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Rome is known for its culture and art, because of its grand structures and architecture. I will be traveling to Rome and you will be able to come with me! I will be going to a lot og historical sites and will be trying new foods. I have been exhausted in this sixteen hour flight and seeing clouds all the time. I am ready to experience the real world of history and culture. I cannot express the level of excitement I’m feeling. I am about to land in fifteen minutes and am about to get my first glimpse of it. We will explore all that we can and enjoy every part of it together!
Once I had landed, the fresh air felt too divine, after being enclosed in that plane for so long. I got out of the airport and I hailed a taxi. The taxi driver was very nice and luckily, he spoke English! He told me that many people do not speak English but that’s okay because I have learned Italian just incase, though it might be a little rusty. I went to my hotel (Radisson Blu es. Hotel) and rested for an hour. They charged me 79.67 Euros ($90.00) per day. I then freshened up to start my journey.
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I went to the Colosseum first because that was the closest to my hotel. It took me around 25 minutes when it was only 15 minutes away because of the traffic and people. The moment I saw the grand building, my jaw just dropped. I was so astonished at the size of the building and the symmetry of every arc. I quickly paid the taxi man and ran outside. It was just too grand to wait, I wanted to get it as soon as possible.
I paid 17.50 Euro ($19.89) for the audio tour and got inside, the inside was astonishing. The first thing I did was take out my camera and clicked some pictures. Emperor Vespasian had thought this out so strategically. This is when I discovered the reason why the ancient Romans had built this. Entertainment was crucial as it expressed their appreciation for theatre and fighting which occurred inside.
Apparently, the Colosseum was built to protect the audience from the sun while events happened. I never knew that, and I am learning so much more through the audio tour! It was a gift from Emperor Vespasian to the Romans so that they could enjoy the fights comfortably. This building has 80 entrances, 36 trap doors, and 50,000 seats! But the audio also told me that almost 10,000 animals were killed, which made me devastated.
The poor animals probably didn’t even know what was happening. I also discovered that the Colosseum symbolizes the power and greatness of the king because of his ability to assemble people and produce this grand theatre in six to eight years. I spent more than 2 hours at this grand site and decided to get something to eat. I had been hungry for the past half hour but I couldn’t stop enjoying the scenery.
For lunch, I went over to a place closeby, Divin Ostilia, which was an old style but modern at the same time. I wanted to try something with artichokes because that is one of the most famous things Rome is known for. I ordered Insalata Sorrento, which is rucola salad, buffalo mozzarella cheese, smoked salmon, and artichokes. The server was very kind and spoke very little English, and the food took 20 minutes to arrive.
I got the plate full with delicious food and dug into it. The artichokes were nicely and evenly cooked with a great seasoning. The rucola salad was fresh, and the salmon had the perfect amount of smokiness. The cheese added that tang that went so well with the salad. I was so full that I didn’t think I would be able to eat dinner later. I paid 10 Euros ($11.34) with a 5 Euro tip ($5.67) because the service was great.
By the time I was done with my food, it was 5:30 p.m, so I decided to walk around and discover what the city life was like. It was very busy, and the people were very lovely and nice. The cars are smaller than many cars in the U.S and many people also ride on motorcycles. I decided to head on over to the clothing stores and they had the same clothes as we do back home. I remember when they wore togas and sandals. I went into several store and decided to buy a souvenir.
There were key chains of the Colosseum and I decided to get one. The Colosseum was grand is Rome is well known for it. I spent 8.85 Euro ($10.00) and it was well spent. The key chain was very small but it had a very detailed image of the inside. By the time I was done going through stores, it was 7:30 and I decided to head on over to the hotel because I was really jet-lagged. I got to the hotel at 8:00 p.m, changed into my pajamas, and brushed my teeth. I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow.
I was ready for today because I was freshened up and ready to learn more. I decided to go to the Sistine Chapel today. I have seen many pictures of its grand paintings but I wanted to have the true experience of actually being there and seeing the whole picture. I left the hotel at 9:30 since the chapel opens at 9:00. It took me 30 minutes to get there because of the cautious driver, but I was okay with that. When I reached the chapel, I was confused and astonished at the same time. It looked more of like a castle than a chapel which was confusing. But the size and the detail was so impressive, I couldn’t believe that all this was made without the use of today’s technology. Pope Sixtus IV and Michelangelo had put in great efforts to make this magnificent chapel full with history.
I went in and paid 14 Euro ($15.82) and got to enter the chapel. The first thing I did was look at the roof. I had underestimated the detail and colors of the paintings. They were so luxurious and realistic that they almost looked like real people. The quality of the paint must have been great because the colors were so vivid and accented that they had lasted for so long (545 years). At the same time, the colors compliment each other and created a very natural look.
I understood why the chapel was known for its Renaissance paintings, they were very detailed and precise. I took way too many pictures here because of the variety of paintings and the stories behind them. I spotted the most famous panel of the ceiling, “The Creation of Adam” which was much finer in person than on a computer screen. The chapel is still used to elect popes because it was named after Pope Sixtus IV. I never knew that until I asked one of the residents that were visiting the chapel.
I was done observing the paintings and structure of this chapel and left at 1:00 p.m. I was hungry and I wanted McDonald’s because I didn’t feel like eating anything fancy. There was a McDonald’s five minutes away so I walked to it. I spent 10.10 Euros ($11.42), the food was fresh and delicious. I could not finish the rest of my food, so I saved it for later that night. I then decided to head on back over to the chapel so that I could take pictures of the outside. I spent around ten minutes taking photographs because of detailed architecture.
I went over to the Pantheon because today was my last day and I wanted to spend as much of it as I could. The Pantheon was only five minutes away, so I walked there. The first thing I noticed was the massive Corinthian columns. The columns were 142 feet long which was so amusing! The visible symmetry added the touch of the Greeks. Their was also a beautiful fountain in the front of the massive structure.
The Greeks had influenced the Romans in many ways , especially through art. Even though the Pantheon is known for its great dome, you could not see it from outside. It is also the first pagan temple that evolved into a church, but now it expresses Rome’s culture and history because it’s a historical site. The dome is known for its intricate design and architecture. I went in and discovered a great oculus (hole in the dome) letting in light from above. The intricate designs and accuracy inside was so surprising considering that they did all of this by hand.
I then decided to ride a Vespa motorcycle, one of the most famous things to do in Rome. I went over to the rental and paid them 20 Euros ($22.62) and I got the red one. I got to ride the motorcycle for two hours. I discovered more of the city life and I noticed that many people were also driving Vespas. The women here are very stylish and modern. They wear designer clothes and bags. After two hours, I went to the park and walked around.
The park was full with natural scenery, and there were many kids playing around. I spent around and hour and a half there thinking about the Punic Wars and Caesar’s Civil War all happened here. I was sitting in the place where so much chaos went down, but in the end it was all worth it. I got a taxi to my hotel because my feet were killing me. I entered my room at 7:00 and turned on the T.V, got my food from earlier and relaxed. I got things ready for my departure tomorrow and slowly fell asleep.
I got up early in the morning (at 6:00 a.m.) because my flight was at 9:00 a.m. I was so sad that I was leaving because I had the best time ever. I was so amused by the historical sites and culture that I didn’t want to. The historical sites I talked about have impacted Rome because they have played big roles in religion and daily life.
The Sistine Chapel and the Pantheon were churches that every Christian attended back then and the Colosseum allowed people to get together and enjoy entertainment along with thousands of people. Sadly, I paid off the hotel 159.16 Euro ($180.00) and got a taxi to drive me to the airport. I said my last goodbye and left to go back to Tucson. This vacation was very relaxing and fun at the same time. I got time to enjoy things on my own without any hassle. Hopefully I will come back and learn more next time and maybe I’ll come with some family.
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