Rome was not backpacked in a day

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July 29th 2012
Published: August 3rd 2012
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After arriving in Rome, it was a short metro hop to our bed and breakfast, tucked away in a random district near the center. Our area was not a tourist destination, and it was nice to get away from the crowds for a while. Rome, as it has been for centuries, is particularly metropolitan. It could be easily confused with any other city of the world, if it weren’t for the millennia old ruins and religious epicenter that is the Vatican City.

Our first stop was the Vatican museum. The sheer volume of tourists was overwhelming, and we were compelled to pay extra to join a tour and skip the lines. As we entered the second largest museum in the world, we were greeted with a plethora of Roman sculptures, tapestries, and paintings. The highlight for me was seeing some of Raphael’s greatest works, including his painting “The School of Athens" representing philosophy. The tour also included the Sistine Chapel, which was great, but a bit spoiled by the din of a thousand other tourists.

The next day, we visited a variety of ruins including the Roman Colosseum. Entering the well preserved stadium felt much like entering the Big House at the University of Michigan, except that the latter is much bigger of course. The history and displays were cool, but being more for the bucket list, the best part of the day was relaxing at the hotel with some ice cold beer and an impromptu pizza made with supplies from the grocery store.

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