Our second day in Rome was our only full day here. We had tickets for a tour of the Vatican museums including the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica. Sydney was especially looking forward to this morning because it was a chance for her to see first hand a lot of the art that she had studied in AP Art History this year.
We gave ourselves a full hour to get to the Vatican from the hotel via metro, not realizing there was a public transportation strike. The trains were packed, so much so that we had to split up as a family onto two separate trains to get where we were going. Thank goodness our tour guide was understanding when we arrived almost ten minutes late for our tour! The Vatican complex is huge (second largest museum in the world behind the Louvre) and there were about 20,000 folks there to see the museums that day. So while I was able to capture a few pictures, most of the day was spent trying to navigate through the crowds to see some amazing works of art. My favorite was the first sculpture that Michelangelo completed when he was only in his twenties. It is a portrait of Mary holding the crucified body of Jesus. Considering it was one of his first pieces, it was stunning and it was the only piece of art that he ever signed.
We finished up at the Vatican slightly after 1 pm and headed for the Spanish Steps and the shopping district. Some of the best designers in Italy have boutiques in this area and while we enjoyed looking at what Valentino was offering this year, we did not go home with any of his new clothes. The girls did find some cute things in the one off stores that were more affordable and my husband did enjoy looking for a new watch in some very nice stores, our afternoon of shopping around the Spanish Steps would probably have been better spent elsewhere.
Our final adventure out was to the Trevi Fountain at night. We had heard this was beautiful, especially in the evening when it was well lit. After dinner in the surrounding neighborhood with Caprese Salad and Lobster with Alfredo Sauce, the girls gathered their coins to make there love wishes into the fountain. When I messed up the picture and asked for a reshoot, I was informed by them that they were only allowed one love wish and a reshoot would mess things up. So alas, I don’t have a real good picture of this moment.
I will be the first to admit that 2 days in Rome is far too short, but the time was well invested and we saw many wonderful things. On our next trip, I would like to spend an entire day at the Vatican. They estimate that to see everything in the Vatican complex, it will take 5 full days.
Tomorrow morning we fly to Tel Aviv where we meet up with our friends for a two week tour of Israel. Looking forward to more amazing vacation time!