Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Failed Attempt to Describe Rome


Please excuse the rambling tone of this post. Too much to say to make sense...

Ethan knows what's up

It blows my mind that I can say things like, "For the second half of White Week, I visited Rome again." 

Rome. Just for a few days. For the second time. Is this real life? Honestly, it doesn't feel like it. Anyways, for the second half of White Week, my parents and I went to Rome. I remember loving it while studying abroad. That had been my first time in Italy, and I remember setting a goal to eat pizza, pasta, and gelato during each day of my stay. Obviously, I succeeded.

After searching out someone "Safe" to let hold my phone, we finally found a family to take
a picture of the three of us.

Our hotel lounge... so posh

This time was different. 

The more I travel, the more I discover about myself. Maybe it's not even a travel thing, but a growing up thing. This time, I found that I enjoy taking things slow (kind of). The way my parents travel is perfect. They stroll. They meander. They pause and truly appreciate everything. They're in no rush, but somehow manage to see all the major sights, as well as "experience" the city they visit. They will open the door to any church they pass just to see how it compares to the 1,123,413,412,341,324 other churches and cathedral's they've wandered into. They enjoy everything- we spent a good hour checking out a store that sold all different pastas, oils, and spices and truly loved it!

View from the steps of the Vittoriano!

Rome is really just magical. 

I know that I used the same descriptor for Florence, but Italy is special like that. Every turn is something new and interesting, and every view stops you in your tracks. Rome is the perfect city; it's big with lots to do, has tons of character, and an incredible history. There wasn't a dull second, but at the same time we never felt rushed. We accidentally took a wrong turn and ran into the Trevi Fountain on three different occasions, and had coffee sitting on the Spanish Steps on two of our mornings. On the way to the Colosseum one day, we came upon the Vittoriano- I had know idea that the stunning building was even a sight to see, let alone one we'd want to stay at for so long. Of course, the Colosseum and Forum were unbelievable. I don't even know why I'm writing this post because there are no words to describe how it feels to stand before such magnificent history.

Dad and I on the Spanish Steps
On our last day, the one day of rain during our time in Rome, we toured the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican. I had been to the Sistine Chapel before, but not to the Vatican. As much as I loved it before, we took a tour this time and having a guide made a huge difference. He gave history and background to many of the paintings and artists, giving us something to search for in the stunning and overwhelming amount of art there was to take in. After going to Alfred for five years, I have immense respect for artists. Seeing how much effort and heart goes into one beautiful painting or sculpture (or one of the many other beautiful pieces I've seen my friends create over the years) just had me in awe of everything I saw. Last year, two friends had a poster of Michelangelo's depiction of God giving life to Adam on their wall- just the hands almost touching (a lazy tip touch, if you will... their words, not mine), and seeing it in real life... incredible. My Mom kept saying that awesome had taken on a very different connotation and was unusable now, but that it really was awe-inspiring.

Best travel buddies ever

At the Forum

The Vatican itself was beyond words. 

I fully intended to take pictures (and sneaky taking them like I did a few years ago in the Sistine Chapel), but it just is... astounding, amazing, mind-boggling... I'm actually on right now trying to find the word that actually describes the feeling of being in the Vatican, but there isn't one. Michelangelo's Pieta (I can't figure out how to add an accent over the 'a' in Blogger!) brought me to tears. While I'd seen pictures of it before, it's such a heartbreaking piece of artwork, which I guess I'd never realized.

Mama and I at the Trevi Fountain
I feel much closer to God after my trip. I've always been of the opinion that church doesn't do it for me; I've felt more connected to God while praying in my bed or while driving than in a church, but it was very different in the old, grand cathedrals. Rome (including the Vatican and all of the other incredible cathedrals we visited) made me feel small, but not in a bad way. I mean that it made me want to be more, do more, and see more. I want to be better than I am, but not in a self-deprecating way; I just want to do the very best I can with this life I've been blessed with. The ancientness and fascinating history of the Forum and Colosseum, the beauty of all the art, the grandeur of the Vatican, and the wonderful company of two of the best travel companions I could ask for... The world has so much to offer and so much to see. I need to experience it all. 

On a lighter note, I've discovered my new travel uniform- I hate pants and from now on am only bringing dresses, tights, boots, and sweaters. No pants ever.

Tossing a coin into the fountain is a promise to come back- I'll be back for sure!

My sneaky picture- breaking the rules! 

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