Did the last day really just happen? Are we really waking up in Rome this morning in our little (actually rather big) villa? I had to shake my head and rub my eyes a few times to remember, yes, yes this is really happening. We are really waking up in beautiful Rome, Italy!
We rose early, didn't want to waste any time! Got ourselves dressed and back out into the streets of Rome. I took a deep breath in and just stood for a minute trying to believe I was really here. We enjoyed passing by some of the things we had seen yesterday when we got here, and then scurried our way to Vatican City. The Pope was holding a mass in St. Peter's Square, and we wanted to catch it!
Of course, we got lost along the way and couldn't figure out for the life of us how to get into the Vatican. But when we finally did, my jaw dropped. It was beautiful. It was filled with people, security and up at the very top, the Pope. We listened to mass for a while and then realized it was time for our tour of the Vatican Museum. So scurried our way into line. Which, again, we got lost trying to find!
When we got into the museum, I was left speechless. The architecture, the amazing ceilings, the statues, the history, it was all beyond anything you could ever imagine. Books, pictures, history lessons, don't do it justice. You need to be there, physically standing there seeing it in person. I think my favorite part of these museums though, was the ceilings. I couldn't believe how beautifully painted and grand they all were. As we continued to make our way through the museum, we came to a halt where we were told to put away our phones and cameras.
This was it! We were heading into the Sistine Chapel! When the doors opened for us to walk in, they packed us all in their like sardines. There was security all around, whistling and yelling at anyone trying to snap photos. That little bit of photographer in me wanted to take out my phone and sneak a picture, but it wasn't worth getting into trouble. And honestly, I wanted to take it in through my own eyes, not looking through a camera lens!
It truly was beautiful. Hubby was absolutely amazed. I think I had been so wowed by the architecture in the other churches we had been through, that I wasn't as WOW'd as I thought. And I know you are probably thinking WHAT! I guess I just expected something different! But when I stop to think back to that day, that moment, I really was WOW'd. That painting on that entire ceiling was beautiful. And to think we were standing right where Michelangelo once stood (and painted!), was unreal.
When we snapped out of our daze, and realized we were sweating and claustrophobic, we made our way to the exit. Which, funny story.....when we got to the exit, some lady was coming in that way. Looked up at the guard standing at the door and goes "can you tell me how to get to the Sistine Chapel?" UHHHH LADY! You are standing inside of it right now!! After a few giggles at that ladies expense (sorry in advance whoever you were), we went outside and walked around St. Peter's Square where the Pope had just been hosting mass. Stopped and snapped a few photos, ok if you know me then you know it wasn't just a few, and then kept on exploring.
Making our way out of Vatican City, we passed Castel Sant' Angelo. This wasn't on our itinerary to do, but I couldn't not go see it! Because... I mean.. A castle!!!! It was built in the 2nd century as a mausoleum. And then was later used by the Popes as a fortress and castle. And was also said that the archangel had appeared. So of course we bought our tickets, and headed in.
Just like everything else in Italy, it was beautiful. The history, the architecture, everything about it was so cool. We were actually walking through a castle! I tried to picture what it was like back in the 2nd century and even later on as it turned into other uses. My imagination ran wild thinking up all sorts of things!
After exploring the castle, we walked aimlessly trying to figure out how to get ourselves back on track to head back into the direction of our villa. Of course, it was 1000 degrees. Okay, it wasn't that hot but it was hot!!! We past by a little market on the street and I bought the cutest Pinocchio magnet that I just could not live without. (He was pretty excited to come explore the rest of Rome with us too! See pictures below!)
As we continued our walk back, of course we came across more churches that we couldn't not peak inside. Of course, I was in awe when we did peak inside! Afterwards, we stopped at a cute little place to eat and hydrate (cannot remember the name!) then headed back to our villa. We were exhausted from our busy day so we rested for a bit before we headed back out to enjoy Romes sunset and evening vibes.
It was still so cool to me that our villa was right next to the Spanish Steps. We walked over to them and just stood there looking out over Rome and out into the sunset. It was beautiful. It was a dream. It was something I was always so used to just seeing on movies. But here I was, actually living it. THERE IN PERSON! I could have stood there watching the sunset forever. But we headed more into the city to see what evening festivities would come about.
We landed ourselves in a little square where there were many performers, singing, playing music, doing all sorts of things. We got hooked and decided to sit down and watch them. Two performers ended up competing against each other and this whole fiasco broke out where the Policia had to come! Talk about entertainment.
After that, we decided to walk back to our favorite piece of Rome..... The Trevi Fountain. Because it's not like we had already seen it 100 times since we had gotten to Rome! Snapped some more pictures and then.. went and got the biggest Gelato I had ever seen! We sat and enjoyed every bite, then went back to our Villa where we crashed for the night. My brain turning, excited for what adventures we were going to get to explore in Rome tomorrow!