Friday, October 14th, 2011
Our first day as an engaged couple started off with a slow start. Despite setting our alarm for 9am we ended up sleeping in until noon hour. With the excitement of our engagement and jet lag setting in, we were due for some R&R.
After grabbing a cappuccino, we were on our way! We ended up at the Trevi Fountain again and it looked completely different during the day. The crowded space was littered with people and street vendors. We took a few photos and decided to throw a coin into the fountain. We took the necessary tourist picture before the toss (holding the coin together) and Shawn threw it to the fountain. Instead of landing the coin in the fountain, it bounced off the edge and landed on the ground. We left the fountain laughing hysterically.
Our next stop was the Spanish Steps. For October it was surprisingly warm. We were both dressed in shorts and a t-shirt and I was as usual coated in sunscreen. We captured lots of pictures and ran up to the top of the steps. Once we got to the top of the steps we were presented with three (wilted) roses. One reoccurring lesson that we learned was that nothing is ever free. We said no thank you to the flowers but the man was very insistent.
If someone offers you any type of gift (flowers, jewelry, CDs… etc) and tells you that it’s free, it definitely isn’t free. So unless you want to give them some money for it, politely decline their offerings.
Before heading to the Vatican, we decided to stop along our walk for some authentic Italian food. We stopped at a tiny restaurant off a cobblestone street. We were sheltered from the heat as the patio was covered by a canopy. Sipping on a beer, we enjoyed minestrone soup, bruschetta and then shared some spaghetti and meatballs!
We signed up for a guided tour so we could bypass the line and have full access to St. Peters church, the Vatican and the Sistine chapel.
Even though, I am not a religious person, I was extremely excited to learn about the history and see the stunning architecture. The tour did not disappoint. We approached the entry way to the church and I was wearing jeans shorts and a t-shirt. I had packed light weight pants and tops for the other stops on our trip but didn’t even think to wear them today. Lucky enough, we met a kind couple from outside of our hometown and they offered me their rain coat to wrap around my waist. We were able to transform the rain coat into a makeshift skirt and I was allowed in! I was glad I was able to take photos in the church and Vatican museum however, we were unable to take photos in the Sistine chapel. It was really magical being able to stand in the middle of the Sistine chapel in the dimly lit space and fully enjoy the moment free of any distractions.
When visiting anywhere sacred, always dress more conservative. Covering shoulders, midriff and knees always helps.
The walk home ended up taking us about three hours since we got lost a couple of times. But, if there’s any city to get lost in, it’s definitely Rome!
Travelling around Rome was truly remarkable. It is a city that I would recommend to anyone. The culture, architecture and food were all memorable.