S: Italy Vacation 2011
FC: Italy Vacation 2011
1: Day 1 Our first stop was the Colosseum! We took a two-hour tour where we were taken back in time to what the Colosseum looked like thousands of years ago - gleaming with white marble and gold.
2: Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.
3: Although in the 21st century, it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome.
4: Rich and Lisa | a | Brett
6: Day 2 We started Day 2 by venturing out and using the bus system and metro. It really wasn't that hard to get around once we figured out how to buy a ticket and that it can be used on the bus, metro, tram, and the train - SWEET! We stopped for lunch at Campo de' Fiori, a rectangular square near Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy, on the border of rione Parione and rione Regola.
7: Our first lunch in Rome at Campo de' Fiori. Brett had spaghetti, Lisa had the lasagna, and it looks like Rich was happy with his beer.
8: Next stop was the Vatican and Sistine Chapel.
10: A view from atop the Sistine Chapel. | Vatican City
13: Yum, gelato!
14: Here we are at the Trevi Fountain, one of the most famous fountains in the world. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city.
15: Then we walked down Via Del Corso, a main street in the center of Rome and is considered the "Rodeo Drive" of Rome.
16: Loved the old buildings! | The bus was always a welcome sight | The hotel elevator was super-small!
18: Day 3 We were 'dying' to see crypts and catacombs! First, we went to Capuchin Crypt. (Yes, those are bones on the walls!) When the monks arrived at the church in 1631, they brought 300 cartloads of deceased friars.
19: The soil in the crypt was brought from Jerusalem by order of Pope Urban VIII. As monks died during the lifetime of the crypt, the longest-buried monk was exhumed to make room for the newly-deceased who was buried without a coffin and the newly-reclaimed bones were added to the decorative motifs. Bodies typically spent 30 years decomposing in the soil, before being exhumed. The crypt was very interesting, we've never seen anything like it!
20: The catacombs of San Callisto were very cool! Probably one of our favorite tours. Located outside of the city, the catacombs were the burial sites for early Christians. Moe than 10 early martyrs, 16 popes, and thousands of average Christians were buried here. Here is a picture of Brett and Rich as we waited for the tour to start.
21: These are pictures of the actual catacombs. No one is actually buried here as the bones were removed (because people would take them as souvenirs - ewww).
22: Pictures from the San Callisto Catacombs countryside and snack bar.
23: Sightseeing | Around | Rome
28: On our way out of Rome to see the Catacombs.
29: Santa Maria Maggiore Church, Rome, Italy | Circus Maximus - where the chariot games were held.
30: Juventus vs Lazio | Day 4 The soccer game was absolutely crazy... smoke bombs, flare guns, drunken fights, riot police... and that was before the game even started! It was a once in a lifetime chance to see a European game up close and it didn't disappoint!
32: More sights from around Rome...
36: Day 5 We spent the morning and afternoon at Ostia Antica, a large archeological site. The beautifully preserved ruins of Ostia lie twenty miles from Rome, in the meadows between the Tiber River and the Tyrrhenian Sea.
37: This is a map of the Ostia Antica grounds; Note the signage welcoming you to the Porta di Roma, as that’s what is was in ancient times! You’ll find this sign just after you enter the site.
38: Elaborate floor mosaics cover what were once the floors of Roman houses.
39: Here is the main street called Decumanus Maximus.
41: Ostia's amphitheater was erected in 12 BC. It is a quiet, wonderfully preserved series of steep semicircular stone bleachers that hold 3500 spectators. The tiny stage is still intact.
42: This port city was abandoned once the Tiber River changed course. Very cool! Many of the statues, buildings, etc were in surprisingly good shape.
44: Our last day in Italy at Ostia Antica. (Yes, he grew that beard in a week!)
46: Such a shame with all the graffiti EVERYwhere! | On our way out of Ostia Antica... They have these fountains everywhere in Rome and Brett was thirsty.
47: After Ostai Antica, we headed back to Piazza Navone for dinner and shopping. | The guy on the bench only moves when you gave him money. lol.
48: Typical car in Rome. They were so cute!
49: Our last meal in Rome ended with Tiramasu :)