Monday, July 11, 2011

When in Rome...

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July 4, 2011 was a day that I didn't have to close my eyes for my thoughts to be filled with felicity. Everything in Rome was pure beauty.  It felt surreal,  just like a film set that I didn't realize I can step in to.  It's such a fulfilling experience to set forth to a city that we knew nothing about except how it looked like in pictures.  All we had was our bags, a map and strong faith in ourselves that we can navigate this wondrous capital of Italy.  Our plan was to visit a lot of famous landmarks, museums, monuments and ruins.  But we had to narrow down our list to three - Vatican City, The Colosseum and Trevi Fountain since we had to be back in Milan by midnight.  Of safety was still on the top of our priorities (since we promised a lot of people we'll arrive safely home after this trip - afraidy aguilar din naman kame sa mga pwedeng mangyare sa amin), so we have to try to fit everything in our Cinderella schedule.

I'll try to recall what happened that day as vividly as I can.  I've mentioned in the Milan blog Ahh, Milan! that our hotel was situated near a Metro station which came in very helpful since it's the most cheapest and fastest way to get around every city.  So from S. Ambrogio station we have to travel to Centrale to catch another train going to Rome.  We were blown away when we got to the Centrale station, it's like King's Cross Station (oh, kinilig ang Harry Potter fans).  Our first goal was to find the Biglieterria (ticket office - we have to train ourselves to understand signs in Italian because you wouldn't find English translations) to have our train tickets validated since we purchased them in Dubai.  We just have to pat 10 extra for reservation.  We immediately got a schedule and in about 20 mins we boarded on a train to Rome.  Good thing we got into a high velocity train in which Andrea (guy from the ticketing office) explained to be most convenient since it's faster and it doesn't have stop overs.  

Inside the underground train 
Where are you headed, school?
Centrale FS
Train schedules
Go Madam!
That's our train!
I told you it looks like King's Cross ;)
Hinde ako pinapatahimik ni Sting, kahit saan ako mapunta. hehehe.
We got to use the camera timer, yey!
After 3 long hours, Roma Termini atlast

Roma Termini
Upon reaching Roma Termini, the first thing we did was to purchase a map so we can carefully plot where to go and which route to take.  We grabbed a quick bite while discussing our itinerary (chos, seriously?).  

Told ya, this is serious stuff =D
Uhuh, uhuh!

Vatican City
First stop is the Vatican City since it's the farthest from Roma Termini.  We have to ride the underground train going to the Ottaviano station.  When we reached the station we walked for about 10 mins and then we entered the gates of  Vatican.  Then came the cheesy part - goosebumps, butterflies in the stomach plus  glistening tears in our eyes.  We just couldn't believe we're there.  I don't know what got into us, first thing I told myself was, "So this is paradise".  In St. Peter's Square there are two lovely fountains, at the center of it is an obelisk.  The square is outlined by a colonnade and on top of it are statues of saints. Tine and I went inside St. Peter's Basilica, and to say that it is magnificent is a clear understatement.  We caught a glimpse of St. Peter's tomb that is directly below the altar. We also saw the tombs of popes and other notable people.  Both of us whispered a prayer at the Altar of St. Joseph located at the left transept.  We prayed for everyone we love.  

St. Peter's Square
One of the two fountains
Tine has this fixation on lamp posts
John Paul II, we love you =D
Monumental facade of the St. Peter's Basilica
Lovely! Lovely!
Widen the doors to Christ
Statue of St. Peter on the left
On our way in, statue of St. Paul behind me
Proper dress code
One of the domes
Angel =)
Central Nave
Inside the base of the dome it read: 
TV ES PETRVS ET SVPER HANC PETRAM AEDIFICABO ECCLESIAM MEAM. TIBI DABO CLAVES REGNI CAELORVM (You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.... I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.)

Bernini's baldacchino over the papal altar
Cathedra (Throne) of St. Peter by Bernini at the west end of the basilica
Cathedra (Throne) of St. Peter by Bernini 
"Supreme Pontiffs buried in this Basilica"
Outside the Basilica
We called him a Royal Guard =D
Souvenir shopping - 21 year old Italian (owner of the shop) hmmm..pwede. LOL!

The Trevi Fountain
From the Vatican City we took the metro going to the Piazza Barberini  station. That's a 10 minute walk to the Trevi Fountain from there.  The area around the fountain is characterized by narrow streets packed with Gelato bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and tourists.  Aside from the map, a flock of sightseers helped us find the place.  It was such a splendid sight.  We took turns throwing a coin in so we can capture this "wishing moment" on camera.  It was so absurd that because of this consciousness, we weren't able to utter our wishes.  We were more concerned on what the photo would look like, hahahaha!  There was a couple who took their first dance as husband and wife by the fountain.  I overheard an American girl beside me saying, "I would definitely get married in this place!", SAVEEEEH? Hahahaha.  

Street you'll pass by from the metro station
Narrow street
Super happy as always
The buzzing is getting louder at this point so we know we're near
A lot of cheese inside this shop
Souvenirs galore
Leather bags (super bango!)
Yum Yum!

We need to rest
Picture attempt no. 1, the kid looking at me like his kid sister. LOL!
Wishing time!
The giggle after making a wish, and what was that wish again? 
This is perfect!
F na F, napapapikit pa =D
Happy =D
Super Happy =D

The Colosseum
From the Trevi Fountain, we took the metro going back to Roma Termini.  We switched train lines so we can reach the Colosseo station.  When we stepped out of this station, we immediately saw the impressive ruins.  The Colosseum could accommodate about 55,000 spectators.  In the olden times, Emperors used this structure to entertain the public with free games.  The most controversial are the fights between gladiators and animals.  The fighters are usually slaves or condemned criminals.  When we reached the center, Tine and I stared at each other and said, "Ilabas and mga leon!", hahahaha.  I apologize the flooding of pictures, we really took our time inside because we need the rest before heading back to Milan so we took loads of photos.

After another 3 hours train ride from Roma Termini to Centrale Station in Milan, here we are waiting for our train going back to the hotel.  It's about 12 midnight, we're dog-tired and haggardness to the max but the smiles never left our faces.  Rome is such a beautiful sight and we were just so overwhelmed having been able to spend a day there.

A 3 hour train ride would definitely test your patience.  So to kill boredom, we made a fool out of ourselves.  Lakas ng trip. Pasensiya na, wala tlaga kaming magawa. =D

We conquered Rome in a day =)

The adventure is not yet over. I will post another blog about our city of dreams, Venice very soon. We couldn't thank you enough for this wonderful journey.  

All photos and videos were taken by me and Tine.

“In tears I tossed my coin from Trevi's edge. A coin unsordid as a bond of love- And, with the instinct of the homing dove, I gave to Rome my rendezvous and pledge. And when imperious Death Has quenched my flame of breath, Oh, let me join the faithful shades that throng that fount above.” 
                                                                                         Robert Underwood Johnson 


Titch Photo Blog said...

fave movies ko yung, When in Rome, My Life in Ruins, and Angels & Demons dahil sa Rome specially Vatican City. talagang Dream Place to visit :) mas nainggit ako sa photos mo :P ganda lang!

Miejay Madla said...

Hi Kristine! super ganda talaga ng Italy, plan your vacation for next year, dun ka na pumunta. GO NA! ;)

Titch Photo Blog said...

sige-sige kailangan matinding impukan yan hahaha! :)

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