I love the streets of Europe!
This is so typical...narrow, homes and businesses both opening up onto the street, restaurants having some of their seating on that same narrow street...
and then add in cars, bicycles, walkers, trucks...
This little restaurant was right on the corner by our apartment. We had breakfast here a couple of different mornings....actually the first and last morning.
This was the street our apartment was on...
This is the way street signs are all around Rome.
We were heading toward the Vatican...
so we crossed this bridge by our place...
That dome is the dome of St. Peter's at the Vatican.
We were about a 10 minute walk from there.
We talked about going in this place...but never did.
My baby boy!
There was no shortage of street performers...
There was absolutely no shortage of police..or military.
One of our drivers told us that Rome was on 'Red Alert'...
He also told us there was a 40% reduction in tourists because of it.
This is the front of St. Peter's...
with their Christmas tree in the middle of St. Peter's Square.
See all the people lined up heading in? It is free to get inside, but the line can be incredibly long. We didn't go in this time.
We walked around the Vatican to see about going in to the Sistine Chapel. The museums had only been opened for 2 hours this day. It was a Sunday. On the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican museums are free...thus, LONG lines!
Look at this wall! It surrounds the Vatican...
Vatican City is actually its own country. If you google 'smallest country in the world', it will tell you that Vatican City is the smallest.
This guy has to have his snacks...
Joshua was the keeper of the map. We walked....and followed his directions. It was great!
Good-bye, Vatican City...
we'll be back before we leave!
We went into another church...
with another incredibly beautiful dome...
and incredibly beautiful ceiling...
Look at the pipes for the organ!
This basilica has Rome's second tallest dome (after St. Peter's).
I read that it was the most baroque of Rome's churches.
We were not in the Roman Ruins, but this was taken from a distance away.
We were walking by this restaurant and I had to do this...
Thalia wasn't super excited!
By following Joshua's guidance, we found this!
I had no idea what it was...
but we went to explore!
This is the Piazza Venezia
The monument is the Victor Emmanuel Monument
It was built for Italy's first King...on the 50th anniversary of the country's unification in 1861.
The statue of the king on his horse (kind of behind and to the left of the flag) is 43 feet high. It's one of the largest equestrian statues in the world. At the base of that statue is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The eternal flame
A better pic of the king on his horse!
We went inside and looked around...
We went up the stairs where we had great views of Rome.
More views of the Roman ruins...
This column is "Trajan's Column."
This column has stood for centuries. Trajan was a Roman Emperor. This column commemorates the victory between the Roman Empire and Dacia. The column was built in A.D. 113!
You can't see the reliefs on the column, but it's pretty amazing!
Here's an example of what's on the column! Remember, it was built in the year 113!
I figured out we were actually on Capitoline Hill.
Rome has 7 famous hills. This is the smallest, tallest, and most famous.
On the right of the Victor Emmanuel Monument is Michelangelo's grand staircase. These statues are near the top.
Ron was practicing his pose as a Roman (without the bird on his head)...
Oops! Being the great Papa that he is, he knew he should shield his granddaughter's eyes!
This square at the top of the staircase is called "Campidoglio."
See that arch in the far right corner? That leads down to the Roman Forum. (That's where the Roman ruins are.)
This square is still the home of Rome's government. In the 1530's, Michelangelo put this equestrain statue in the middle of the square.
The building in the back is the mayoral palace called Palazzo Senatorio.
I had Rick Steve's Italy 2015 guidebook with me.
It's an incredible resource!
Here are some better pics of Michelangelo's statue. The guy on the horse is Marcus Aurelius. Don't have a clue who he was, but he must have been someone important...at least in Michelangelo's opinion!
Here's that arch that leads down to the Roman Forum.
We were heading back down the grand staircase....
This was hilarious...but unfortunately, I didn't take a wide enough picture for you to see how Joshua was leaning!
Remember that photo of Thalia in the face of a chef? Well, we went back to that restaurant for dinner. We tried one of their beers...oh my, it was delicious!
As you can see, some of us still had pizza...but I had a lasagna that was some of the best I've ever had! Ron tried the spaghetti...
What a great day!