Geneva was nice, but expensive. I was glad to go, but it’d be ok if never returned. On Tuesday, December 18th, I left Geneva, Switzerland and hopped on a plane for Rome, Italy.

Here, too, I took lots of pictures.

Disclaimer: I am a photojournalist at heart, and I take pictures of what I see, so that you can see them. I do not necessarily endorse, partake in nor support the images or actions depicted in the photos displayed on this web log.

It was about 50 degrees in Rome once we arrived, or 10 degrees Celsius. After checking into the Marriott Central Park, we took the hotel shuttle downtown, where it dropped us off just outside of Vatican City. Vatican City, I learned, is surrounded by a huge brick wall. Like a prison.
(Vatican City is on the right.)

Rome is full of architecture that is thousands of years old. And, of course, cobblestones.

It was a really nice day.
There, we shopped the vast array of street vendors. It was like Eastern Market in DC, except Eastern Market is only open on the weekend. This was a random Wednesday.

There was candy, leather purses, cashmere sweaters, jewelry, and of course, souvenirs.
Chlorophyll? Ducked into a pizza shop The whole city, like Amsterdam, is full of teeny, tiny cars. And some of them are “big”, like this Mercedes.
Posted on a bus stop

Because we were just outside of Vatican City, I presume, there were fathers and nuns everywhere.
Like New York City, street vendors had their wares laid out on the sidewalk.
What wares? Why, fake designer bags, of course. Just enough to run away with if 5-0 rolls up.
Paige was outraged.
Someone wrote this on one of the vendor’s fold-up tables.
The shops nearby had real designer bags. I guess. They were real leather, at least.
And jewelry.
Look! Thumb drives shaped like DSLRs!
Another nun, at the metro station this time.
Lynda, on the Dupont-Circle-like metro escalator. We were headed to the Colosseum (Colosseo). And then, we were there. This is what you see as soon as you walk out of the metro station. The Colosseum was beautiful. I had to take another picture of it.
The street is just full of ancient Roman monuments or ruins, just waiting for you to walk over, look at what’s left, and imagine them as they once were.
There was a surprising lack of souvenir stands here. But that’s ok.
There weren’t even cobblestones here, the ancient Romans just laid straight up big a$$ rocks on the ground and prayed they were level. Horse-drawn carriages must have had a field day.
Some of it actually was level. I never got close enough to see what this was. You could go inside the Colosseum, but we didn’t.
Instead, I took a picture in front of it. All of the layers of clothes I had on weren’t that great for picture taking, I found.
The streets are super clean here, and the trees were beautifully manicured.
Me, in a Roman alley. Which is better than other alleys.
Even out here near all of these ancient runs, there’s a shopping area.
And then, the Pantheon. It was huge.
I headed back up the road to get a photo of the Colosseum at night. There are tour packages offered just for this purpose. But I’m already here! So I’m determined to get it. This traffic circle was super dangerous. It’s like Dupont Circle without any lines nor traffic lights. So you never know when you can cross the street or if someone will run into your car. It’s every man for himself. It was like this everywhere in Rome. A bus covered in Christmas lights. How splendid. And then, I saw it. The Colosseum at night. Oh yeah buddy. OH YEAH. Then I got a picture in front of it.
Then Paige got a picture in front of it.
Getting back on the metro Foot Locker outside of Vatican City. I love sneakers. Although it still doesn’t make much sense to shop here, since Italy spends the Euro. Blech.
The traffic in Rome is mind-boggling. People just move wherever a vehicle can fit, whether it’s safe or not.
See that Smart Car parked sideways? It actually fits! The next day, we headed to Vatican City again, but this time, to go inside!
See all of these vehicles? They are parked. People are often double and triple parked here. I don’t know how they function. Or leave.

Ah, the Vatican City Museum.

Admission was something like 12 Euro, or $16.
Vatican City is 110 acres, but much of it is gardens and courtyards.
And statues of naked men.
Paige was drawn to this black statue.
This statue looked creepy because of its eyes.

Paige loved this one. There is a ton of walking in the Vatican Museum. You can be in there for hours.

Paige can be so rude.
We kept seeing signs for the Sistine Chapel, so whenever there were paintings on the ceiling, we thought we were in the chapel. It was beautiful, but I was jive unimpressed. Thought it would be bigger. View of Rome from the Sistine Chapel Paige was nearly mauled by a lion.
Lots of oranges are grown inside the Vatican City. You’d want to pick them, but it’s probably a sin or something.
Wait, was that other room the Sistine Chapel? Or is THIS the Sistine Chapel? Yep, this must be it. It’s beautiful. Let’s take pictures in front of it. Wait, there’s more? Wow. We’ve been walking for like two hours, looking at statues and paintings.
Wait, so that wasn’t the Sistine Chapel we just took pictures in front of? Great. We’re heading down two flights of steps now, when I see this sign. By the way, the “dress code” means you can’t bare arms or legs inside the chapel. Seriously!

I still can’t tell if we are there. This “Sistine Chapel: This Way” sign has been visible at every turn for the last two hours. We’ve been duped.

So, is THIS it? It’s certainly more grand than the other rooms. There’s are solemn humming voices coming from the speakers and people are praying. I think. Yep, this is it. See how no one else is using their camera? Leave it up to me. As soon as I got this shot off, a guard came up to me and made me stop taking pictures.

Is this solid gold?
We were tired of Vatican City. Let’s get out of this place. We took the metro to Trevi Fountain. People surrounded it, throwing money in it for luck, and taking pictures.
I usually only trust other DSLR holders to take my picture. Works out most of the time. 🙂

More leather purses. And man, the prices were really good. There were some super good deals on leather bags in Rome, and they didn’t charge the 21% tax that other cities might.
There goes Rome. By the way, whenever we would eat at a restaurant, we were charged 2 Euro per person, to be seated. Although the city is a bit dirty, it’s full of personality and things to see. I like it. I’d return. Stay tuned for the next city…Paris!