Friday, July 21, 2006

viva italia part I : rome and vatican city.

day 1 - 5 : rome and vatican city

day 1, we landed in rome and walked around a bit.

cono goloso (chocolate cone?) from macs was 1 euro!

met up with the europe trip group! they were ending in rome, and we were just starting. :) here i am with dust.

3stani em was staying at the same hostel as ryan and co!

day 2, we toured rome with ryan and friends. by afternoon, the sun would be sweltering, so we used every chance we had to keep cool.

this adorable hot dog was soaking himself too.

beautiful roman architecture and fountains.

the girls! me, dust, ivy and xuamy.

the pantheon, (from wikipedia) which has the largest surviving dome from antiquity. mmm doesn't this look nice and postcardy?

interior of the pantheon. glorious light! (from wikipedia) the height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same (43 metres, or 142 feet 6 inches), so the whole interior would fit exactly within a cube.

our first time trying gelato in italy. think the flavours were nutella, lemon and apricot? it was wunnerful!

outside victorio emmanuelle II, the italian parliament house. it was closed, so we went there another day.

with ryan this time.

the golden interiors of a church.

rome by night. us at the trevi fountain.

day three, we went to vatican city. we queued for two and a half hours! here's ningqi in front of the formidable queue.

we played cards in order to pass the time. if you've noticed, one person had to act as the 'table' since we were playing cards standing up.

at around 11am, we were finally in!

we spent four (five?) hours walking around the vatican museums. the repository of christian art in various forms was simply amazing. no photos of the sistine chapel here because it was too dark inside. after that, it was on to (in my opinion) the grandest and most beautiful church we visited in italy, st. peter's basilica.

with ivy and yijin as we were walking there.

the roman guard.

in front of the basilica. st. peter's square was filled with chairs for some event.

TK in st. peter's square.

the columns of the church.

the portico before entry into the interiors of the church.

inside the basilica.

the tomb of pope john paul II.

day 4, after our usual breakfast at a cafe, we headed towards our tour of ancient rome.

us outside the colloseum. mmm i've forgotten what arch that's called. we wasted forty-five minutes queueing to get inside the colloseum, when our roma card entitled us to entry without having to queue. it was probably the after-effects of queueing so long for the vatican museums the day before.

where ancient gladiators battled with prisoners and wild beasts.

the roman forums, a large compound of interesting ruins.

our next stop, palatine hill, for more ruins!

we had a nice view of the roman forums from palatine hill.

circus maximus, where ancient races were held.

doing what i do best... pat strange dogs.

terme de caracella - we visited some ancient roman baths.

and relaxed in its shady, comfortable gardens for about an hour.

eventide, we celebrated xuamy and yijin's birthdays! yay, hope you two had a splendid birthday dinner in rome.

day 5, we visited some ancient underground catacombs! rather damp and musty inside, but no photos allowed. i look really stupid in this photo but it's funny! here, it was 1,000m and not 1.000 m. the decimal point in italian is really a comma.

lunch was bread, nutella, ham and cheese. with xuamy and ryan.

the appian way was a very long road of ruins after ruins! ruins fatigue had already set in on us. we left for central rome.

visited victorio emmanuelle II, the parliament house, again.

TK was craving iced lemon tea. this can cost us 2.50 euros = 5 SGD!

viva italia! waving goodbye to ryan and friends, we left for naples, which was pure chaos... but that's an entry for next time. :)


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