Thursday October 18, 2012
So today’s port was Civitavecchia ‘old town’ in Italian as it was the first port the Romans established in Italy. But never mind that. It was my gateway to Rome and all things Roman. In a word, the city of Rome is incredible. Trying to see this city in a day is impossible. This city definitely deserves a return trip.
But all I had was a day and off I went on a trip donated by friends that could not attend. Thank you Linda and Jim. We were off at the crack of dawn on our way to the Coliseum. After a quick 1.5 hour bus ride we were there and the remains of the Coliseum are truly awe inspiring, This remarkable architectural achievement was completed in 8 years and to think this was done at the time when Christ walked the earth is remarkable. It held 80,000 spectators and had subterranean places to keep the animals and contestants until show time.
After our tour of the Coliseum we had lunch at hotel near the Vatican and then it was on to the museum at the Vatican. The artwork and statues here were more than the mind and eye could take in. You will just have to go see it.
From the museum we went into the Sistine Chapel famous for its ceiling painted by Michelangelo. No pictures were allowed to be taken inside the Chapel so you will just have to take my word that it is magnificent. To think he did all of this without the aid of Photoshop is quite remarkable. He painted it while standing up. My neck hurt after looking at it for an hour.
Ceiling in Sistine
Then we went into St Peter’s church, the largest Catholic Church in the world. It took them 126 years to build this and I must say they did a righteous job. All of the art is in mosaic which stands up to time very well. Trying to describe this is like trying to describe the Grand Canyon-impossible.
A dome in St Peter’s church
We exited the church and went out into the square where the pope blesses about 300,000 people every Sunday at noon. It was big enough to hold that many people and full of statues along the crest of the wall that brackets it.
Wall at St Peter’s Square
St Peter’s Square
This outing was exhausting and only scratched the surface of what there was to see in do in Rome. I am not sure a week would suffice to see the majority of things in Rome but perhaps I will have to find out.