So after our whirlwind day on Friday, our day on Saturday started early with a trip to St. Peter’s to make up for not seeing it the day before. St. Peter’s was absolutely amazing.
Portico of St. Peter’s.
The dome of St. Peter’s from the inside.
My most favorite piece of artwork in the world – Michelangelo’s Pieta.
I saw the Pieta by Michelangelo in person and wanted to take it home… It is behind glass because of someone attacking it a few years ago.
Floor and wall detail past the Pieta.
Panoramic of the interior at St. Peter’s
The building itself is truly massive. You really have no concept of how big it is until you see a line in the floor that denotes where famous cathedrals would fit into the basilica. Notre Dame de Paris would fit in there with room to spare, as would St. Paul’s here in London.
There are letters to around the nave that don’t look like it, but are 7+ feet tall. Crazy!
After our quick trip through St. Peter’s, we were off to the Colosseum. It’s such an icon of Rome and I was really excited to see it. Many of you know it’s history, but it’s so impressive in person. I wish we could have walked through the tunnels on the floor, but alas we could not.
Exterior view of the Colosseum
You really have no concept of how big it is until you are right up next to it.
This is my perspective of looking up the side of the Colosseum. Truly massive.
It really was the ginormous sports arena of it’s day. I can only imagine what watching a sea battle in here was like.
Shot of the Colosseum from one end. Wow! The people in this shot just show how large it really is.
Just to prove I was really there. ;-)
After leaving the Colosseum, we walked towards the Forum, which is a short jaunt away. On our way there, we stopped and got some great shots of a triumphal arch and the Colosseum.
I need to look up whose arch this is…
I loved walking through the Forum. Walking on stones and seeing things that Julius Caesar, Octavian, and Marc Antony saw was just awesome. Unfortunately, they saw things that were not ruins. But it is amazing that anything is still around from then.
Entering the Forum and Palatine.
Ruins in the Forum
I loved the eerieness of the columns through the trees on the grey day.
My feet walking on the stones Caesar walked on.
Marker from Ancient Rome.
After leaving the Forum, we walked through Rome towards the Pantheon. The Pantheon was truly impressive. It was originally built as a pagan temple to the Roman gods and goddesses, but has now been co-opted as a Catholic church. Raphael is buried there, along with many others. Unfortunately, my camera died before I got some shots of that. Quite sad. However, I did get an exterior shot and a couple of pics of things on the inside.
Exterior shot of the Pantheon at night.
Detail of painting in the Pantheon.
Mary with child Jesus in the Pantheon
After touring the Pantheon, I wandered to a church that Mark had wanted me to visit – San Gesu, the primary church of the Jesuits. It’s a beautiful building, very baroque in style. My primary camera was dead, but I got some shots with the video camera and will add links to that later. It was a really neat church to see.
I went back to the hostel to recharge my batteries, both camera and myself. I had pulled a calf muscle earlier in the day and took a cab to the Trevi Fountain with Jenna. The Trevi Fountain was crowded with tourists, but I did get my picture taken there by her and tossed the obligatory coin into the fountain so I will return to Rome.
Trevi Fountain – So cool looking.
Me at the Trevi Fountain
After we took our photos at the fountain, we went to a fantastic supper of multiple courses and unlimited red and white wine. Unfortunately, none of the wine was to my taste but my tablemates enjoyed it immensely. We pretty much took over the restaurant, toasting, singing, and etc. Our primary guide and owner of WSA, Andy Steves, gave a short speech about the trip and toasted our group. He started it with “My People” – he said that everytime he was trying to get our attention and all together. Really cool.
During supper, we got our tickets to Easter mass at the Vatican. Oh, I was so excited. I joined the Catholic church the previous Easter, and idea of celebrating my one year anniversary by hearing Easter mass by the pope was pretty awesome.