Bella Roma {Part Two}

You guys, I am unbelievably excited about today’s post. Some of the most amazing things we saw were packed into one awesome day. And we were lucky enough that it happened to be on August 16th… our official anniversary day!

roman forumWe started at the Roman Forum! Once the heartbeat of ancient Rome. The common ground in the center of Rome’s 7 Hills. The civic center. Christopher is standing under the Arch of Titus. The next shot is of the Temple of Castor and Pollux. And the third one is us on the Via Sacra (the main road that led through ancient Rome).

roman forum2Still at the Roman Forum. Us in front of the Arch ofย Septimius Severus. ย Next up (at the top) is Saturn’s Temple, the Regia, and then Constantine’s Basilica. This basilica is actually where many ancient churches/cathedrals got their floor plan which we thought was pretty cool.

palatine and circus maximusNext up we walked up to Palatine Hill which is where all the Caesars built their palaces. And from Palatine Hill we had a great view of the Circus Maximus (bottom picture). Not much is left of it so it’s not even really considered a “site to see.” This actually worked out in our favor later when looking for the perfect vow renewal spot, but more on that tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

arch of constantine3We walked down from Palantine Hill to the Arch of Constantine which was under construction. As a Christian, it was cool to see a monument built in honor of the emperor who legalized Christianity in 313 AD.

colosseum (12)Next up! THE COLOSSEUM!!! This was definitely the coolest thing we saw on the trip! We both were so taken with Rome in general, but the Colosseum especially captivated us! By the by, this was another time that we by passed untold numbers of people waiting in line. The same ticket that gets you into the Roman Forum also gets you into the Colosseum which is why we went to the Roman Forum first where there was no line. Rick Steves For The Win! ๐Ÿ˜‰

colosseumoutsideIt. Was. Awesome.

colosseum (8)When you first walk in, you see a huge cross that Popeย Benedict XIV had placed there in honor of all the Christian martyrs (even though there isn’t much historical proof that Christians were martyred in the Colosseum specifically).

colosseum (14)Looking down beneath what would’ve been the floor. This was sort of the “back stage” of the Colosseum were prisoners, animals, and gladiators all waited. We may not know definitively if Christians were martyred in this arena, but we do know that it was a bloody and violent place.

colosseum usUs inside the Colosseum. And see what used to be the old “stands”? Being inside you could easily image the roar of the crowd and the spectacles below. It was heart wrenching for this tender-hearted girl to see, but still so very cool to be in that place. History happened here. So much history. Again, we had an audio tour guide thanks to Rick Steves so we got a play-by-play of what we were seeing. Lots of emotions while being here. Awe at the size and capacity of this amphitheater. A sadness as we stood at the top of the Colosseum and looked out over Rome thinking about how when she fell, the world was plunged into the Dark Ages. Horror at things that once took place here. A surreal feeling from walking on the very ground we have seen in photos and movies since we were children. All in all, an amazing experience.

wedding cakeUp ย next we walked to the Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument aka “Wedding Cake” or “The Typewriter” as the locals call it. There is a lot of controversy over this building (part of Capitoline Hill had to be built over for this not to mention many think it’s ugly and out of place for Rome), but one thing I liked about it was that it had a tomb to an unknown soldier. I remember seeing the one in DC as a kid and it was pretty impactful.

trajan's columnWe walked by Trajan’s Column and saw the forum beside it. The column is pretty cool because the raised designs on it are actually reliefs that show the entire story of Trajan’s victory in the Dacian Wars. It’s like a picture story book… except it’s no kids’ story.

trevi fountainWe went to the Trevi Fountain (yes that massive building is actually a fountain) and it was PACKED. There were so many people there it really wasn’t a favorite of ours. We actually ended up coming back later that night hoping it would be less busy and it was still packed. We kind of stood back from the crowd and took the scene in as a whole. Then we edged our way to the front so we could see all the hundreds of coins that people have thrown in. Glad we went so we can say we’ve been there, but the crowds made it less cool to us.

blue ice (5)Next up we stumbled across a gelato place called Blue Ice which had my absolute FAVORITE gelato of the trip! This chocolate gelato is actually made with soy and fructose (so yes, no dairy and no refined sugar). Oh this was so delightful!

tazzaWe stopped at Tazza D’Oro to get a Granita Con Panna for Christopher. Here is his description of it from our travel journal: “The granita con panna is honestly the best cold coffee I have ever had. The slushy like drink is made of what appears to be iced espresso, sugar, and non sweet whipped cream. The iced coffee by itself is tasty but when mixed with the cream it becomes a sort of frappuccino type drink with a far superior flavor. I hope I see more of these in my future.” {don’t worry, we came back again so he did see more of these in his future!}

spanish stepsWe walked over to the Spanish Steps and got a shot of us sitting on them. ๐Ÿ™‚

pantheon collageNext we walked over to the Pantheon which we again had an audio tour for. It is free to enter so there were plenty of people inside, but it was easy to find a spot to sit and just listen to the audio guide (it’s all one room so you can see everything from one spot). First built as a temple to all the gods and yet later became a Christian church. Ever since it was built in 126 AD this building has been in constant use. Even today weddings are still held inside. Italy’s first two kings were buried here as well as Raphael. Most impressive to us are the 40 foot (60 tons EACH) columns outside – those are ONE PIECE. They were quarried in Egypt and shipped to Rome. I can’t even fathom. And most significant is the dome on top of the Pantheon. It was the first of its kind and the one that several famous domes were modeled after.

della palmaWe found more soy gelato for me at Della Palma (and regular for Christopher). This place was SUPER packed because it’s well known for having so many flavor choices (over 150). To be honest, it was pretty good, but no where near as good as Blue Ice. And yes, we had gelato twice in one afternoon… we’d do it again in a heartbeat. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We went back to the inn after this and got cleaned up to go out to renew our vows. I’m actually saving the vow renewal post for tomorrow because it deserves its very own post! So stay tuned for that!

that's amoreAfter renewing our vows we went to dinner at a place called “That’s Amore.” Yes, it is a super cheesy name, but the food was delicious. The place was packed. We had an hour wait and it was busy the whole time we were there. Good food, but not necessarily the most romantic dinner we had on this trip just simply because we were sitting so close to the other patrons. But it’s okay because this whole trip just like one long extended awesome date. And we loved it!

So yes, stay tuned tomorrow for the post on our vow renewal. I’m excited to write it and relive those memories! ๐Ÿ™‚
Love Rach



40 responses to “Bella Roma {Part Two}

  1. Wow – the sites you saw. Such history. It’s really cool to think about all of the LIFE that has happened in those ancient cities.

    The gelato and the pasta at the end of the post looks amazing. It’s lunch time and I’m wanting pasta now!

    • I’m with you! It’s crazy to stop and think about the life that happened in these places thousands of years ago. Rick Steves’ audio tours did a really great job of describing what life would have looked like in Rome 2000 years ago. Just blows my mind to think about.

  2. All that gelato!! Yum, yum, yum!! What an awesome anniversary trip. This looks incredible…I’ve always wanted to go!

  3. Amazing pics!! And the food looks so delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. oh, I loved this in-debt post about Rome! Iยดm currently studying the history of Christianity, and Rome is definitely a big part of the story! Would love to visit all the places someday! And yay for having gelato twice in a day!:-D

  5. Sounds and looks amazing! You are making my travel itch worse ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Oh mannn I am drooling all over that gelato!

  7. I wish I could comment on every single one of the things in this post but that would be a whole post on its own! I find it interesting that there is a Pantheon in so many cities. Paris has one that I was able to visit and I know there’s one somewhere in Greece. It’s so crazy to me. All your food looks amazing. All those place you got to see and experience are things you see in the movies! I can’t wait to experience them for myself. Your personal experience with the Colosseum was amazing. The amount of history places like that hold is unimaginable. Love these posts!

    • I didn’t realize Paris had a Pantheon! I bet that was really cool to visit! I know what you mean about these places being in so many movies… that’s exactly how I felt over and over again on this trip! Crazy! I haven’t watched anything set in Italy since our trip (I mean we’ve only been back a week, haha), but I think it’s going to be super cool to see the places we’ve been on the silver screen! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. allthatgelato… i’d be in heaven!!

  9. Those pictures are all awesome! I think it would have been great to see the Colosseum, and very neat that Pope Benedict put that cross there, I didn’t know that. Can’t wait for your vow post!

  10. Your trip looks amazing!! I’m finally caught up! Yippee

  11. Rome is one of the places that I am determined to visit someday soon! I love all of the history and beautiful architecture and OMG the gelato!

  12. just read through ALL of your italy posts! what an adventure, and what a great place to renew your vows! that makes me so sad about the lost suitcases, you glad you were able to have fun. i was able to visit trevi’s fountain with no problem, but maybe it’s because i went at christmas time? loved the recaps, and can’t wait to hear about the renewal!

  13. What a wonderful way to spend your anniversary! Cannot wait to read the vow renewal post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I was in Roma in 2006, and I have been just dying to go back again. Your pictures put me there in my mind. So beautiful! I think at ate gelato at least once a day while I was there, and the pasta…and the pizza! I think I need to diet a full year ahead of time before I book a flight!

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  16. I’ve never really seen the inside of the Colosseum, so thanks for posting the pic!! And you sound so much like me-not a big lover of crowds!!

  17. all of the history there!! So pretty….man i would just stand there and stair at it all day!

  18. For some reason, when I visited Rome with a tour group in high school, I thought it was BOOORRRRING. Maybe because I was a lame, shallow teenager. Or because our tour guide took us on a three-hour walking tour of Vatican City and I felt like it would never end. But I do remember being really awestruck by the Colosseum. I love your description of feeling mixed emotions while you were there. …and yay for gelato!

    • Haha! You aren’t the first person who told us that they didn’t just love Rome. In fact several people told us not to even bother going. It’s always interesting to me the different ways people react to the same things. I bet you’d like it more without a tour group so you could spend as much or as little time at different places as you wanted. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I went to That’s Amore too! It was less busy when I was there, and the only place the street vendors tried to come inside to try and sell us knockoff purses!! I was also in awe of the Coliseum…sooo much history. So amazing to see!

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