip.

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