Our ride arrived at 12:30pm and pulled up to the airport on time for check in for our flight to Rome via New Jersey. Cody walked up to the self check in machine, pulled out our passports, and started checking us in.
A notice appeared on the screen ‘Your flight to Rome has been cancelled, please see a United Airlines representative’.
Our “ughh, noooo” quickly became a “hell yes!” As we were upgraded to first class and made our way to the Air Canada lounge for a 4 hour wait.
A few bean salads and nacho chips later, we boarded our flight and thoroughly enjoyed the abundant space, and a comfortable sleep in our little pods.
A most excellent way to start our 6 month adventure with Vegan Travel.
8 hours came and went, and with no check in luggage, we were on the train in no time.
Rome, also known as the eternal city, is an open air museum. Ancient buildings are well preserved triumphing over time. The city has an enduring quality of maintaining integrity and style.
With a limited amount of time, Cody and I set out to see the classics.
The colosseum began construction in 70 AD, and is the largest amphitheatre ever built. The size alone is inspiring, and yes we feel it is a staple when visiting Rome.
This massive building was once used for gladiator fights to the death, and hunting animals that were mostly imported from Africa.
In one battle alone, over 11,000 animals were killed.
Thankfully, both spectacles of barbarianism are long gone, and the building stands solely as an archeological site.
The emperor Hadrian built the pantheon in 126 AD, and it is quite the architectural feat.
Don’t be discouraged by the lines, because they move fast. The dome ceiling is absolutely stunning, and otherworldly.
This building is nearly 2000 years old and immaculate. There is no entrance fee, so it is a great place to visit if you are a budget traveller!
We also spent time outside of the structure enjoying the talented musicians share their art with us.
What does one say about this place that hasn’t already been said? Vatican City is a sovereign state, and is therefore considered the smallest country in the world.
You can spend hours capturing beautiful photos. We had mixed feelings visiting, knowing that they rake in billions of dollars from visitors around the globe while condemning worldy riches- but we appreciate art and architecture, so we chose not to miss out on this opportunity.
The Vatican Museum is pretty overwhelming. There are several rooms to walk through, and plenty to see. We were surprised to see Egyptian mummies and jewellery amongst the ancient Italian artifacts and paintings.
Cody and I walked the entire length of the museum to arrive at the Sistine Chapel. (Sorry no photos allowed)
I have to say-although it was slightly underwhelming what with the hundreds of people filling the chapel, and the guards asking everyone over speakers to be silent every few minutes, Michelangelo’s frescos are an incredible masterpiece to behold.
It took over 4 years to finish, and looks as if it was just painted yesterday, though it was created over 500 years ago.
After standing in awe at the ceiling of the Sistine chapel for about 15 minutes, we slowly shuffled through the crowds where we descended down beautiful double helix staircase and made our way to St. Peter’s Basilica. The interior of this church is lavish to say the least.
Bas-relief sculptures meet your gaze everywhere you turn, Michelangelo’s dome is a magnificent work of art, paintings adorn the walls, and my personal favourite, an alabaster stain glass window of the Holy Spirit as a dove graces the church with it’s beauty.
The baldacchino is a massive dark bronze canopy that covers the shrine of St. Peter, and the body of pope John XXIII is displayed in a glass case under the altar of St. Jerome. It was a lot to take in.
The interior can hold up to 60,000 people, and it seemed there was at least half that number when we visited.
A few tips for your visit:
DON’T arrive with your shoulders (that goes for men too) and knees exposed because you will not be permitted in.
DO bring water. You’re going to need it.
DO order your tickets online to bypass the lineup, otherwise you will be waiting in the scorching sun.
We just had a small sample of what Rome has to offer. More time is always preferable, but if you only have a few days and enjoy architecture and history, you will appreciate these sites.