I was going to spend the day today touring all things in or near Vatican City. I should have probably done that on Saturday since I discovered that the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel are closed on Sundays, but I was too eager to see the other landmarks yesterday. That said, it all happened to work out nicely going on Sunday…more to come.
I met my friend Alex at the train station and took one to Vatican City. The lines were not bad at all at 9:30am. While we were in line, Alex taught me some new tricks on my camera and let me borrow his better lense. Once inside the St. Peter’s Basilica, we first toured the dome. It was my favorite part! There were 551 steps to the top. It’s not great for anyone afraid of narrow spaces, as the closer you got to the top, the tighter the staircase became..but they have an elevator option. The second I stepped out of the staircase and into the opening I was in awe. St. Peters Basilica was much bigger than it appeared outside. Looking down and seeing all the small people below shocked me. Up a few more stairs was the roof, which was equally as impressive because of the view of the city.
We went back downstairs and into the main area of the church, again, the biggest church I’ve been in. There was a mass going on but there were so many other areas to go that you almost didn’t even realize it at the time. There were even some people doing confessionals. We felt like we saw everything so headed outside.
There were large crowds outside gathered by nations with their corresponding flags. On the way to the exit, Alex saw some pillars that he wanted me to pose by (I swear it was his idea, not mine). It took awhile to get a good photo because I was embarrassed of people watching and because Alex was getting super into it (laying on the ground and all). However, it turned out that this extended photo shoot was a good thing, because had we not, we would have missed the Pope! All of a sudden the crowds started waving and cheering. It was because the Pope had opened up his windows and was giving a speech (in Italian). Thank goodness we got there early because the place was absolutely packed and they weren’t letting more people in. I guess everyone but us knew this would be happening.
After my photoshoot I was super hungry and wanted to try pizza. We found a place nearby that wasn’t super touristy and ordered two pizzas and two desserts. The food was of course great.
There was much more walking before I decided I wanted to try some limoncello. I was looking for a place to buy a bottle, but we couldn’t find one that was refrigerated. When we did find one, it was just a small bottle, but thank goodness because that stuff is strong! We sat and drank the limoncello in a square where a market was taking place.
Then went to another plaza in Trastevere, stoping for pictures again on the way, this time I think my modeling skills had improved with the limoncello. I liked this area a lot, it was somewhere that I would want to stay if I came again. All of the side streets had cute very “foodie” restaurants and stores. There were significantly less tourists and it had a more neighborhood feel. We sat and ordered some drinks at Caffe Del Arance and people watched for a good hour.
Then walked along the river until we both were too tired and I learned that Alex had a Car2Go membership. I’d never used one before, but as big fan of bike sharing, I now see how having the car share could be really convenient when you’re traveling. The last stop of the night was a restaurant close by called Mamma Angela. I wanted only one thing- Cacio E Pepe- and it was the best pasta flavor ever.