Even though we are not Catholic, we wanted to visit the Vatican during our trip. We read many different guide books and ask family who had visited for their tips. Then we ignored them and did our own thing. On the way to St. Peter's Square many people approached us to try to convince us to hire them as our official tour guides. They promised we could skip the long lines to buy tickets if we would just hire them.
Once inside the Sistine Chapel spend a few minutes just taking it all in. They are strict with their photo policy and were constantly getting on to people for not following it and we saw them make a few people delete photos. This is one place I want to take the kids when they are older and can appreciate the art as being more than just "pretty."
Friday, May 17, 2013
There are only so many things you can plan on and research. Some things just happen. This post is a mixture of what we planned and things that just happened.
Our hotel was close to the Roma Termini. This made it easy to take our stuff from the train to our hotel when we first arrived. It also made it easy to catch a bus to all of the tourist stops. Sure, we could have paid a lot more money and taken one of the many tourist buses. But at 1 euro per person per way (our kids were young enough to be free), this was much cheaper. The city buses also stop at all of the tourist stops and our hotel stop was simply the terminal. Even if we didn't understand a word of Italian, we could have gotten around with no problem. It's not like we would miss the Colosseum just by looking out the window after all.
Just walking down a neighborhood street we saw this. Apparently they had just finished redoing the facade of this house. Now I want giant faces around all of our windows.
A little farther down that same street, this family started out of their house. The little girl and sweet daughter took one look at each other. Then they embraced like long lost friends. As they chatted in two different languages, the adults just looked on laughing.
At one point we got lost. We couldn't figure out which way to go. We had been walking longer than we expected. It was raining. I had opened the map so many times it had disintegrated in the rain. We eventually decided to take a taxi back. Not remembering the name of the street our hotel was on, we just told the driver to take us to the train terminal. She didn't complain about walking, but the moment we sat down she was out and didn't wake up until the next morning.
The next day he wanted more nap, so he pretended to sleep in my arms. I'm always up for a good cuddle. It didn't last long before he wanted to walk on his own again.
This was a small cafe we stopped in. We just might have let the kids eat pizza every single day we were in Italy. We also brought along dried veggies which they ate for snack every day. See that large sidewalk just behind me? That's a street. Not just a small side street for motorcycles, there was a city bus stop just out of view. When a car or bus came along, everyone just stepped to the side or in a doorway so that there was room.
All of the glasses were real glass. No kids cups or plastic to be found. Luckily the wine glasses had handles that made them easy to handle. The kids loved using the adults glasses and after a few times, I learned to relax and just trust them not to drop.
Historic buildings all around, fountains in the plaza, and people everywhere. When my kids hear music, they decide to dance in the street (literally). If I had just an ounce of their energy I think we would all be better off.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
One of the things we didn't plan on doing, but decided to make time for was a visit to the Da Vinci Museum in Rome. It was centrally located, we had a coupon, and I'm kind of a nerd. Luckily it was a hands on museum and it was empty other than us, so we got to do everything for as long as we wanted.
Sweet son was thrilled to find this "crane", but this was one of the few things he wasn't allowed to play with.
Pulleys, gears, wood and ropes - this was heaven for kids who want to learn how things work.
The war machine - you couldn't go inside, but it was fun to look at.
Do you see the look on his face? We didn't need to explain how it worked.
He could see it and control it and what more could a kid want?
She exclaimed, "It fits together like alligator teeth!"
There were many more exhibits I'm not including photos of. This is not a huge museum, but it was fun. The kids loved seeing the swimming fins (they actually had a full sized mannequin in water). Just about the time you forget you are in Rome, they have a cut out in the floor so you can see the ruins this building was built on top of. Most of the current buildings were built on history.
This was their absolute favorite. Simply turn the handle and it plays music! They watched exactly how it works and then ask wonderful husband to make them one for home. You don't always get what you want though.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
After a busy morning at the forum, we headed over to the Colosseum. This is just such an iconic place and you can feel the history still living, if that makes sense to anyone other than me.
My little gladiators.