One thing I had to remember on this trip...I was not the only one traveling. In the past, I have been known to over schedule our travel days. Therefore, I couldn't make this trip all about what I wanted to do and every place I wanted to try to see while we were there.
Since we had a pretty full day before, I knew we needed to scale back and take things a bit slower on our second full day in Rome.
Can you even imagine how hard this was for me?!?
Anyway, we planned for a slow morning with an afternoon trip to the Vatican. We purchased tickets ahead of time online and walked to a cafe to get our morning cappuccino and croissant.
After our late breakfast, we started walking towards the Vatican.
We were told that it is best to go to the Vatican either very first thing in the morning, or wait until the afternoon. And plan on at least 2-3 hours.
I kind of had a feeling we would be there for more than two to three hours since this was the one thing on my husband's bucket list!
Once we entered the Vatican Museum, I was so glad we were there during the off season. Can't even imagine what the halls look like during the height of travel season!
We quickly passed by a lot of the statues and found a hall filled with tapestries.
The detail on these tapestries was amazing! And look at when these were made, 1524-1531?!?
This one hall was lined with tapestries on both sides. One side depicted different things about the popes, which I really didn't even look at. The other side was all tapestries depicting the life of Jesus. The tapestries were enormous! The one I shared above is over 18 feet wide!
The hall with all of the maps of regions of Italy was my favorite. Looking at all the detail, I am not sure how people can only spend two to three hours in this place!
We were finally getting closer to the Sistine Chapel!
One thing I was disappointed about was learning that I would not be able to take any pictures of the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel! So I had to settle for taking photos of other paintings in the museum. The one above is a pretty famous one called The School of Athens by Raphael.
Once you exit the Vatican Museum, you have two choices. Enter St. Peter's Basilica is what most people do.
The other choice is to climb up inside the dome.
What choice do you think we made? Or rather, I made...
Once we got to this point, we thought this was as high as you go. This view in itself is pretty incredible.
But we quickly learned, there were more stairs to climb.
The final set of steps you go up before you are able to walk outside of the dome are a set of tight spirals with a rope for you to use for the 'hand rail'. That was interesting!
There might not be a better view of Rome...
The trip down the stairs was much easier than climbing up all 500 or so steps to the top!
It was starting to get late in the afternoon and we were not sure how much later St. Peter's Basilica would be open, but we wanted to make sure to look around inside before we left here.
This...almost had me in tears. This is the Pieta by Michelangelo. What was going through Mary's mind as she was holding her beloved son and Savior after his death on the cross?
Overall, I believe we spent over 5 hours here! I am so glad we didn't plan on trying to see too many things on this day.
By now, both of us were starving since we hadn't eaten anything since our cappuccino and croissants much earlier in the day.
We started our walk back across the Tiber River...
We found a place online to try, but getting there was a bit of a challenge.
Eventually, after walking past the restaurant, we found the place we were looking for!
Cantina e Cucina...this place had some great reviews online, and there was a bit of a line. We started chatting with a couple of men who said this was a great place to eat. They live in England and travel to Italy for work.
Can you even imagine that? Hoping on a plane and being in Italy in just a couple of hours?
Anyway, this is not the place to go if you are looking for a quiet dinner. It was an interesting set up inside with lots of seating for just two people. But the tables were really close together. We ended up chatting with the couples on either side of us. Which was actually kind of fun!
And for dinner...
I had pasta and my husband had pizza. Then for dessert...
Tiramisu, again. Might as well compare it with the one I had the night before!
Have you ever been to Rome? If so, what was your favorite part of Rome?