I’m finally getting around to sorting through the hundreds of photographs I took on my two week European adventure with my family this past holiday season. And finally getting around to writing about it. The entire trip was nothing short of an amazing time, filled with lots of adventure and relaxation alike.
The first stop on our trip was Rome and the Vatican City. It was back to countries with super tiny elevators, wifi you had to pay for, and tourism taxes. But it was beautiful. We had so many great pizzas (the potato pizza was my favorite), coffees, and gelato. I LOVE gelato, and was so excited to be back in the country that makes me drool for more gelato. My favorite flavors are definitely straciatella and nociotella (especially when in the same bowl), but I branched out to try a few more flavors this time around. I know my friend Scott would be proud of the amount of gelato I consumed. My first time ever in Rome was with him when we studied abroad together in Spain and we stopped every few feet at a gelato place because we had to check to see if it was indeed the ‘world’s best gelato.’ It was our tourist duty.
We walked a lot in Rome and took in all the sites of the Christmas village in Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps. Trevi Fountain at night was even more beautiful than when I had first seen it during the day. I tossed another coin inside the gorgeous fountain, as the first time I had done it indeed had brought me right back to Rome four years later. Oliver and I got separated from the group for some time and made our way through the winding streets of the city, stopping to video ourselves, while I convinced Oliver that every fountain or statue we saw was the most important one we had seen yet. That was also the start of our mission to get a roasted chestnut vendor to sell us just two chestnuts. We never wanted the whole bag, just one or two. (We were finally successful in Prague and decided we did not like them.)
We spent one lovely day at the Vatican with one of the craziest, yet extremely knowledgeable tour guides I had ever had. I usually buck the tour guide trend, but I have to admit that I will never look at art the same again, and for that, I am grateful. He gave us an eye for the appropriate critique of what we saw. After the Vatican Museums, we made our way to St. Peter’s Basilica where I helped Oliver go on a quest to find Holy Water. After we finally found it and corked it up in a vial, we all went to a nearby restaurant and ate pasta, pizza, and drank wine, as the night settled in around us. It was a great weekend start to our vacation.
Next stop: Athens for Christmas.