06/06/2013 - 06/06/2013 70 °F
By K: Tapestries, paintings, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, and a mint chocolate chip, mango, and lemon flavored ice gelato. These are all things that represent our last day in Rome, last day in Europe, and the last day in our trip. Once we got up and got washed, we went down to the lobby of our hotel, where we called for a taxi (like always). We took the taxi to a church near the Vatican walls, where we were supposed to meet our tour guide, and walked from there to a cafe for breakfast. After our breakfast, we finally met our tour guide. She took us to the Vatican entrance, where we were first in the tour guide line. There was a special line for tour groups; groups got a special entry time. We got to go in at 8:00 AM, whereas other people that weren't tour groups went in at 9:00. We went inside and through security. Then we rushed to get inside the Sistine Chapel. We wanted to get there early because later, as we were told, it gets very crowded. We walked around the chapel a bit, and then we went to the photo gallery. We were trying to get to Caravaggio's artrwork, but we saw some other tapestries and Raphael Rooms. We even saw a long hall with busts of gods and goddesses and human beings. One of the busts even had the color of its eyes still painted on there! (which is very rare for a bust/sculpture) After visiting the pieces of artwork and getting a bite to eat, we went to Saint Peter's Basilica. The paintings and sculptures are amazing, and we also saw where St. Peter was burried, along with many Popes.
After eating lunch, we set of for the Roman Forum. It had worn down buildings and what looked like brand new stone roads (even though they were made in as early as 7th century B.C.). Then we went to the Colosseum. We had three tour guides for that. The first told us about the gladiators, their training school, and more. He also told us the scedule at the Colosseum back then:
Morning-gladiator(s) fight animals
Noon-Lunch (bought, brought, or distributed by the Emperor)
Afternoon-gladiators fight each other and/or animals
The second tour guide took us down to a place where special entry is permitted-where the animals and gladiatos were lifted on the 'arena'. She showed us the one-way path they took the animals through and told us that they didn't feed the animals for two or three days so that they were starved and hungry when they went out to the arena. It made the show much more 'action-packed' to the Romans.
The third guide, our guide, took us up to the third level of the Colosseum, where, again, special entry is permitted, to look at where the seats used to be.
After going to the Colosseum, our guide took us to the Pantheon . The Pantheon is a Roman temple dedicated to their twelve gods. There is a giant hole on the ceiling to let sunlight in and to tell time (like a sun dial). And if it rains, like it did today, the floor gets wet, but the floor does have drains for the water. We concluded our last day in Europe by eating gelato (3 scoops!) and having dinner (yes, we did have gelato before dinner). As our time in Eurpoe is ending, just as everything in the world must, we thank God for a wonderful trip and hope for a safe flight home. Bye Europe!