Sunday, January 12, 2014


Oh what can I say about Rome. We love Rome.  We loved it the first time we visited, and we loved it just as much the second time. We only repeated a few of the sights we saw the first time (Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and Galleria Borghese) and there is still TONS we would love to see.  Rome has an unlimited amount of sights to visit.  It’s just an incredible city. This trip to Rome for us was mostly a basilica tour.  We love going through different Baroque style Roman churches and basilicas, so that’s what you will see in most our photos.  It's worth noting here that this post is in chronological order so if two basilicas are by each other in these pictures, they are likely by each other geographically as well so if you want to copy our basilica touring itinerary, this order is probably a good one to follow. Also, it's taking us forever to catch up on this blog so I'm going to do all of Rome in this one post, congratulations if you make it to the end :-).

On our first day in Rome, we headed out to see Castel Sant'Angelo.  To get there you cross a really neat bridge with statues all along it.
Oh girl, I totally know how you feel...Birds have no respect (*cough* Smoochie)
 At the end of our time in Venice, something came loose inside our camera lens and it got progressively worse for the rest of our trip.  This is Reed trying (unsuccessfully) to fix it.  Eventually we had to start using our back-up smaller lens :-(. Certainly glad we brought that back-up though!
Inside the Chiesa Del Gesu:

This is near the Chiesa del Gesu but below is an unidentified basilica.  We later started taking pictures of the names on the doors but I wish we would have thought to do that earlier :-(.  A good piece of advice though is to just go inside ANY basilica in Rome that you come across.  They are all amazing.
Santa Maria Sopra Minerva:
Sant'Ignazio De Loyola: This was my absolute favorite Basilica from this Rome trip.  The painting on the ceiling is unreal.  I mean real.  It's unreal that it looks so real.  Man I'm getting old, I really don't know how to use the lingo anymore.  Anyways, it seriously looks like some people are flying around up there, while others are climbing up to heaven or falling from heaven.  It is breathtaking and definitely a must-see in Rome.
Trevi Fountain
The Spanish Steps.  We went by these last time we were in Rome and didn't understand why they are considered a "must-see" in Rome and well...we still don't get it. 
 Even though we didn't really see what was so special about the Spanish Steps, we are still very happy we went because we saw an incredible sunset that night and had a great view from the steps.

Can't ask for a more romantic end to a day in Rome, right?
We had quite the interesting dinner that night, starting with a (surprisingly delicious) appetizer of zucchini flowers wrapped in bacon, followed by an interesting pasta (on top of cream instead of mixed in with the cream) and buffalo mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto and covered in some type of balsamic sauce (it was awesome).

Reed's favorite part of Rome is probably drinking out of these fresh water fountains along the streets.

One unfortunate thing about Rome is that it is SO big so you have to take buses or metros everywhere.  You can walk around a lot of course but you definitely can't walk to everything you are going to want to see.  And sadly, the buses are not always dependable so this one actually never even came.
You see these guys ALL over the place in Europe, so we thought we should post at least one picture of them (this was in Piazza del Popolo)
Santa Maria Del Popolo
Santa Maria Maggiore:

We couldn't leave Rome without going back to the Galleria Borghese to see our favorite sculptures by Bernini.  They were just as amazing as the last time, it's just too bad they don't allow photos inside so this is us outside after going through :-(.  But this Galleria is, without a doubt, a must-see in Rome.
Back at Trevi Fountain.  The legend is that if you throw a coin in the fountain, you'll come back to Rome someday.  It worked for us last time so we knew we had to do it again!
  We had one rainy day in Rome and that happened to be Sunday.  So we took a 30 minute bus ride and then trudged 20 minutes in the rain to get to church only to discover that it was stake conference at another building and there was no way we would make it on-time!! We were NOT happy.  Hopefully the Lord still counts that as a day at church :-/.
We decided to spend the rest of our rainy day in the Capitoline museum.  It's not a must-see in Rome but it was still pretty neat if you find yourself with a few extra hours in Rome or you need to get away from bad weather.  My favorite sculpture was the lion attacking the horse even though it's really sad.  It's crazy how the artist sculpted the lion's teeth sinking in.  We also had a great view of the Roman Forum from the museum (see below).  And of course you will see a few pictures of Reed imitating statues.

And back to Basilica touring :-)...Here is Santa Maria Della Vittoria (and an outside picture that shows you a huge line of motorcycles, as is very typical for Italy)
Santa Maria  Sopra Minerva...This one was not my favorite because it was still in the more Gothic style before the Baroque style really became popular but I thought it was pretty neat nonetheless and certainly very different:
Santa Maria Madelena (I thought the outside of this was gorgeous):
This gelato place is called "Della Palma" and it is right by the above basilica. It is very famous because it boasts over a hundred flavors but that also means it can be super crowded so try to go during off-times like at 11 a.m. or something.
San Luigi Dei Francesi:
And our last basilica before leaving Rome was the Basilica S. Andrea Della Valle.  The pictures don't do this one justice because the shear size of it is so unbelievable.
I tried to upload a video of a really amazing nighttime performer in Rome but alas, it's not working :-(.  So just note that Rome has a fabulous nightlife and Piazza Navona and the Pantheon are both great locations to see some very talented performers. Woo, that was a long post.  But well worth it, right guys? Guys? You still there?....