Day 1 in Rome was a success. We saw many of the major attractions (Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Pantheon, & Piazza Navona). Now it’s time to explore another side of Rome: Vatican City. The Airbnb we stayed in was perfectly situated between the Colosseum and Vatican City, so we got up early, grabbed some breakfast at a cute little cafe up the street and headed straight towards The Vatican. Rome in the summer is sweltering, so it’s key to wake up early to try and beat the heat. We finally made the 20 minute trek across the Tiber River and arrived at large very daunting walls and behind those walls sits Vatican City. I had no idea that the Vatican only has approximately 800 residents and welcomes more than 20,000 tourists A DAY! This place really isn’t that large so it’s incredible that so many people filter in and out of there daily.
We met our tour group and we made our way into technically a new country! Travel tip: if you go to Rome and want to see attractions, including The Vatican, definitely book a tour that lets you skip the line to get in. I would’ve probably still been waiting on the line to get into the Museum! Once inside, we headed straight to the museum (pictures above). Another travel tip: Be ready for no A/C. Yes that does include the Vatican too! We strolled through halls and halls of incredible paintings done by Raphael & The Maps Room, but the 2 greatest in my opinion were yet to come: The Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica. The Sistine Chapel was Michelangelo’s greatest work of art. After I turned the corner to enter, it stopped me in my tracks. The intricate details and colors of the paintings leave you awe struck. Even though there were many other people inside the Sistine Chapel, I felt like I was the only one in there. They held a small prayer service for the earthquake victims that were recently affected by the earthquake in Rome. After about ten minutes of ooing and ahhing at these incredible paintings, we headed straight out to St. Peter’s Basicilia.
St. Peter’s Basilica sits right at the top of St. Peter’s Square. This building and surround area are larger than life. I thought the Sistine Chapel was incredibly stunning (which it is!) but St. Peter’s Basilica’s beauty was indescribable. Every inch of it was covered in marble, painting, or mosaic. It really is a place that you just need to go and experience because these pictures won’t do it any justice. After walking around the basilica, we headed downstairs to see the tomb of St. Peter and many other deceased popes. Since this was our final stop in The Vatican, we made our way into St. Peter’s Square. It was being set up for the weekly papal address, so that explains the chairs and stage setup in my pictures:-)
After grabbing a cab back, we decided to venture out and visit Trevi Fountain and do a little shopping. For those of you that don’t know, the house of Fendi helped restore the Trevi Fountain to all it’s glory and they recently held their fashion show there! The models looked like they were walking on water! Definitely check it out. From there, we walked through those oh so adorable Roman streets to the main shopping district. Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana capture my heart every time (sigh). One of my other favorite shops for home fragrance is Carthusia (shown above). I am a huge fragrance person and I love when certain scents take me back to a time/place in my life and Italy was one of those times/places that I wanted to remember. Needless to say, I stocked up on Carthusia because I want to keep those Italian scents lingering around for a while!
I hope you enjoyed reading my Rome travel diary! I am heading to Positano next week….stay tuned.