Our days have been absolutely filled with things to see. We have taken the opportunity to sleep in every morning, but from 11 to about 7 everyday, we are walking through the streets of Rome.
We started out with a bang with the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. We spent hours going through each site reading everything that was offered. The Colosseum was incredibly impressive, but also depressing. While you can imagine the noise and energy it must have had in its heyday, the building itself is in ruins.
Some of the most impressive ruins we have seen were the Baths of Caracalla that could hold 6000 people at one time. The structures were composed of massive domed vaults of which every inch would have been covered in marble with mosaic floors. The Pantheon was another impressive site to see. The dome is amazing and in amazing condition especially since the open oculus has allowed the interior of the building to be open to the elements for 2000 years!
We made sure to throw in tons of pennies for our families and friends into the Trevi Fountain! The fountain was one of our favorite sites despite the crazy amount of tourists. At one point, a woman next to us got pelted with a penny someone was trying to throw in!
We have been to an incredibly amount of churches off all different sizes, shapes, and styles. We have been in round churches, oval churches, classical cross shaped churches, churches with Michelangelo statues, Raphael and Caravaggio paintings, Bernini sculptures, old mosaics, and of course gilded everything! Some of the smallest churches are the most ornate while some of the larger ones are much more simplistic. No matter what church we enter, we are sure to find an amazing piece of art.
Of of the best surprises so far was an art collection from a single family, the Doria-Pamphili's who have been collecting art for the last 400 years. Their family was incredibly powerful, had a pope and several princes and princesses as well. Their collection was extensive and amazing with works from all of the great Renaissance artists.
Tomorrow we are heading to the Vatican! We have heard that the pope usually addresses the public on the last Sunday of the month, but then we have also heard that he is at his summer home during these unbearably hot days. But no matter what we will be able to see some of the greatest paintings, sculpture and architecture in the world!