We all had BIG and I mean HUGE hopes for Rome. I mean it's one of the most famous capitals in the world and every year somewhere between 7-10 million tourists go to see and to fall in love with Rome. I was waiting for the whole ''falling in love'' -experience, but somehow I did not get it.. Let me tell you why.
Okay so first of all I've traveled quite a lot. I've been to maybe 15 different countries and most of them more than once so I can say that I have some sort of experience about the matter, but never have I encountered such an unwelcome feeling while traveling. Most of the local people in Rome where SO RUDE, and for the record I'm from Finland for gods sake and we're not famous for our warmth, but still I can tell you that most Finns have much better manners than what I received from the people in Rome. And I'm not talking about the tourists here.. It was rare if the salesclerk actually looked you in the eye or smiled. Most of the time these women (yes, most of them were women) didn't even say anything although I tried to be nice and say ''Buongiorno!'' with a smile and an eye contact. After a while I stopped it since I did not receive any response.
But I have to say that the actual city of Rome was SO beautiful! All the architecture and scenery... I loved it. And as a person interested in art I found the Vatican one of the most beautiful places that I've ever been to.
|Saint Peter's Church/Basilika in Vatican.|
|The famous square in front of the church.|
|Inside of Saint Peter's.|
|You can't possibly understand the amount of people that|
was in there or the vastness of the place itself.
|I think all the people living in Espoo could be fitted|
inside the church. (Espoo = 2nd largest city in Finland)
|Yep, the Catholic church sure has money, money, money...|
|Some dead wax-dude inside of a glass coffin. I sure do hope it's wax....|
|My mom and me. I was getting a bit tired here...|
My mother was not... lol
|The famous statue Pietà - Mary holding the dead Jesus.|
I'm not a religious person... I actually resigned from church as soon as I was able to, but I was still very swayed by the magnitude of everything there. All the art and all the hours of labor that has gone into making the whole place. It's something unbelievable that you just have to experience yourself to understand.
And even though this was not something that I personally believe in, I still respect the people who does and I respect their rules. And one of them was to cover your knees and shoulders when entering the holy places like the churches. This was somewhat problematic to me since it was hot (for me at least) and I did not want to put black jeans on... So I decided to put a maxi dress and take a leather jacket with me so that I can cover my shoulders. Unless you had a proper outfit, you're not allowed to enter the church.
Now I'll post some pictures from the Museums of the Vatican.
|Hercules. You could recognize him from the lion skin|
and from the wooden club. He had the biggest club
of them all.................. lol
|A very posh and ancient statue of Nemo.|
|This fella could really have some use for moisturizing creams.|
|A Finnish chimp and a Vatican Baboon.|
Or the other way around.
|My brother also wanted to join the Baboon club.|
Taking these pictures with all the other tourists around us...
Yeah our mother was very proud at that moment.
Alright that's enough of the Vatican. Since we actually did go to other places too... JUST one thing I have to say as a woman to another woman - prepare to hold your liquids in. I mean I'm actually quite sure that the Pope does not have to pee since there were almost no toilets at all. It took us about 4 hours to quickly go through the Museums and the Sistine Chapel and the Saint Peter's Basilika and the only toilets after the Museums were at the square in front of the church. And ofc the queue was as long as Finnish winter. But it was all because of two Italian toilet Nazis, who let only 3 women in 5 minutes inside these HUGE toilets. They were totally controlling the queue and smoking like chimneys and talking bullshit at the same time. Made me really angry.....
So we also visited the Colosseum and the Palatine Hills. Unfortunately my Mother's phone was stolen in the queue of Colosseum and it did not help the growing hatred against the local people. The queue to the Colosseum was a total madness! We had bought the tickets beforehand from the internet and we had to chance the printed tickets into a ''real'' tickets at the Colosseum. We had to wait 3 different times to actually get inside the whole place. And meanwhile trying to survive with all the madness my mother had left her purse open for a few minutes and PUFF the phone was gone. Immediately we called from my phone to Finland to close my mother's phone, but it did leave a nasty feeling inside to be hoaxed like that and ofc my mother blamed herself because she was not careful for one minute. We have never had anything stolen from us before - except in Spain where there was a break in to our apartment and some clothes were stolen.
|I felt like Russell Crowe in there.|
''I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next''.
|Inside and lower levels of the Colosseum.|
|My overwhelmed face.|
|The floor of the Colosseum had actually collapsed so we could see the|
2 lower levels of the stadium. That is where I think the Gladiators
and the wild animals and beasts were kept.
|After my mother's phone was stolen there were only|
my brother's phone's camera that we could use.
And a video camera. Btw I did have shorts on...
|a view from the Palatine hills. The oldest place in the Rome|
and the place where the whole Rome got started from.
|A picture from the Colosseum to the Palatine hills.|
|People lived here over 1000 years BC. Just think about it...|
|It was a very hot day and there were no wind so whenever I could|
find a shade I went there like a bear to honey. I also had sunscreen
and my brother did not so he had red face and shoulders at the
end of the day - i did not. yay!
|Trying to find Capuchin Crypt. Google it..|
It's absolutely amazing, but photos were not allowed
inside the Crypt.
|A park next to Borghese Art Gallery.|
|Borghese Gallery. Hades tries to steal a bitch with his|
|Nude Hercules slaying some beasts.|
|Amazing ceiling art.|
|Having a picnic at a park of Domitilla Catacombs.|
|Walking down on Via Appia Antica.|
|This was a tomb of an unknown soldier(s). It-was-huge!!|
And no disrespectful behavior was tolerated. The guards would
instantly scold you from making too much noise, stupid poses and sitting
on the stairs.
|The Spanish steps.|
|A View from the Spanish steps.|
|Some awkward posing...|
|A street near our apartment.|
|The Pantheon Temple. A very old and massive building very close|
to our apartment. We found a really good restaurant right next to it.
|Inside the Pantheon.|
|This is one of the reasons I loved Rome....|
|The first day. I was so tired for having about 2-3 hours|
of sleep that night. I woke up at 3 o'clock.
|the view from our apartment's window.|
|Unfortunately the Fountain di Trevi was under construct so this was|
the only bit that we saw from it. But if you Google it, it's very, very
I also have to add that we were so excited about the food in Rome. I was waiting it like a madman and had a great hopes for it, but like the people the food was also a big disappointment. I've had so much better Italian food in Finland and also in elsewhere in Italy that it felt like we were being deceived. The food was a bit cheaper than in Finland but the quality of the food and the service was nothing like in Finland. Of course there were some amazing restaurants that we visited more than once, and where the service was very kind and excellent, but there were absolutely too many bad places. There were so many restaurants that it was hard to choose which one to go to and we tried to find the places where the locals go to, but still we found ourselves disappointed after the meal. My brother's friend who's an Italian also said that the food and the people are not as good in Rome as they are in elsewhere in Italy. Yep, I noticed that.
We also did some shopping on Via del Corso and there were some really good shops there. I also wanted to go to the Disney store and I bought some cute things and one Star Wars mug from there. We also did some shopping on Via Cola di Rienzo, near the Vatican. But no pictures were taken from these days. So it looks like I had the same clothes all the time, but I did not. haha.
In the end we all where somewhat baffled by this trip. We maybe had too big expectations and when the reality did not match them, we found ourselves a bit sad. Everyone else who has been to Rome said they'd go back there and that they absolutely loved it, but I must say, that I'm not sure if I want to go back. It was a brilliant experience and I enjoyed spending time with my family, but maybe I'll go to somewhere else next time? I would like to see the Tuscany and Sorrento someday...
If you're ever going to see the magnificent Rome I must give you an advice: Prepare everything beforehand. And I mean EVERYTHING. Get all the tickets from the internet because it's not only cheaper it's also efficient since most of the time you can skip a huge queue if you have already purchased the tickets. Maintain calm. If you want to go to the big sights you have to wait in all sorts of different lines while there're hundreds and maybe thousands of people around you. Be careful and do not trust everyone. Keep your bags tightly closed at all times and do not leave your phone/wallet out of your sight. The Mob is controlling many criminal organizations and there are people who try to sell you all sorts of things including a VIP passport to the Vatican and also all sorts of little gadgets and gizmos. Do NOT fall for these tricks. Also be aware of the Taxis - they can also hoax you. Do not get a picture taken with/by a man dressed in a Gladiator suite - he's most likely with the mob. Make sure you have small bills, since it's common that they give you less money back than what they should.
We were lucky that it was only my mother's phone that got stolen, since it was a work phone she got a new one right away from her workplace. Also do not expect the people to be kind to you. There are also kind and warmhearted people in Rome, but they're a minority. I think the people in there are just a bit cocky about being a Roman and they're also tired of the tourists. The same thing that's going on in Paris, i think.
This post came out Reeeeeaaallly long. And I didn't even say everything that I would have wanted to, but I hope you enjoyed it and if you want to go to Rome, then go for it! It's a beautiful and amazing city and maybe you fall in love with it more than I did. I hope you do...
Next time I'll post some random pictures. Mostly about our trips to Finland's beautiful little cities.