May 8, 2024


In Rome for a few days we meet up with Brandon and Mindy. We visit the the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, some beautiful churches, and enjoy some great meals.


We said goodbye to Siena this morning and caught a taxi for the 3 hour drive to Rome.

The guard rails on these freeways are right up next to the lane. There's no shoulder. You must keep your hands in the car on this ride!

It was a nice drive.

We checked in at the Doubletree in the middle of Rome. Great location.

We went out for dinner and met Brandon and Mindy. They arrived by ship in Rome this morning.

We'll be doing some activities with them over the next few days.

It was fun to see them and catch up over pizza.

On the way back to our hotel we passed a couple of interesting buildings and monuments. No idea what they are for, but they make nice pictures so I'm glad whoever designed, built, and paid for them, did.

Next day we went to the Colosseum. It was a great experience to see it in real life, after seeing it in pictures so much.

We paid for the underground tour. Got to go down into the bowels and underground tunnels and pathways.

What struck me about the Colosseum:

  • Humans are the same now as thousands of years ago – desires, emotions, pain, pleasure, thought patterns.
  • Humans are so intelligent and resourceful.
  • It's sad to think about all the animals and people who were hurt and killed in this spot for the sake of entertainment.

We walked around the area and saw few more things.

Then we met up with Brandon and Mindy and headed over to the Jewish Ghetto area for dinner.

We had a sausage and cheese platter, the best focaccia in the world, a pizza, and caprese. We enj0yed visiting and dining. Great time!

After dinner we stopped at a little gelatoria before walking back to the hotel.

Our third day in Rome. We visited the Vatican Museum in the afternoon. Before going inside the museum we grabbed a bite to eat.

The whole visit was a let down actually. They herd you through 45 minutes of things you don't really want to see (we just wanted to step inside the Sistine Chapel). But it was impossible to get there without looping through numerous rooms and halls.

There is some amazing stuff there, I just didn't like how controlled it was.

The forced walk through all these exhibits creates this massive build up to the Sistine Chapel. And when we finally got there they herded us in, said we had to stand in the middle or sit on the wall, and no pictures!

The church's controlling nature really came out in this visit. It seems such a deep part of their existence that it shouldn't be surprising they are so controlling in their exhibit.

They also had a dress code for women. Which is ridiculous and controlling.

Ok so they said no pictures. I have no idea why. There was so much beautiful art work in other places, the Sistine Chapel was rather underwhelming.

The famous Adam Creation by Michelangelo is actually a pretty small part of the ceiling and it took a minute to find it. The way it's presented makes it seem like its dominant.

We rewarded ourselves with ice cream and then headed toward the Pantheon.

Taking photos along the way. And visiting a couple of chapels that were tremendously beautiful (more than the Sistine). And pleasant and peaceful.

We walked through a few shopping areas and enjoyed the charming environment. Also more enjoyable than the Vatican.

Then we arrived at the Pantheon. It is more massive and imposing that I had anticpated.

We had dinner at Mimì and Cocò. We had a fun conversation with Brandon and Mindy. It's been super fun to experience Rome with them.