Our Family trip began in Rome. We landed on Tuesday morning and stayed through Thursday afternoon. We crammed in pretty much as much as you can imagine in those three days and although I was very tired, it was completely worth it. I took a ton of pictures, so apologies for the overload. I thought that it would be fun to share our itinerary. I love reading about travel on other people's blogs so I though I would share some of my highlights!
This is the view from the roof deck of our hotel in Rome where they served a complementary breakfast every morning and snacks and coffee in the afternoon. It was called Hotel Madrid and I would highly recommend it if you are planning a trip to Rome. It was located right next to the Spanish Steps and Trevi fountain and there were a ton of great restraunts and shops! Our room had two bedrooms, both of which had huge windows and were air conditioned- because of the heat AC could make or break your stay, if you are headed to Rome in the summer I highly suggest making sure your hotel has AC before booking as some do not.
This was taken from the Spanish Steps. The streets surrounding it were extremely high end as you can see the Prada and Dior stores below. There was a delicious gelato place there as well but I am not sure of the name.
Rome at sunset, absolutely breathtaking!
Our second day in the city was super busy. We hit pretty much all of the touristy spot and I was blown away by the incredible architecture and history. One of the best things that we did was hire a guide to take us around the city. Because it was just my family and her, we were able to fly through way more than we would on our own and cut all of the lines with her pass. Although most people speak at least a little bit of English, it was very helpful to have someone who speaks Italian and English fluently to communicate more effectively with the locals.
Our first stop of the day was to the Colosseum. We started here at 8 am which I would highly recommend doing. As the day progresses it gets significantly more crowded and in the summer it is cooler in the morning. There would be nothing worse than tons of people and hundred degree heat. Excuse the strange outfits as we also went to the Vatican that day and you have to be pretty much completely covered when you go in- don't recommend wearing a maxi in Rome heat #dying
The Colosseum was absolutely breathtaking and the history behind it is incredible. I am still in awe that thousands of years ago they were able to construct such progressive structures that are still standing today. Our tour guide told us that the only reason that some of the buildings are crumbling is that they used to recycle the material for other projects, not because they are thousands of years old. Later if a building was declared a Christian holy place it could not be tampered with. If the Romans were not so into the whole "recycling" thing, all of the ancient buildings would still be in almost perfect condition today. I guess we have the 17th century priests to thank for preserving all the architecture that remains today.
One of the four Arcs of Triumph that remains today
Next, we made our way over to the Roman Forum/ruins. I found this sight to be incredible, you could get a really solid idea of what the city would have been like. If only this was how we learned history in school!
Our final stop with our tour guide was the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. If you are interested in going, just know in advance that you need to have your knees and shoulders covered. I threw a wrap in my bag so I could put it on inside because I definitely did not want to have that on in the blazing sun outside. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is incredible. I still can't believe that Michael Angelo was able to work like that for so many years. The actual chapel is not exactly as I imagined it as it is just the paintings, there is nothing on the ground just a wide open room. The Vatican was HUGE! I have seen some big churches (at least I thought I had) but this does not even begin to compare. The ornate detail on every inch of the church is beautiful. The outside is just as spectacular as the inside as seen below in the next two pictures. I was a little apprehensive about going as it wasn't on the top of my list, but holy smokes it blew me away. Vatican City is a must see if you are in Rome, even if you don't have time to do the full tour of the inside! We were not there on a Sunday, but if you wanted to go that is when the Pope comes out of his window to talk to the people below.
The beautiful river and one of the many bridges throughout the city!
The front doors of homes and shops were adorable. I loved the pink and green contrast with this one!
This was down by the Spanish Steps and the two palm trees were so pretty along with all the colorful buildings!
Have you ever been to Rome?
Preppy by the Sea