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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂