When In Rome…

We made it to Rome! I have been looking forward to Rome for a long time. There’s just so much to see here, so much history…… and GELATO!!!

When I was in high school, I had the chance to visit Rome as part of a two-week tour of Europe. That was the first time I’d ever heard of gelato. After the first scoop, I was hooked. Then, while studying at BYU, I discovered the only gelato shop in town (which had delicious gelato). When Chris and I were ‘just friends,’ we went to the Provo gelato shop often. Chris considered those gelato trips dates (and by all standards they probably were) but I insisted we were just friends. Fast forward to our wedding — we served gelato at our reception because of our frequent gelato non-date/dates together. So bring on the gelato!

Our apartment was pretty close to the Colosseum, so we took a nice evening (uphill) stroll to check it out. We’ll be touring the inside on another day, but it’s so amazing you can see it more than once.

Before leaving for our grand European adventure, I tried to prepare Charlotte by teaching her about some of the things we were going to see. We talked about the world and used a globe to show her where we lived and the countries we would visit. We also got a lift-the-flap book about famous buildings. It had several of the sites we would be visiting, so we focused on learning about those. You can imagine how proud I was when we walked up to the Colosseum and I asked her, “What’s that building?” and she paused for a moment to think about it, then said in a super excited voice, “The Colosseum!!”

We were saving the really, really exciting tourist sites until my sister flew in from the states, so we visited the Baths of Diocletian which was later converted into a church (Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri ) and the church (Santa Maria del Vittoria) that has the famous Bernini statue The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa.

Huzzah! My sister, Courtney, arrived! We hit the ground running the next morning and visited the Vatican. It was so refreshing to tour an art museum with someone who not only appreciates art, but gets excited about going to an art museum! Both my sister and I took our high school’s AP Art History class, so we have a similar knowledge of art, and it’s fun that she’s excited about seeing the same pieces of art that I am.

I love Lucy’s reaction in this photo. She looks like she’s afraid the statue will come to life and eat her.

The Vatican Museum is overwhelming. Not only is there the super famous artwork that everyone comes to see, but on the walk to the Sistine Chapel you go through these halls (which feel like a quarter mile long) that are filled, ceiling to floor, with paintings. But since for most people the goal is just to see the Sistine Chapel, you go through it so fast you miss nearly all of it. You could stand in one of these halls for hours and still never see everything.

Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone I took this picture. I had to be super stealthy to get it. You’re not supposed to take pictures in the Sistine Chapel, but I just had to. Pretty good shot for not being able to look through the viewfinder.

You’d never know it from the pictures, but man it was a sweltering hot day. Good thing we have AC in the apartment…. oh wait, we don’t. I think we’ll need some gelato to cool off.

After a long morning at the Vatican, we felt obliged to let the kids expend their energy at the park that evening. We often find ourselves walking past a park sometime during the day, and I feel bad when the kids get so excited because they think that’s the destination but I have to break it to them that we’re going to see something boring (or what they consider boring).

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