From Rome, we traveled to Pompeii. This ancient city was partially buried by by ash during the volcanic eruption of Mt Vesuvias in 79 AD. Now, the remains are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts 2.6 million visitors every year.
Today is our last day in Rome. We started by heading to the Vatican again, however this time we picked up tickets and proceeded to enter the auditorium where Pope Benedict XVI would be giving a weekly prayer. We brought along some crucifixes to be blessed.
We started the day with a quick bus-ride over to the Vatican to get in line early for the St. Peter’s Basilica dome climb. After a short wait in line, we proceeded to climb 448 ft to the top of the dome. Along the way, we got some very impressive views of the inside of the Basilica. Of course, the view from the top was excellent.
Rome started out rushed. We took an early train from Florence and arrived at Roma Termini station just before 10am. From the train station we dropped our luggage off at the hotel and took a cab to the Vatican for our 11:15am Scavi Tour. This is the same tour that Matt, Lyle, and I participated in last year. Katie, Julie, and Alan toured the excavations of the Vatican without me, since I had already done it.
To Florence we went! After our arrival, we ventured to Piazza della Signoria which was home to lots of statues and a replica of the Statue of David. We were not able to take a picture of the real David so a picture of the fake one will have to suffice.
From canals to seas we continued! We have arrived in Cinque-Terre. First things first, we roamed around town until we were able to find our hostel. Little did we know we would have to hike up a mountain to get there! Eventually, we made it and got settled in. Next, we went to the coast to see what the city had to offer. We found some giant rocks that we wanted to play on that snaked around in the sea. We felt like little kids again! 🙂
From the Swiss Alps to the canals of Venice we ventured! We did not get a very warm welcome, however. When we arrived it was raining, and people if you know what Venice is like you would feel very sorry for us. The city is a labyrinth. We felt like rats in a maze as Alan put it…dead ends in every direction and streets going every which way. To make matters worse, Justin’s GPS phone was dying. By some miracle we arrived unscathed at our hotel. Unbeknownst to us, our hotel happened to be right by a tourist attraction too, which we had no idea even existed!!
I am now by myself in Europe. Matt and Lyle left last Thursday morning. I haven’t had regular wifi, so this post is a little overdue.
From Rome, I caught a train to the tiny Italian town called Manarola along the northwestern coast. Manarola is in a string of five small towns that make up Cinque Terre. I spent three nights and two days here.
It’s official; I’ve been in Europe for one month now. It doesn’t feel like that long, but looking back through all of the blog posts it does seem like quite some time.
Today was definitely a highlight of the summer. We spent all day at the Vatican.
We started our day today with a visit to the Colosseum. Since we had bought the Roma Pass, we were allowed to skip the 1.5 hour wait and get in very quickly.