Spring Break Day 7 & 8: Rome, Italy
We left Florence and arrived in Rome by train around 5:30 on Friday. We had all of Saturday to see Rome and flew back to Ankara very early on Easter Sunday.
Where we stayed
We spent two nights at Sleeping Beauty Guesthouse. The room was large, clean, and the staff was friendly and incredibly helpful.
By the time we made it to our hostel, I was exhausted and my feet were killing me. (Wear good shoes when you travel!!!) We got dinner, then came back to the room. David turned on the news and saw that the Pope was at the Colosseum for an Easter lighting ceremony. I stayed in, but he went to check it out. He ended up missing the Pope by about 20 minutes.
Before we left for our trip, we pre-booked 8:45 am tickets to the Vatican and signed up for the breakfast inclusion, because it was the only advanced deal left. It actually worked out great. It was a typical American continental spread, and it gave us enough energy to make it through the afternoon. We walked through the many halls of the Vatican, saw the Sistine Chapel (gorgeous!), and stopped in Saint Peter’s Basilica.
We had a rainy day for touring Rome. (The gelato did make up for it!)
After the Vatican, we visited the Colosseum. David was especially excited because his mom had visited it and told him about it in homeschool. It’s kind of a morbid place to tour, if you think about it. So many people were murdered and martyred inside. I’ve been studying Romans this semester with my Bible study group, and it made me think about how greatly Paul longed to encourage the body in Rome.
After the Colosseum, we searched for the Secret Vatican Keyhole. It’s nowhere near the Vatican, but gives you the most amazing, aligned view of St. Peter’s! The hole looks through The Knights of Malta gardens. We found other beautiful garden views in a nearby convent.
Where we ate:
At the suggestions of our hostel, we ate at Spaccio Pasta and Trattoria Pizzeria Da Simonetta. Both were walking distance from where we stayed. Neither were particularly amazing, but were cheap and tasty. Spaccio seemed more like a chain restaurant. Simonetta was a rustic, local restaurant. I had a delicious eggplant casserole dish. The owner was so proud when I told him how good it was and told me his mama made it.
We had a stressful time getting back home. We experienced a bit of reverse culture shock in dealing with the shuttle to the airport. Terravision leaves right when it says it does. I don’t know what we were thinking… I guess we were used to people loading around the time on the ticket, since that’s usually what happens in Turkey. We missed our shuttle, but fortunately they let us hop on the next bus an hour later. That put us at the airport just an hour before our international flight. We sprinted through the airport to check our bags and stood in the longest customs line we’d ever seen. (We should have known better since it was Easter weekend!) By the grace of God we made it through and safely back to Ankara.
We loved our trip to Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome. It was David’s and my first Europe trip on our own! We came back to school refreshed. It was the trip of a lifetime!