Thursday, June 12, 2014

Viva l'Italia! (Part 3 - Roma & Firenze)

I have to admit, I went to Rome with something of a chip on my shoulder. I'd heard all about Rome, all about the Colosseum, all about the ruins and St. Peter's and everything, but I figured "I've seen a lot of Italy. I've seen cool things. What can Rome show me that I haven't seen already?"

I was an idiot. Because Rome was freaking amazing.

Wait, there are Mormons in Italy?

AND they're building a temple?! #mindblown

Apparently this building was kind of a big deal like 2000 years ago.

Personally, I didn't see what all the fuss was about.

But Rachel did get to walk on some marble where Roman Caesars walked. That was neat.

The Roman Forum. WAY cooler than I expected it to be. Just being there was a really surreal, kind of eerie, anachronistic experience.
Apparently this door still works, lock and key and everything. I don't know what's more impressive: that the lock still works after 2000 years, or that they still have the key...

Temple of Saturn. Kind of puts those Agrigentian Greek temples to shame. Or it would, anyway, if it was more than just this side.

Monument to Vittorio Emmanuele - the first king of Italy.

This Vittorio Emmanuele monument is HUGE.

Turns out ancient Rome had an obsession with, phallic much?
St. Peter's Basilica. We saw a lot of cool things in Italy, but this was probably my favorite. It blew my mind. You might as well give up getting even an inkling of an idea as to how cool this place is right now; these pictures are but a fraction of a fraction. Ineffability in action, my friends.

La pieta', inside St. Peter's.

I literally don't even know what to say about these pictures. Seeing this place was amazing.

View of the apse on our way up to the dome.

We got real familiar with climbing tiny staircases--this is also on the way up to the dome of St. Peter's.

Aaaand we're still on our way up to the dome of St. Peter's.

View from the dome.


The Pantheon. (...obelisk.)

Trevi Fountain.

We interrupt this program for a brief photo of Italian shoes suspended in a store completely bathed in blue light. Because that is normal.

The Spanish Steps (and,  yes, an obelisk).
So that was Rome, folks. (And trust me, that wasn't even half of all the obelisks we saw. Obelisk.) From there, we journeyed to the famed crown of Tuscany (okay now I'm just making stuff up): Firenze (Florence).

Another church I remember literally nothing about it. Seriously, guys, there are like a LOT of churches in Italy.

Aaaaaand here's where my obsession with Dante starts to show through. Florence, if you aren't aware, is the birthplace and home of Dante Alighieri, greatest poet to ever grace this earth. I even wrote my Honors Thesis about him.

Florence from the top of the Duomo bell tower.

More claustrophobic staircases.

View from the top of the dome of Florence's Duomo (remember, Duomo = cathedral, dome = dome).

Il Palazzo Vecchio.

View of the Duomo from the Palazzo Vecchio.

Via Dante!

We stayed in the "Dante" room in our hotel and IT WASN'T EVEN PLANNED YOU GUYS.

Dante Dante Dante.

More Dante.

The outside of the Duomo. That's the bell tower on the right.

Il Ponte Vecchio.

La bella Firenze.

If you start seeing Dante Alighieri profiles on the cobblestones, you know you're in Florence.
That's Rome and Florence for you. Next time on "Rachel and Chris Tour Italy," we'll be covering Cinque Terre, Milan, and Venice. Don't touch that dial!

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