Being in bella Roma is like being in a different world, nearly tropical with its palm trees and blue skies.  It also has the distinction of being a city which also contains another country within its borders.  Vatican City is the residence of hundreds of people who are governed by the Pope and are guarded by the Swiss Army along with an elevated wall.  The Vatican museum is the second largest in the world and contains countless works of art, many of the pagan statues were stolen from the Colosseum during the fall of the Roman Empire.  St. Peter’s is the largest church in the world, with glorious, high-reaching domes.  Of course, the piece de resistance of the Vatican is the Sistine Chapel.  Due to a contract with the industrial cleaners, photographs cannot be taken in the chapel for over a century.  You can nearly fall over backwards from taking in Michelangelo’s ceiling, but you can rest your neck by viewing his equally impressive wall frescoes.  The poor painter was forced into painting the chapel by the pope and suffered for his labors, but the results were spectacular.

The other reasons to visit Rome are to sample the ruins and food.  The marble and terra cotta remains of the Roman Empire are amazing considering they how intact they are after so many centuries.  The Colosseum was originally billed as an amphitheater, but because of the intimidating statue of Colossus out front, the name was forever changed.  The interior still resembles an American football stadium with its hollowed passageways and ascending staircases to the outside field.  Back in Rome’ golden age the public could enter with a free terra cotta tablet as their ticket to view animals and gladiator slaves fight each other.  While its impressive to walk in the Colosseum, it is hard to imagine it adorned with marble statues and a canopy since its ruined state is so iconic.  It is easier to picture the Roman Forum in its glory days as a political center of the capital.  Most of the arches and temple columns remain intact and are gigantic structures.  Even away from the ruins, the Fountain of Trevi and the Partheon are reminders of the

For food, the Italians are masters, everything tastes scrumptious, and its homemade taste makes it worth the wait.  We sampled bread, bruschetta, soothing wine, several pastas, pizzas, seafood, and the best dessert in the world, gelato.  For a small price you are given three different, delicious creamy flavors of gelato, the perfect way to end a wonderful trip.