Friday, August 21, 2009

Italy whirlwind - Rome part 1 (Colosseum, St. Peter´s Dome)

Ok, I´m so far behind in terms of my Rome trip. There´s a million photos to share, but I shall only upload the nicer ones.

We spent 2 gorgeous days in this ancient city and I can´t begin to describe how being in a city that is more than 2000 years old, fills you with so much awe about this Earth we live in. Besides, there are many famous Christians who were in this city, ie. Paul, Peter etc. that when I walk the streets of Rome, I can´t help but think of what its like for them to live at that time.

There was so much to see in such a short time that what we managed to see was just a drop in a ocean. The first place we visited was the Il Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, a government place.

Isn´t the architecture simply gorgeous?

The next place we popped by was the Colosseum - the place where Gladiator fights took place.

Couldn´t spare the time to enter but the sheer size of this place makes you think of the amount of courage it took the lone Christian monk to stand in front of the 20,000-strong audience to try and stop the senseless murder of those gladiators.

In those times, being a Gladiator was a ticket to freedom for prisoners who either had to face years behind bars or have a chance-in-a-lifetime to be a national hero - if they were the last man standing. Of course if they failed, they would have had to pay with their own lives.

Top left: LÁrco di Costantino, memorial erected for Constantine, a former emperor 0f Rome

Left: I took this photo and was marvelling at my photographic skills when I saw a postcard with the exact same photo, having the same angle and background!

The next place we popped by was in the Vatican City, St. Peter´s Dome (Piazza San Pietro). It was surreal to see the exact burial spot of the apostle Peter, who was also the first Pope of the Catholic church.

".. I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church...." Matt 16:18 This wasn´t just a symbolic prophecy to Peter´s life, since he was one of the 12 apostles. Guess where Peter was buried? Directly under the main altar of the largest church in the world. There was a literal prophecy in what Jesus said too! Isn´t the Bible simply awesome?

In front of the entrance of St. Peter´s Dome - strict dress code, I brought a jacket

Love this shot that hubby took of me!

I can´t begin to describe what the interior of the Dome is like, awe-inspiring wouldn´t even come close. This is the ceiling of the Dome.
Do you notice the hubby´s naughty pose with the anatomy of the angel?

View from the top of the Dome....more than 500 steps - we took the lift and saved ourselves 200, but still had to walk the remaining 300 steps ourselves (click to enlarge)

That´s the altar directly above Peter´s tomb. I remembered thinking, "Oh boy, Peter really DID exist!" Not that I ever doubted it, but the experience of seeing the real tomb really etches such a deep impression in the conscious mind that one really enters into a higher level of belief. I guess that might be a little bit of what it would be like to see God one day....I wonder if I´d actually think, "Oh boy, God really DOES exist" even though I´ve believed all my life that He does, but to see Him would be like beyond my human-level of imagination.

After that we went back to the hotel for a quick shower and then for Italian food! We got recommendations to go to this excellent family restaurant around the corner from where we stayed - Restaurant Al Fienaroli

I had the best Pesto with prawns pasta that I´ve ever tasted in my life! Seriously in 7th heaven after my first bite. Everything else, from the pizza, to tomato pasta to grilled vegetables were delectable!

The tiramisu tasted even better than my Mother-in-law´s recipe - which is pretty rare because hers is the benchmark. This one was so creamy, had the right mix of alcohol and espresso....the Panna Cotta was mouth-watering too. We literally rolled out of the restaurant. And the prices were reasonable too! My pasta was only 12€.


jie jie said...

That is so weird! Went to exactly the same places when I was in Rome so it's weird to see all your pics. Only difference was that Pope Johannes Paul II died a couple of days after I left Rome so you cannot even start to imagine the masses of people that were at St. Peters... And the amount of tv cameras and presenters on the opposite end!

And where should you be able to get better Italian food than in Rome... Ok, maybe Naples, I reckon people would fight over that. ;) I LOVED that city and cannot wait to go back there. Did you go to the fountain and threw a coin in over your shoulder? That means that you will come back to the city one day - so I will! :)


Pris said...

Hi Jie Jie! Hahha, as they say, Great Minds Think alike! Hahha. OH no, I can´t imagine the chaos when you were in Rome. There were already so many people when I was there. Did you catch yourself on camera? hah.

Yeah, I lurve Italian food...its awesome! Nope! We didn´t visit that fountain you talked about though! But I reckon we would visit again, since we´re staying in Europe. Just the next time, I´d rather take the plane than the car! It took 12-13 hrs to drive back.

You really planning to have your Bachelorette´s party there?

Anonymous said...

love your dress and how you managed to make it work and look good both for a formal occasion (the wedding) and for the city tour.

Pris said...

Thanks for your compliment! :) I bought it from Venice from a small boutique, about 30€ only. I love white dresses, but had to make sure there were some prints on it, because pure white dresses are not allowed in weddings here.


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