Roaming Rome

Before this month ends, I will write about our next destination to continue my series of long overdue posts about our European honeymoon 2 years ago. Rome was next on our list after Venice and London. From Venice, we took the Trenitalia to Rome and it took us about 4 hours of travel time. We enjoyed taking the train as it allowed us to literally see and pass through different cities and towns of Italy such as Verona which reminded me of Romeo and Juliet. If only we could make a stop in every town since the train made it so easy. We could easily just get out of the train and explore any random town we want to then come back and catch the next train for our next destination of choice. But we already had a planned itinerary on a strict schedule with confirmed bookings. And anyway, we were traveling with heavy luggages which would make it hard to do spontaneous side trips.

We arrived in Rome at night at around dinnertime. From the train terminal we took a cab to our hotel and from there we first saw a glimpse of the city. The streets were dark and old and a bit dirty quite like here in Manila but what set it apart are the beautiful old roman structures and buildings that glow a beautiful warm glow at night. Unlike Manila or other cities that are brightly lit, Rome at night is very cozy and romantically lit up.

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Passing through Italian towns

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London & Venice check! Now enroute to Rome! 🙂

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Inside the Trenitalia.

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After 4 hours, we arrive in Roma Termini!

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First glimpse of Rome outside the terminal.

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Rome at night.

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Via Nazionale, where our hotel was.

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Stairway to our little modern hotel, Opera Hotel.

The next morning, we started our day early for our first itinerary — the Vatican. This has always been one of my dream places to go to and it’s a first time for both me and Ken. I’ve always wanted to see the Pope. I saw Pope John Paul II before as a kid when he visited the Philippines but I’ve always wanted to see in actual the whole of Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and everything else that is significant to all Catholics like me. Prior to our trip, I already emailed the Vatican Church for papal audience tickets. They say they only give a limited number of tickets so I wanted to be sure we get in St. Peter’s Square for the papal audience. We were granted tickets online and we were to pick it up at least a day before the scheduled papal audience. So that was what we did on our very first morning in Rome. We also bought our Roma Pass which is useful for touring all the sights and then we went off to see the Pope’s home.

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Good morning Roma!

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Early morning walk while the city is quiet.

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Get these for entrance and transportation perks when you tour around Rome.

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Glimpse of St. Peter’s Dome

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We’re here! ❤

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Seeing the Vatican in its full glory, quiet and without a crowd was emotional for me.

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St. Peter’s Square

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Vatican Pillars

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People lining up for tickets.

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Ecstatic to get our papal tickets!

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We were blessed not just with a papal audience but to witness the canonization of saints which includes a Filipino saint — Pedro Calungsod!

After getting our tickets, we explored the Vatican grounds and went to see the Vatican museum and Sistine Chapel. There’s a separate entrance to these places and it’s at the back and a long walk from St. Peter’s Square. We kept seeing these Italian police and we couldn’t help but take a pic with them hehehe!

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Polizia

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Vatican Museum tickets and the line behind it.

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Inside the Vatican grounds. Around it is the big and long museums.

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Inside the room of maps, my favorite part of the museum.

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Grandiose details of the ceiling.

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Tapestry with stories of Jesus.

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The reigns of the different Popes are carved on the ceilings of the museum.

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Sistine Chapel! Where new popes are elected.

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Michelangelo’s most famous work – the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel showing the bible’s story of Creation.

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This is Michelangelo’s masterpiece depicting the Last Judgment.

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A full shot of the wall. Michelangelo’s fresco painting showing the Last Judgement.

The end of the museum will lead you to the gift shop wherein you can send some postcards to your loved ones from the Vatican since it’s considered a city in itself with its own postal code and stamp. Sent a postcard each to my mom, my nephew and niece back home. It’s always been my plan to bring my mom to the Vatican since she’s a devout Catholic and it’s her dream. So after seeing it for myself, I knew I’d definitely surprise her and bring her here. And I was fortunate enough to make it happen, which I’ll share in another time.

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Some postcards back home.

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For my babies in Manila :p

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Bought some souvenirs for my Mom and her friends which we’ll bring to the papal blessing the next day.

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Vatican Post

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Ken’s reward after a long and tiring day — his beloved Tiramisu his first in Rome!

After our morning in the Vatican, we decided to spend the afternoon in the Colosseum. We waited until it was late in the afternoon nearing dusk as we wanted to see the transformation of the ruins and the Colosseum from bright daylight until it softly glows at night.

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Inside the Colosseum, where gladiators fight to death for Roman entertainment.

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Daylight

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Sunset

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Night ❤

We ended our day visiting the Fontana di Trevi. It was lovely and romantic at night yet still very crowded. But we still got a chance to go to the middle, toss coins and make our wishes together. We also discovered a church which was quite private and we got to pray. I liked this church because it feels like a real church where you can solemnly pray. It’s funny as there are a lot of churches in Rome especially in the Vatican like St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel but they’ve become too much of a tourist destination and you can’t pray there anymore. After wandering around the area, we decided to have dinner in one of the quaint outdoor restaurants nearby.

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Piazza Barberini

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Fontana Di Trevi ❤

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Panoramic view of the famous fountain.

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Made our wish together ❤

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Visited the church across.

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One of my favorite churches in Rome. It’s beautiful and quaint and you can pray intimately.

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View of the fountain from across the church.

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Dinner on the streets of Rome near Fontana di Trevi.

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Happy first day in Rome 🙂

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Roman dinner date with the hubby ❤

This ends our first day roaming around Rome. We already got to cover a lot of our planned itinerary in just one day. I’ll share more about the rest of our Roman tour and our papal visit up next soon! 🙂

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