13 February 2011

Rome Sweet Rome

Ahh, I've just moved to Melbourne and left a bunch of stuff behind in Brisrael, including my little moleskine which I carried around with me across Europe and North Africa. I had jotted down a number of facts, descriptions and doodles of each place I visited in that precious diary. I'm trying to dig through my memory to see what I remembered of Rome. Not much apparently.

Cindy and I arrived in Rome on New Year's Day. We checked into a hostel that was the size of a shoebox. As it was New Year's Day, the hostel decided to mega-inflate their USD$80 per person per night in a shared dorm. For the same price, I can stay in a 5-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Or I could buy six pet hermit crabs.

On the first day we visited the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Here's a tip for anyone who wants to avoid the two hour queues into the Colosseum: go to Palatine Hill first where there are no queues. There you can buy a multi-pass to go into Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum.

Inside the Colosseum
The size, age and sheer beauty of the Colosseum made it one of my favourite attractions in Europe. Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum lie in the centre of Ancient Rome. They are littered with ancient ruins of palaces and buildings which once homed the affluent and noble Romans. A great number of Roman mythologies unfolded here as well.

The Roman Forum
We spent a whole day at the Vatican Museum. It was definitely worth the one and a half hour wait to get in. After a few hours of walking through the Museum, we ended up inside the Pope's official residence in the Vatican City: the Sistine Chapel. Despite the large crowds filling the chapel, there was an eery quietness and darkness inside. Photographs, and noise, it seemed, were prohibited, and this was strictly enforced by the dozens of security staff inside the chapel. Looking directly above us we could see one of the world's most famous, sacred, and precious artworks on the ceiling: Michaelangelo's 'Creation of Adam'.
Outside the Sistine Chapel
Inside the Vatican Museum
I also visited the awe-inspiring Fontana di Trevi where I flipped a coin over my shoulder and made a wish. Apparently, an estimated 3,000 euros is thrown into this fountain everyday, with the proceeds used to subsidise a supermarket for the needy.

Fontana di Trevi


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