In six days, I conquered Rome, Italy and the famous marvels it has to offer. My parents and I explored Rome, Umbrio, and Florence over Thanksgiving holidays. Below is a summary of the journal I kept to record my experiences and reactions.
Rome is six hours ahead of Tampa; however, you must sit through an 11-hour flight to get there. Besides coping with the jet-lag, I walked around the “downtown” bustle and from one sight to another made my way to the famous Pantheon. The Pantheon’s dark-granite columns have held up the building since 126 AD.
My day began at the Palatine Hill and continued through the Roman Forum, ending up all the way to the famous Colosseum. The structure of what once was a bustling town lies in ruins; however the general structure remains. To imagine gladiators fighting against each other in the massive building is surreal.
The Catholic Church’s dominance in Rome is obvious. There are crucifixes and other crosses covering the city. The Catholic Church and the Pope are centered in Vatican City directly outside the heart of Rome. Vatican City is not only home to the Pope, but also home to the beautiful basilica and the Vatican Museum. The museum exhibits hundreds of beautiful art from different time periods, but its main attraction is the Sistine Chapel. The Chapel’s beauty is entirely attributed to the famous Michelangelo.
When in Rome, I stayed with family friends who have lived in Rome for six years and who work at the Unites States Embassy. The couple welcomed me to their Thanksgiving feast in the farm-town of Umbrio. The acres were full of olive trees and vineyards that they harvest. This experience was my favorite of the trip.
I took a train from Rome to Florence, Italy. Although only an hour-and-a-half train ride away, the atmosphere and architecture is different from Rome. The buildings have more of a definitive end and order than those of Rome. The beauty found in both Florence and Rome is unique and incomparable to other places I have traveled.
For the final day, I wanted to simply explore the downtown area more. All streets lead to a piazza, or a palace, which is really just an open area among the buildings. The people congregate in the piazzas at all hours of the day to simply enjoy the company of each other. It is said that “Americans live to work, and Romans work to live.” This statement makes complete sense when you experience the joy in these piazzas. The people work to enjoy life and the people whom they are blessed to have in it.
My short time in Italy makes me want to return again some day for a longer visit.