I have this indescribable urge to visit Europe every once in a while.
August 2014 was quite an eventful month for me because I not only get to spend my 29th birthday in Italy,
I also got to travel with not just A, but also Mom and one of my favourite aunts. 🙂
Mom and aunt flew in a day earlier than us.
I’ve always been a worry wart so I was afraid that they will not able to find the AirBnb apartment we booked,
or will run into any other problems with the host.
But my fears are uncalled for.
Mom and aunt pretty much “homify” the house quite a bit with all the local instant food they brought. Hahaha!
Check out our “local food” supplies on the table – instant noodles, beehoon, jasmine RICE!
I just LOVE the apartment so much! The location is great and I love how
there is ample space for all of us to hang out at different parts of the house. :p
If you’re also visiting Rome and is currently looking at an apartment, ours is at Salita D Sant Onofrio.
I’m sure you can find it on AirBnb. 🙂
It’s separated from the city centre by the river but it’s just 5-10 mins walk away from Vatican City.
Quite a quiet part of the city if you ask me. Grocery store and plenty of bus stops just round the corner too!
There is a pretty porch in the house which I really adore too!
(Super good sunlight for my laundry also) :p
It was Mom and aunt’s first time to Italy and our first stop for them was the Vatican City.
Do you know that the Vatican City is the smallest country in the world?
Do you also know that the Vatican City is the only country with zero birth rate?
(And A says highest crime rate) Heh.
Whatever is it, Vatican City was lovely.
I’ve only been to the square but haven’t been inside the chapel before.
I was blown away by the amount of treasures they have in there!
Do you know that St Peter’s Square is not round? I didn’t know!
(I was reading out what I was typing, and A said “Of course it’s not round, it’s a SQUARE!)
St Peter’s Square is oval in shape! Cool ya?
There was just SO MANY PEOPLE! *faints*
I like this dude’s hair.
Our guide said this famous statue of Mother Mary and Jesus after the crucification by Michelangelo was actually not encased.
But in 1972, some mental guy smashed the sculpture with a hammer while shouting “I am Jesus Christ!”,
and he hacked off pieces of marble from the statue.
Many pieces were returned but they did not manage to find Mother Mary’s nose.
So her nose was reconstructed from a block cut out of her back.
Now, we can only view the sculpture behind the thick bulletproof acrylic glass panel.
You can read more about it from the link above if you’re interested.
Pictures in the beautiful St Peter’s Basilica.
No photos were taken in the Sistine Chapel.
They do not allow photography in there because (from what I heard from the tour guide) Nippon TV
sponsored the restoration works done in there many years ago with one term –
that they have exclusive rights to photography in there.
SO SMART LEH! CAN SELL!
Anyway, the contract had already ended but they continued with the ban anyway because
flash photography is really bad for the Affresco paintings.
We also popped by Castel Sant’Angelo and the Angel’s bridge in front of it.
Nothing fancy to see in the castle but the stories were fascinating.
Most interesting thing I learnt about this place is how there is a passageway for the Pope to use to “flee” from
Vatican City into this castle which is currently the Pope’s fortress.
It was once a tomb of King Hadrian and once a prison before it became the fortress.
The name of the castle came from a legend.
It was said that Archangel Michael landed on top of the castle in Year 590.
Someone saw him wipe blood off his sword on his mantle and shortly after, the plague ended.
(I’m horrible at doing this. You can read it in details here.
That was a legend.
But the fact is – Archangel Michael who stood on the roof had been struck by lightning so many times,
that they had made so so so many replicas of the original statue.
One of the statues (I’m not sure if that’s the original) made by Raffaello now stands in the castle courtyard.
See la! Good conductor of electricity la? Now stand in the courtyard only.
Pretty nice view from inside of the castle.
Love the Angel Bridge too. 🙂
Rome is so bloody warm. And my secret weapon to packing is to bring a lot of thin and light dresses!
Some nice people we met at lunch!
We visited one of my favourite sights in Rome – the Colosseo!
(A says I should warn people not to go in summer)
It’s true. It is SO SO SO HOT!
Check out the tan lines from the dress from the day before.
It was so sunny that Mom succumbed to buying a super ajumma hat.
Makes her look super auntie but she doesn’t care. Hahahaha!
I got a hat too. Less ajumma than my Mom’s. :p
A’s wearing my expensive Panama hat. Looking like rich kid.
In short, just don’t go to Europe in summer. Hahaha!
Or bring your nice hats. Ok?
It was much nicer in autumn, trust me.
We signed up for a walking tour around Colosseo, Palatine Hill and Roma Forum.
It helped us skip the CRAZY lines to get into Colosseo.
Recommended if you plan to visit these places because it’s seriously not funny to queue in the sun.
Roma Forum was very pretty and as I walked around the forum,
I cannot stop myself from imagining how magnificent it once was – indoor horse racing tracks, super huge baths, chapels (that were used as banks during those times) so big that they almost look like UFO structures.
And to think that all these were built so many centuries ago when they almost had no technology?
While I was in Italy, I got myself a mobile package from TIM.
It’s pretty good in my opinion, so if you’re visiting Italy and wanna have (pretty much) unlimited data (YAY!),
you might wanna check them out too.
I paid about 30 euro for 5GB of data and a little bit of call time.
Can’t remember whether it can be used throughout Europe though, sorry!
Kickass coffee day!
We had coffee from Sant’Eustachio, one of our favourite coffee place in Rome.
No better way to drink good coffee other than an Espresso!
Thank you Miss Lucy Heel for my sandals too.
I FREAKING love it and it has served me well and passed the “Italy Walking Test” with flying colours!
Day 3 was shopping day.
We walked from Pantheon to Piazza Navona to Via Del Corso, Trevi Fountain
(which is closed for restoration now by the way) to Spanish steps to Piazza del Popolo.
Walked so much my Jawbone screamed that I was doing very well for the day.
A lot of touristy stuff and shopping but MUST SEE!
Check out my super chio picture of myself at Piazza del Popolo.
Another must-see recommendation for you is the Capuchin Crypt.
You should totally check out the link I put above and see pictures of this place.
Photography wasn’t allowed so I didn’t take any pictures.
The place was a little creepy with the massive amounts of human bones all over the place.
Literally, all over the place!
Quite a good experience though, fascinating.
I also want to thank my The Tiramisu Hero team for being so outstanding even when A and I weren’t around.
We exchange MMSes once in a while too. :p
Time for Florence! Tata for now!