My Trip to Rome, Italy
I had learned I was being sent to Italy in March of 2000 for a machine tool exhibition. I found out the happy news just before leaving work. Excitedly I jumped into my car and started my journey home. As I drove home down I-95 through all of the usual evening traffic I just kept thinking about ho I was going to tell my husband we were going to Italy
. That night I continuously paced the floor looking out of my bedroom window to see if my husband was home from work yet. As he drove up in our driveway I ran outside to tell him the good news. I said, “Nick guess where we are going in March?” Before he could even say where I yelled out “Italy”! Italy, he said with a puzzled look on his face. I then explained the situation with work and said to him since if I have the opportunity to go I thought it would be a great idea
for you to come along with me. I suggested scheduled some time before the show for the two of us to travel around Rome
. Later that night it was settled we would schedule a couple of days to tour Rome before the exhibition.
It seemed like forever before we would finally be on our way, but then before I knew it we were on the airplane and the flight attendant is announcing fasten your seatbelts and prepare for landing into Leonardo da Vinci airport.
After arriving at the airport we had to transfer to a train that would take us to the city center. It was about a 30-minute train ride. Along the ride I was getting my first look at Rome, mostly the colorful countryside with the rows of sunflowers that were so splendid with bright yellow centers, and green leaves that were so full of life. Just pass the beautiful field of sunflowers was a small farmhouse made of stone. You could see the smoke coming out of the chimney and the farmers working their land.
Upon arriving at the main train station, “Stazione Termini” in Italian, the excitement was building I couldn’t wait another minute to see all the sites of Rome. The Colosseum, The Roman Forum, and the Vatican were tops on my list, and with only a couple of days to site see there wasn’t any time to waste. We stopped at our hotel the “Hotel Bolivar” which was a small hotel with only 18 rooms. The hotel was off the main road surrounded by other buildings. The building was old maybe 100 years or more, but beautiful. The wooden shutters on the windows and the pale beige stone walls were breathtaking.
We decided we would not take a guided tour, but opted to take a more exciting route and we would find our way around on foot. We left our hotel and started to travel down the Italian Street “Via dei Fori Imperialli” and there before our very eyes was The Colosseum. It was amazing just like the pictures I have seen all my life. I found it strange however that it sat directly in the middle of the street where cars and mopeds or vespas as they’re known in Italy wizzed around it like it was just another building. Walking closer to The Colosseum we began to see the stone remains and columns of the Roman Forum. In order for the stone remains of the now vanished temples to have some meaning we had to purchase a detailed map, but at night when the Forum is silent in the moonlight, it isn’t hard to imagine that vestal virgins still guard the sacred temple fire.
As we approached the Colosseum you could begin to see the shell of what was one the greatest architectural structures of ancient Rome. We toured the rest of the Colosseum that day, walking up the stone stairs where ancient Romans once walked 2000 years ago to view the combat between the gladiators and wild beasts. Many people believe that Christians were fed to the lions here, but most historians believe that this legend is untrue.
The next morning we took a taxi to Vatican City. We arrived at St. Peter’s square and I suddenly felt this overwhelming heat rush through my whole body as I stood in the middle of the Square, I was fixated on the large balcony where Pope John Paul II has mass several times a year. I had only seen it on television, but being in St. Peter’s square looking up at the balcony was like standing in the arms of God. As we entered into St. Peter’s Basilica I began to smell the insents see the candles burning. The lighting was not that good inside it was very dim, there is no electric lighting the only light that comes in is through the stain glass pictured windows and the dome painted by Michaelangelo on top of the church. It is such a grand church, with many treasures as seen in the Vatican museums unfortunately I did not have enough time to take in all of the museum treasures. I did briefly walk through all of them, the one thing I will always remember the most were the paintings on the ceilings. Each museum ceiling had it’s own special beauty, rows of painted pictures of ancient Rome. At the end of our tour of the museums we come to the most famous part the “Sistine Chapel”, where Michaelangelo painted for 4 years glorifying the human body as only a sculptor could. Michaelangelo painted nine panels taken from the pages of Genesis.
My time was now over and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel across the Atlantic Ocean and visit Rome and see some of the treasures of this world. Now the only thin I have are my memories and photographs.