|ciao Santa Maria Novella|
It all began the morning of my birthday on a local train to Rome. If you are confused about the concept of regional trains, they hit every medium to large train station along the way, so this was a solid 3.5 hour train ride.
I arrived in Roma Termini, essentially the most confusing train station in all of the world, and immediately discovered there was no free wi-fi in the whole dang place. This made locating my sister, flying in from London, just a tad more difficult. I eventually made contact from outside a hotel down the street, getting pleasantly heckled as I urged her to run and save me.
|first sighting of St. Peter's|
|gates to the chapel|
|and you can't forget the main bae (sorry)|
|stop and stair|
|empty stairs, not pictured: swarms of vendors|
|steps & the famous Via del Corso|
|thrilled not to have gone up|
At the bottom of the steps is the Barcaccia Fountain, from which we saw other people drinking; monkey see monkey do right?
|"The Ugly Boat"|
|the freshest water in all of italy|
|exhausted from walking down the stairs|
The Trevi Fountain was under construction like everything old and cool in Italy, so that was a huge bummer, but we could look at pictures on the screen of it in its full majesty, which was basically the same thing!
|I actually only came for the movie|
|alright it was pretty cool|
|what even is history|
|color me impressed|
|ruins and rocks|
|rocks and ruins|
Then somebody wished me happy birthday,
|this is what dreams are made of (lizzie, anyone?)|
|they might be giants|
|it was colossal!|
|at least I thought so|
|more to scale|
At some point, we ate the world's most delicious pizza, far better than what I've had in Florence so far. I guess it's true that the further south you go, the better the pizza?
|you wouldn't want to be that pizza|
|what's a meal without coffee after?|
|I'm not sure what this is, but there I am, and it was outside our chosen cafe|
In our hostel was the world's smallest elevator, yet somehow we still managed to fit all our bags and the hostel owner in it. Italians and their lack of personal space.
|rise and shine, it's Valentine's Day!|
|the Pope is here!!|
|the Pope AND my sister are here!!|
|the tourists are here too!!|
|the Pope AND the tourists!! oh wait that's us|
|the Basilica is guarded by saints and clouds|
|giving my papal speech to all my avid supporters|
A worker opened the curtains for no more than ten seconds, I kid you not, in which time I snapped this beauty:
|ha ha, gotcha|
You can see the curtains literally being pulled back closed. It was a race against time!
Of course, the inside of the Basilica was beautiful beyond compare.
|at least I wore my bowtie|
Suddenly small and insignificant.
While Saint Pope JPII's tomb was closed off, there were other tombs of popes/saints/cool people (that weren't in the crypt):
|one of the Pope Innocents?|
|ft. sister's face|
|sassy saint asks, what's up with these sinners?|
|one of the chapels probably|
|but I don't wanna leave|
|can you spot the swiss guard?|
|here, I'll help you out!|
|they think they're so cool (they are)|
|the Pope was probably hiding amongst the statues|
|St. Peter's at sunset|
After spending all day with the Pope just meters away, we had had an excellent date. More of the city was seen, including yet another river, my favorite thing to see!
|the feline Tiber|
|there's a storm coming harry|
|ivy-covered houses (madeline?)|
On Sunday, our last day in Rome, we got up nice and early to stand in St. Peter's Square and pray the Angelus with Pope Francis!
Where is he, you might ask?
|he waves hello!|
There he is!
He was so cute and lovely and waited for the crowds to finish their chants and chatter before he addressed us again. Did I mention he was so cute? We thought so.
|he blessed us! we're blessed!|
Afterwards, we went to Mass at Santo Spirito / Divina Misericordia right around the corner from Saint Peter's Square.
|mini St Peter's|
|St Faustina and the Divine Mercy|
|relic of JPII and a gorgeous portrait|
|not to mention a replica of Our Lady of Fatima statue|
|me and my homies|
It was obviously incredibly cool. This picture was taken by Natalie despite being heckled by the typical aggressive vendors. No grazie. No grazie. No. BASTA!
Lunch was eaten outside a cafe in Vatican City where we had the most sub-par cannoli known to mankind.
|pretty good coffee, though|
|ft. my new Roman headband|
Selfie with the colorful candy streets of Vatican City!
If I told you how close I was to missing my train, you wouldn't believe me. Okay stop begging, I'll tell you. 15 minutes before my train was scheduled to depart, we were waiting at some foreign metro stop. 10 minutes away, we were lost in the basement of Roma Termini. 5 minutes til, we were literally tripping up the stairs to the platforms. I basically jumped on a moving train (exaggeration). And thus ends my exciting birthday weekend in Rome!