Italy 2017: Introduction
Alitalia Business Class Chicago to Rome
Hotel Lungarno (Florence)
Dining in Florence
Il Falconerie (Cortona)
Dining in Cortona
Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria
Dining in Rome
Alitalia Lounge Rome (FCO)
Lufthansa Business Class Rome to Munich
Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich
Lufthansa First Class Munich to Chicago
We had the opportunity to see some of Rome’s most famous sites. Here I am just going to touch on a few things.
We had a great guide who was born and raised in Rome. He had lots of props and materials to show us and knew many details of the Coliseum. He made the experience very seamless. No waiting in lines with him, just stand here for a moment and he would be right back with our tickets and getting us right in. There was a quick security check (metal detectors and such) at the entrance and once inside we took an elevator to the top and worked our way down.
Our guide explained many things about the Coliseum like how it got its name, what sort of events were held there, how the slaves worked under the floor to bring out the animals that the gladiators fought and how everyone had assigned seats (there names were engraved into the stone seats). We were lucky because the Coliseum was recently renovated and cleaned up so it was gleaming quite bright compared to before 2017. To enrich the experience and your time there we would recommend a guide.
Vatican City/Pope’s Sunday Blessing
On our only Sunday in Rome we wanted to see Pope Francis. He does a blessing every Sunday from a window of his residence (the top window 2nd to the right). We gathered in St. Peter’s square with many others to see him. He was speaking in either Latin or Italian (I couldn’t tell) so we couldn’t really understand anything but it was still just amazing to be there.
Vatican Museum Tour and St. Peters Basilica
Our same guide from our prior day Collesuem tour met us outside the Vatican Museum and with our tickets in hand he quickly got us in. This was a long tour (about 4 hours) and we had our 2 yr old son in his stroller but wanted to get out sometimes so it was a bit of a long day.
We thoroughly enjoyed our guide as he had so many details and nuggets of information on many pieces of art inside the Vatican Museum. We would HIGHLY recommend having some sort of guide or guided tour as there is so many things to see and you really won’t know much of what your looking at unless your an historian of some sort. Torwards the end of the tour is the Sistine Chapel where we got to see many of the frescoes painted by Michelangelo. There was no talking or picture taking allowed once in the Sistine Chapel and it was jam-packed.
(now inside St. Peters Basilica)
Once inside St. Peter’s Bascilica we walked around a bit touched the foot of one of the statues for good luck and then eventually went downstairs to see St. Peter’s tomb. The reason the church is built where it is, is due to them building it on top of St. Peters tomb. Many other popes are buried here and their tomb’s are on display.
We stopped at the Scala Santa (Holy Stairs) and wow was it an amazing experience as a Roman Catholic. There are 28 white marble steps encased in wood that lead up to the Church of St. Lawrence. The amazing thing is that the steps are the steps leading up to Pontius Pilate’s praetorium. The same steps Jesus stepped and during his Passion.
It was very hot once inside the building and you must climb the stairs on your hands and knees (talking and pictures inside are prohibited). Physically it was painful on our knees and the heat made it quite tougher. We said a prayer after each step. This maybe the most memorable thing we experienced in Rome. Wow, I would recommend this to any and all Catholics. Very surreal.
Overall we had a great time in Rome seeing the sites!