Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Weekend Rome-ance

We have been so lucky to have gotten to travel a lot these past 8 months. Sometimes, when we are in a different city, I think I am a little callused to the fact that we average about a different country a month. I enjoy it, but I am not as ecstatic about it as I would be if we didn't travel so much. You could say we are spoiled when it comes to travelling, and just as a spoiled child doesn't seem to appreciate a new toy, sometimes I don't think we appreciate a new city.

This trip to Rome was not the case. We absolutely fell in love with the city and had just the perfect time- possibly one of the best few days of our lives. I felt like a little kid getting to explore Disney World for the very first time. Yah, it was THAT great!

I'm not sure if it was the warm, spring time, sunshiney days we had while in Rome. Or maybe it was because, being February, the city wasn't as crowded as we had anticipated. Or maybe it was just the fact that it was Valentine's Day weekend and we were in one of the most romantic cities in the world. Or it could have just been that we ate our body weight in gelato, pasta, and wine. That's probably the case. Despite the reason, I just loved that city and wish I could still be there now!

It was just one of those trips were literally nothing went wrong. In fact, things went better than we ever could have imagined. 

First of all, our flat was just perfection. Romantic, in the heart of the city, literally behind the Pantheon. Because we rented a private flat, we really felt like we were doing Rome authentically- it makes us feel less like tourists, and more like we are living there for a short amount of time. 

We became friends with the waiters at the restaurants under our flat- we were pleasantly surprised by how friendly everybody was in Rome

Let me get back on track to Valentine's day, though. I will talk about other parts of our trip in other posts. 

Neither of us are huge on Valentine's Day. Honestly, we just used that as an excuse to go to Rome. We never give each other gifts are go on fancy dates for Feb 14. Usually, I just cook up some delicious steaks and we watch a movie together at home. Well, this Valentine's Day made up for the rest of the missed ones....

Why are all of those people holding up their phones? That's because they are taking pictures of the Pope! Unbeknownst to us, the Pope was giving a special message about the importance of marriage outside St. Peter's Basilica. Granted, it was all in Italian, but still! 

We were literally just wandering around the Vatican, wondering why so many people were there, when he drove up in his "Pope Mobile" and just owned the crowd. It was a moment that we will never forget. 
Even if we hadn't gotten to hear Papa Francesco (no, of course we didn't have fun saying that in a loud, obnoxious Italian accent over and over and over again), we were just dumbfounded by the Vatican. Such ornate beauty. Not a single spot went unnoticed (or unpainted, it seemed like). 

We walked through the Vatican Museum...

No, you are not allowed to take pictures in The Sistine Chapel. Yes, I have a husband who doesn't care about rules. 

The museum was just so unbelievably massive, I felt like we practically ran through it. I read that if you spent a minute in each room, it'll take 12 years to go through the museum. We just hit the key sights. 

We ended up checking out St. Peter's Basilica on another day, as it was closed due to the Pope's speech (actually, nobody knew when it would be open on Valentine's day. When I asked the guards, they basically reiterated that THE POPE closed it. He doesn't speak to others on such matters. And why the hell am I questioning the pope's decision. )


Despite neither of us having a Catholic bone in our bodies, we truly were inspired and in awe of the beauty, holiness, and history of the Vatican, especially the Basilica. It truly took our breath away when we entered the cathedral, and is a sight to be seen in person. 

Now the annoying vendors harassing us to buy their tour, fake Prada purses, or weird squeaky splatter balls? Not so much.   

Thanks for sharing in my joy of our trip, and I hope I didn't make you gag or roll your eyes too many times! 

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