Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rome - The Spanish Steps and the Vatican

Our first day in Rome was a very busy one! Rome was so different from Venice and Florence. It was HUGE, and there were so many people. We stayed at Casa Howard in the Chinese Room. Chris and Angela were in the White Room. There is a small sink in the room, and the bathrooms (private for each room) are down the hall. Casa Howard is at a great, central location.  It was about a 20 minute walk from the train station. It was only a 5 minute (give or take) walk to the Spanish Steps. The owner was really friendly! She makes breakfast upon request. Make sure you have cash when you check out because there is a city tax you must pay that is about 12 Euros. A taxi from there to the airport is a flat rate of €40.

The Spanish Steps were crowded, and the fountain at the bottom was under construction so I didn't get any good pictures.

 Time for coffee! Except the boys wanted beer. hehe. It was funny when they found out it was 7%.

Next stop, the Vatican. We caught a tour guide on the street so we could skip the lines. Unfortunately, we only asked if it would be in English; we didn't ask if the tour was ONLY English. We ended up having to listen to French first, then English. The guy didn't speak English as well as French. The French parts took FOREVER, and the French tourists in our group wouldn't move when it was our turn to listen, so there were many times when we couldn't see what he was telling us about.

Plaque for photo below

Laocoon and His Sons

Recognize this guy? hehe

Shown below

First statue to not have arms by its side, but extended for action.
Goddess of fertility

We spent lots of time looking up. This ceiling appears to be 3D, but it's actually 100% flat.

Beautiful mosaic on floors
We got to see lots of scaffolding on this trip. (sighs) "First time this ceiling has been cleaned in 300 years."... Of course it is.

St. Peter's Basilica

The floor

More staring at the ceiling.. hehe. It was just so pretty!

See all the columns... one behind another?
Now stand here.

See the columns align? Cool, eh?

"The obelisk, known as "The Witness", at 25.5 metres (84 ft) and a total height, including base and the cross on top, of 40 metres (130 ft), is the second largest standing obelisk, and the only one to remain standing since its removal from Egypt and re-erection at the Circus of Nero in 37 AD, where it is thought to have stood witness to the crucifixion of St Peter. Its removal to its present location by order of Pope Sixtus V and engineered by Domenico Fontana on 28 September 1586, was an operation fraught with difficulties and nearly ending in disaster when the ropes holding the obelisk began to smoke from the friction." - Wikipedia
I learned in the Gallery of Maps that this is how they transported the obelisk.


Chris walking in front of my camera.. hehe
The Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's paintings of the creation of the world and man, and his painting, The Last Judgement, was AMAZING. We weren't allowed to take pictures, but believe me when I say that you NEED to go in there. I could have spend hours looking at everything.  And we have reached the end of the Vatican tour. Pretty cool. I can't believe what this small town girl has been able to see and do before turning 30! I never imagined the ways that God would bless me... never thought I deserved it.


  1. We just landed in Rome this morning and will do all of this tomorrow! Can't wait!

  2. Kristal SchneiderApril 22, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    I hope that you enjoyed it Shannon!!


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