Friday, November 9, 2012

When in Rome: Part 2

So. On Tuesday morning we woke up and figured out the Metro system! (Actually Ryan figured it out while I looked on). We took the Metro to the Vatican to tour St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel. It was a beautiful day and the tourists were out and about! We got mixed up in several different tour groups, but it didn't really matter that it was so crowded - we spent the whole morning walking around looking up at the ceilings in the Basilica, Museum, and Chapel!

After a quick lunch right outside the Vatican walls, we took the Metro (again!) on a little sporadic adventure to Piazza del Popolo. I had wanted to see the church there, which I read was one of "Rome's most overlooked churches"...but of course - it was closed! We ended up at a Leonardo da Vinci museum that Ryan really wanted to see (I had no idea he was a fan) and that was interesting, and then we walked in the Borghese Gardens for an hour or two before heading to the Borghese Gallery to look at Bernini sculptures and beautiful, beautiful walls (no pictures allowed though!).

That night we had a thrilling Roman dinner - cacio e pepe, which is a Roman specialty that I've never seen anywhere else and was dying to try, ossobuco, and fried artichokes. YUM. We ate in a great little restaurant near our hotel with tons of locals, all of whom were there when we sat down at 9 and were still there when we left at 11.

The next day we booked it over to the Santa Maria della Vittoria church to see another Bernini statue, St. Teresa in Ecstasy (I seem to have a taste for Bernini these days). It was great and the church was so ornate and beautiful, but very small and plain on the outside. It was one of my favorite things we saw. THEN we popped in to the Cappuccin Crypt to look at bones. Literally. The Crypt has the bones of over 4,000 friars who died between 1528 and 1870 and they are arranged in patterns all over the walls - skulls, thigh bones, shin bones, pelvis bones.....(Ryan was thinking that I was crazy at this point, but it was actually quite cool).

Then, with sore necks and aching feet, we headed back to the train station, hopped on the train, and fell sound asleep. Overall - great, great trip!