Yesterday was a busy travel and sightseeing day. We woke up early, toured the Pitti Palazzo in Florence, found our way back to the pizza place we enjoyed the day before, did some touristy shopping and managed to catch the fast train to Rome at 1:00 pm. Pitti Palazzo was beautiful; we walked through the gardens which overlook Florence (see yesterday’s photo).
We are staying with Madison’s friend’s parents in Rome, Jim and Marleen, who are so nice for opening up their home to us! They live in Trastevere, a beautiful section of Rome just over the river from the Colosseum. From their balcony, there is a great view of the skyline of Rome – we feel so lucky to be staying here, it is absolutely the best Italian experience we could ask for. Last night we walked around the Roman ruins which are so impressive, and especially striking in the moonlight. I took a few unfocused (no tripod) but beautiful shots of the moon over the Roman forum which I am hoping are clear enough to print later.
The weather here is insane! Last night there was an intense wind storm that took down a lot of branches and this morning, the sun was shining and it was so hot that I was overdressed in a long-sleeve shirt and boots. Within a fifteen minute period around noon, clouds moved in, the wind picked up, and the temperature dropped at least ten degrees. Shivering later this afternoon, we were caught in a downpour and had to buy a flimsy umbrella from a tourist shop.
The weather, as strange as it was, did not keep us from exploring. We still walked this city up and down, stopping to see the Il Vittoriano, Trevi fountain, Pantheon, Spanish steps, Borghese gardens, the Forum, Palatine and the Colosseum. It’s so hard to comprehend that the ruins you are walking past were places of immense significance, from politics to theater, several thousand years ago. After studying archaeology in college, it was amazing to walk around on ground excavated several stories into the earth to see this old society which at its height ruled all the surrounding land on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea.
The cities we explore on this trip keep getting better. I love Rome and I hope one of my sisters has the opportunity to study abroad either here or in Florence so I can come back and visit!
PS: To anyone who realized my title is Lady Gaga lyrics, I love you.