But, since our first stop was the Vatican, the chaos and crowds continued. We couldn’t actually go into St. Peter’s Basilica, it was closed for some special event that was making the city even more crowded than usual, but we got to look around outside and take pictures (which I will hopefully be posting soon) before wandering a little away from the city, where the crowds were thinner and we could do a little souvenir shopping.
From there, we followed the river for a little while heading toward the Spanish Steps. There was a concert going on, and we climbed up all 135 steps to the very top before heading back down toward the Trevi Fountain. It was beautiful, though the plaza was so close that we had trouble getting a good picture of it. There we stopped for lunch; we found a nice little pizzeria (when in Rome!) and had some delicious gelato for desert!
After gelato, we got back on our feet and were off to the Pantheon. We walked around the inside, which is now used as a church and has lots of exhibits around the walls, before making our way to the last stop, the Colosseum. On the way, we passed lots of Roman ruins. The whole city is just ancient and full of history, and it was really amazing to see. The Colosseum was the only thing we had to pay to go in, but it was worth it. They had a lot of exhibits displaying artwork and stonework from the Colosseum, and we could clearly see the hypogeum under where the arena was.
After taking our time in the Colosseum, we began making our way back toward the hostel. We found a nice place to have pasta for dinner, but unfortunately we did not pass any more gelaterias.
Our flight back was early this afternoon. We only really had one full day in Rome, but we saw so much in just that day. In London and Dublin I felt a little of that sense of just how old everything around me was, but this was especially apparent in Rome. There, much of the city was hundreds of years old, and certain buildings were older. In Rome, it seemed like you couldn’t look straight ahead without seeing something that dated back to the Roman Empire. Even more amazing was the fact that so many of these buildings are still in use. The Pantheon and Colosseum are both approaching 2,000 years old, yet thousands of people walk their halls on a daily basis. I find it especially mind blowing having grown up in America, where we have few things even a century old, much less millennia.
Back in Barcelona, only three days of school separate me from the flight home to Bowling Green. I feel so blessed to have been able to take part in this program, and I can’t wait to see what the last few days have in store.