Our second morning in Rome started bright and early as we had filled our day’s schedule to the brim with guided tours provided by The Roman Guy. First was the Vatican and St. Peters Basilica tour. We jumped in the car at 6:30am and went out for cappuccino and chocolate croissant prior to meeting our guide just outside the Vatican. Our guide explained that we would be heading straight through to the Sistine chapel prior to it’s official opening. This meant that our small group of 10 people would be the only ones in the room. She went on to say that there were no pictures or talking permitted, and that we would have the better part of 20 minutes to view this incredible masterpiece. She rattled off facts and items of note, things to look for and observe. Then, we were transported from Rome into the Vatican City with just a few footsteps. The Sistine Chapel is breathtaking, and honestly I’m not even sad that you cannot take pictures as they would never truly do it justice. It brought tears to both of our eyes, it’s truly heavy thinking about the blood, sweat and tears that one single artist put into it. Miraculous to say the least.
We ventured from room to room, gallery to gallery all through the Vatican for hours. I could post a hundred more photos. But it’s impossible to capture the magnitude of this place.
After a brief break in the courtyard we made our way to St. Peter’s Basilica.
At the conclusion of the tour, I was just completely overwhelmed emotionally. You can truly feel God’s presence around you here, it’s almost tangible. I am Christian, but not Catholic so I didn’t expect to have such an intense response to visiting the Vatican, but the beauty and importance of this sacred place weighed heavily on me. It was the same for Derek as well, I could feel the tension in his arms wrapped around me, and his heart beating a little quicker when he brought me in for a hug. It was a true honor to visit the Vatican and I cannot wait to return with my boys one day. I hope they have the same passionate response to it as their father and I did.
As we left St. Peter’s we got an excellent view of the Swiss guards, and couldn’t resist taking their picture for the little guys. We had a brief break before our next guided tour, so we got changed into some cooler and less formal attire, then made our way to lunch at Caffé Propaganda just a short walk from the Colloseum.
I had the carbonara and it was exactly what I needed to gear up for the insane amount of stairs I was in for next, and a little espresso helped get the blood flowing too!
Our Colloseum tour was amazing. We walked the underground of the Colloseum, we stood on the gladiators stage, we climbed to the top (my legs caught on FIRE, ha!) but it was worth it!
We walked from the Colloseum to the Roman Forum and the ruins are truly a sight to behold. It’s mind boggling just how well preserved the architecture is considering how significantly old it is, Derek was completely geeking out. I love him so much when he goes all history nerd on me! 😉
Our tour guide was seriously so wonderful, if you want to see the best of Rome and get the most information and exclusive access (we never waited in a single line anywhere!) do not hesitate to book with The Roman Guy!
That evening we decided we couldn’t walk another step (we clocked 30,000 steps that day!!), so we drove to dinner. Our meal at Angelina in Rome was the best we had during our visit. I didn’t bring my camera, we had the best wine, ate WAY too much and we just relaxed after our long, but forever memorable day. The following morning we had breakfast at this gorgeous ivy covered cafe and did a little souvenir shopping for yours truly. Ferragamo heels from their pre-fall collection that Derek had shipped home for me for my 8th anniversary gift to open when we celebrate in the fall. I couldn’t say no to such a lovely gift that he let me pick myself and now October can’t come soon enough! After shopping it was time to say Ciao Roma, and I was sincerely sad to leave. But the ocean was calling… On to paradise in Positano!