Home > Blogs > Robert Study Abroad, Spring 2007 > 4, 5, & 6 July 2007 - Rome, Italy

4, 5, & 6 July 2007 - Rome, Italy

Posted by admin on July 6, 2007

When I mentioned my hostel in Roma in my previous post (Napoli), I should have said "campground". That's right, I'm camping in Roma. This place is kind of like an Italian KOA (that's Kampgrounds Of America, for all you non-campers). The tent is provided, complete with a wood floor and a cot. So I'm not exactly roughing it, but neither is the pop-up that my family uses back in the States, either.

I was initially worried about being able to sleep here because of the heat. I've discovered that the heat here in Roma is mainly due to the sun exposure. It's not that it is actually hot here, it's just that you're always out in the sun absorbing the rays and you're constantly around city buildings which are radiating that heat back at you. At night it gets quite cold, so sleeping is very comfortable. My tent has two cots in it, and I've been using the 2nd cot's blanket at night because it's so cold.

I already covered my trip to Roma and getting to the hostel in my last post. After checking in my first priority was to relax and cool down. Walking around in the heat here with a couple bags on my shoulders works up quite a sweat. I also browsed some of the ammenities provided here at the campground. For example, they said that they had a grocery store with cheap prices. I looked there and the prices definitely weren't cheap, but they were only sightly more expensive than the grocery stores so there wasn't much of an added convenience charge. I did find a 3 LITER bottle of beer. It cost 45 Euros, though. Plus, there's no way I'd make it through all that on my own. It was a cool sight to see, though.

For my first full day in Roma (July 5th) I visited the Vatican. I hopped on the earliest shuttle between the campground and the Vatican and I got in line for the Museum and Sistine Chapel around 8:45 am. The line was really long, but once the 10 am opening time got closer the line started to move rather quickly. I was inside the doors by 10:15. The Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel tour was amazing! The artwork is indescribable, so I'll let the pictures do the talking. I'll try to get them posted in here and on the photo gallery page soon.

I was blown away by the Sistine Chapel itself. The paintings on the ceiling were so lifelike it was as if the figures were actually suspended from the ceiling rather than being painted on a flat surface. Along the way to the chapel I walked through several hallways filled with old paintings and ornate wall-hangings. There were also several souvenir stands setup along the way. Part of me didn't like seeing the commertialism thrust into the middle of the tour like that, but I was also greatful for these stands as my camera batteries died partway through the tour and I was able to get some new batteries at one of these stands.

After seeing the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel I walked around the outer wall to St. Peter's Basilica. The colonades around the square were spectacular and the Basilica itself was magnificent. The dome looked rather dingy from Roma's pollution, but other than that the entire structure was awesome!

I first went up into the dome to see the view from the cupola. Climbing up there was pretty cool as the path was in between the dome you see from the outside and the painted dome seen on the inside. Once I was at the cupola itself I had a great view of Roma and I could see many city landmarks.