Smile #73 – Nice to Meet You, Rome, Italy!

Nice to Meet You, Rome, Italy!

Rise and shine to much better weather today!  🙂

Bubble has been looking forward to today’s agenda for the longest time now – the most iconic landmarks of Rome – Coliseum + Roman Forum.  🙂  So let’s get the day started!

Thanks to our handy dandy metro pass, we arrived at the Coliseum in just a few minutes.  Finding this architecture is even easier since it is located directly outside the metro exit.  We actually didn’t notice it until we stepped out the station and looked up.  Just wow!  🙂

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Crowds of people wrapped around the structure.  So many different lines, but where is the entrance?!

We opted for the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill to avoid the chaotic crowd.  The line for the ticket office is endless.  We walked straight up to the reservation booth to collect our tickets.

The Roman Forum is the center of all city life in Ancient Rome.  All major commerce, political, religion and judicial events took place right here!  🙂

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Since we had no guidebook or a tour set up, we tried to recall any high school history lessons.  Standing at the top of hill, we looked out to the remaining columns and imagined how the Roman Empire used to be.  We were appalled by this place.

Sidestory:  The Palatine Hills is adjacent to the Forum.  It is a quieter side of the attraction.  Bubble suddenly stopped in his track and pulled out his phone for photos.  I walked back to see what was the big deal.  No it wasn’t an artifact.  No it wasn’t any historical facts.  It was a little lizard!  Another tourist passed by and noticed the little guy and started taking pictures of it too.  Conclusion:  Lizard > history.

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We passed by the Arch of Constantine.  It was definitely awed worthy!  All the intricate carvings on the arch was remarkable!  🙂

Without a break, we joined the line for the Coliseum (The entrance was hidden behind this giant metal construction shelf).  The Coliseum was originally named the Flavian Amphitheater.  It is the largest amphitheater ever built!  Gladiators, aka prisoners, used to fight in hope to be pardoned by the emperor.  I didn’t realize the the history behind this ancient structure was so dark and cruel. #mindblown

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When we stepped out, a ton of inflated balloons covered half of the Coliseum.  There were enough balloon to recreate the house from Up!  🙂

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Time flashed before our eyes.  We had walked around for over three hours!

We really had only planned on visiting the Coliseum for the day so we decided to close our eyes and point to the next attraction – Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

….except we got lost somewhere and ended up in a kebab shop. Bubble finally had his first taste of kebab.  It wasn’t the best version, but at least he experienced the concept.  Oh Germany/Austria, how I’ve miss you!

We continued our lost journey.  🙂

We never found Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, but we did find a small church.  Bubble was shocked to see how decorated churches are.  Every inch of the wall is covered with paintings.

A good surprise rose from our lost journey.  We found Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, a white marble structure.

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We poked our heads in the majestic structure.  Paintings and sculptures decorated around the large staircase. At the top of the stairs, it peaked out to the stunning Rome.  🙂

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The most amazing attraction is the glass-walled elevator.  For those that knows me, I love seeing the city from the highest vantage point.  Riding up the elevator is definitely a must.  🙂 Bubble, on the other hand, felt a bit queasy from just looking at the elevator.  He did not regret the decision once he stood at the top of the monument.  It overlooked the Forum and the surrounding area.  🙂  Rome at sunset!  🙂

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Even though Trevi Fountain had closed for restoration, I wanted to recreate the Lizzie McGuire moment anyway.

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All the walking today totally justified the need for tiramisus!  We went on a hunt for Pompi, recommended by our host.  Oh goodness, the tiramisu there is AMAZING!  🙂  We shared a piece of Tiramisu classico.  The flavor is just the perfect balance of cream and espresso.  I could totally eat this EVERYDAY!  🙂

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The night ended at the Spanish Steps.  Sadly, it was closed for construction.  We stood at the foot of the stairs and imagined the usual atmosphere.  Guess we will have to come back in the future to experience the true Spanish Steps.

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I can’t wait to dream about the amazing tiramisu!  YUM!  🙂

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One thought on “Smile #73 – Nice to Meet You, Rome, Italy!

  1. Pingback: Smile #74 – Nice to Meet You, Milan, Italy! | Chasing Smiles Along

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