A June 2004 trip
to Rome by Carmen
Quote: I had expected to love Rome, but I didn't expect to love it this much. It was overwhelming in a way, to see buildings that were around when it was BC. I couldn't get enough!
Hotel | "Hotel Champagne Palace"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 1, 2004
Via Principe Amedeo 82
Rome, Italy 00185
Il Bocconicino Trattoria
Via Ostilla 23
Piazza Della Rotunda
Lucky for us there was the Mariotti gelateria right outside of the Metro stop to help cool us off. I ordered two scoops of the Crème flavor – it was something of a carmel-y flavor. Two scoops in a cup cost 2.3 €. The best thing about this gelato is its location. Just before you get to the Spanish Steps. That way, you can grab some gelato and sit on the steps with the hundreds of other tourists and people watch. I give this gelato 3.5 cones out of 5.San CrispinoVia Della Panetteria
Located near the Trevi fountain, this gelato was my second favorite in Italy. We walked in and I took a number from the ticket generator. The server was very personable, spoke almost perfect English, and kept trying to get us to order the gargantuan size cup of gelato for 6.5 €! There were many new flavors here that I hadn’t seen before, like lemon, honey, etc. I asked for a taste of the honey, but found that it was a bit too strong. However, I also asked for a tast of the ginger and cinnamon, which was my ultimate choice (in a small cup for 1.7 €). It was so sweet – it was like eating a gingerbread cookie but in ice cream form. This gelato, as I mentioned, was my second favorite on the trip. I’d rate it a 4.5 cones out of 5.Giottos
I can’t say enough good things about the gelato here. I’m glad we followed the recommendation in our Rick Steves book to get our last Italian gelato for our trip here. First, there were so many flavors to choose from that my taste buds were angry that I could only pick a few. We were lucky that there was a tour guide with his group behind us, as he was explaining what the different flavors were and what complimented each. His recommendation was to pair one of the fruity flavors with one of the chocolates. Once I had decided on one scoop of white chocolate with one scoop of raspberry, I went to the cashier to purchase my ticket. (Small was 1.8 € in a regular cone, medium was two scoops in a chocolate-coated cone for 2.4 €.) Then I took my ticket back to the counter to have my cone made. The gelato was so smooth that the server had to almost smoosh it into the cone, flavors side by side. I couldn’t decide which flavor was my favorite. The white chocolate had little bits of chocolate in it, and the raspberry was smooth and just tart enough to satisfy – but the bites where the two flavors went together, well it was heaven. If you only get one gelato in Italy, make it this one. 5 cones out of 5. A perfect score.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 1, 2004
Attraction | "The Colosseum"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 1, 2004
Piazza Del Colosseo
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 (06) 7004261
Attraction | "The Pantheon"
Piazza della Rotonda
Rome, Italy 00186
Attraction | "Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel"
Seems to me that 12 € is a fair price to pay for seeing one of the most magnificent works of art anywhere – the Sistine Chapel. The time spent standing in line is worth it too – we waited in the longest line we found in Italy here, but even so it was only a 35 minute wait.
If you’re like most people – ok, like me – you want to follow the "Sistine express" signs that directly lead you past all the other art (which I’m sure is nice, but it takes about 30 minutes just to walk to the back of the museum to get to the Sistine Chapel.) Don’t be fooled by the other pretty ceilings – they’ve got Sistine Chapel explanations posted in these rooms for some strange reason, but you’re not there yet. Plus, if you can take a picture, you KNOW you’re not there yet – no photos inside the Chapel.
When you get into the Sistene Chapel, resist the urge to just look up immediately. My recommendation to you is to find a spot away from the door – preferably on the benches or stairs if you can find a spot. Situate yourself – then get out your guide book that explains each panel, then start from probably the most famous panel near the center – The Creation of Adam. (It’s the two fingers touching that you saw on the walls of almost every dorm room in college.)
There are guards in this room shushing people every five minutes or so – hey, it’s hard to be quiet when you just want to shout because a) you’re in the Sistine Chapel and b) because you’ve just seen something new that you want to share. It truly is awe-inspiring. How could Michelangelo have ever been unhappy with his work!?
The wall panels were painted by several well-known artists – but Michelangelo’s "Last Judgement" on the alter wall puts them all to shame. It depicts the souls of the dead facing the wrath of God. It’s a bit on the gruesome side – there’s even a flayed skin hanging in the air. Tidbit for you, Michelangelo was struggling with his own religious predicament, and it’s his face he painted on the skin.
The Sistine Chapel, at the very least, is something you should see. If you’ve got more time, enjoy some of the other artwork. If you’ve got two hours, skip to the end and see only the Chapel.
Open 8:45 a.m.- 3:45 p.m. – last entrance 90 minutes before closing.
Vatican Palace Viale Del Vaticano
+39 (06) 8530 1758
Attraction | "Vatican City and St. Peter's"
Largo Romolo e Remo
Rome, Italy 00186
Cary, North Carolina