When in Rome….


We took advantage of a long weekend to hop on over to Rome for a few days <unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones with that plan, since our long weekend was for the European’s version of labor day – celebrated all over Europe!>.

We picked up the boys after school on a Wednesday, headed straight to the airport and were in Rome by bedtime.  We stayed in an Airbnb in a great location in the Monti area of Rome, near the Colosseum.  The Airbnb itself wasn’t great – pretty old with uncomfortable beds, no toilet paper and no electrical plugs.  However, when you want a cheap place in a good part of town, that is what you get! And it was worth it for the area.

The first day, we headed straight to the Vatican City.  We had a reservation for the Sistine Chapel for the afternoon, and were going to wait in line to get into St. Peter’s Basilica.  Until we saw the line that is.  The line to get into the basilica wrapped all the way around St Peter’s Square.  No one was up for that line, so we took a quick picture and made some alternative plans.

Proof we were there. This was as close as we got. The entrance was to the right of the picture. The line wrapped all the way behind where I was standing to take the picture, and curved around to the left side of the picture. No way!

Lunch was some excellent pizza and pasta (when in Rome…), then we headed to the Trevi Fountain.

It was (like most things in Rome, it seems) totally packed. We headed to the side of the fountain, and it was actually a pretty good spot. There was a fountain of spring water (the same spring that feeds the fountain) and a nice rock formation.  It was a good spot away from all the crowds.


Enjoying the uncarved marble on the side of the fountain, away from the crowds (which you can see behind N)

Next, it was time to head back to the Vatican City for our scheduled appointment with the Sistine Chapel.  We fought through the crowds there (despite the appointment) and headed to check it out.  The Sistine Chapel is actually just one of the many sights within the Vatican Museum, and you can’t just go straight in to see it.  There is a path to follow that guides you from room to room heading ever closer to the the thing everyone is there to see.  We, of course, picked the “short” route, but that didn’t stop us from shuffling through room after room with about 100,000 of our closest cruise-ship-tour friends.

shuffling along through the Vatican Museum on the way to the Sistine Chapel.  You can see the flags and paddles waving in the air for the tour groups. We spent about two hours shuffling along like this.

The riches of the Vatican is truly amazing (and kind of sad when you think of the wealth being built on the backs of the poor trying to buy their way into heaven).

an amazing painting on the ceiling – it looks 3D
A pretty cool ceiling, and it isn’t even the famous one!

However, the boys were toast at this point and after looking at one too many rooms with beautifully painted walls and ceilings, N complained “I don’t want to see all of the sixteen chapels!” (get it – “sixteen”/”Sistine”).  Anyway, just like waiting for the clock to hit 5:00pm on a Friday afternoon, we did EVENTUALLY reach the Sistine Chapel, even though we thought it might never happen.  Thanks again to the “Mission: Rome” kids activity books we got for the kids, they had something to look for, and we enjoyed looking at the paintings on the ceiling and explaining a bit about the stories being depicted.

Over. It.
Pretty spiral staircase – the best part – this was the exit – finally!


More adventures to be had in Rome, but I will save it for another blog post – everyone’s very favorite activity of this trip will be coming up next!  Stay tuned…




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