(The Colosseum in Rome, Italy)
The most beautiful disaster, the colosseum I would call. The history behind this magnificent structure is not as beautiful as the whole italy combined. Bloodshed, gambling and fighting happened inside this used to be Gladiator Arena and the thought was very saddening as I read my guidebook furthermore when I was in Rome in July last year (2011) but the whole experience was unbelievable. We were there for about a week and as far as I can remember a lot of wonderful things happened to us. Except for one thing, there was this moment when we were forced to give some bucks to some dudes who are dressed in Gladiator suits roaming around the colosseum who poses with the tourists for some 'real italian experience snapshots', acting real friendly and all, and then tries to rip you off afterwards! We outran them though, we were kinda bad ass. Fine, they didn't ran after us although, mind you, we (with I in the photo) got a good 'real italian experience snapshot' with them! For free, Hah!
(Outside the Colosseum with two Italian men in Gladiator costume.)
There! All smiles! Anyways, we split our days between all main roman attractions and by that said we sure did went to the famous ones like the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, The Vatican and so on and they are all marvelous in sight but my most favorite of all was the Sistine Chapel. I almost convert back to being catholic after that visit! They preserved the paintings so well you will leave that place dragging your jaw behind your back, I swear. We were
advised told not to take photo's because the paintings are so fragile they are so sensitive to light but... Hmmyeah, I didn't heard that right. I guess.
(The Sistine Chapel, interior)
This photo is clearer than I remember, I didn't had any flash or anything and that place have the worst lightning ever! Anyways, this photo still don't give any justice compare to actually being there. Total hands down to Mr Michael Angelo for one great job! The dude basically painted the ceiling laying on his back for quite many years and thats though, I barely can imagine doing that.
(The Sistine Chapel, interior)
So yes, I took more than one photo of this magnificent place but as you can obviously see I wasn't the only one committing a crime. Behold, another tourist illegally taking photos. What's new? I know you would do it too! Anyways, you can check out my photo documentary about my Rome trip here and here. Moving on, let me bring you to a different scenario while I was in Rome, Food. You know when you watch some films and they have some Italian mom in it and she cooks and tell stories about how great Italian food is? Well, you better believe her! Italian food is so fresh and simple-- though I am super aware that the food you get in Italy varies on whichever region you are in. I have only been in Rome but still tasted some awesome Italian dishes! Their produce are so fresh your taste buds are going to do some tango when you eat and that is one of the greatest advantages of that country (the fresh produce I mean, not the tango) and I also noticed that they have this 'thing' for fresh goods, which is awesome. Their bakeries are also good and serves some of the best pastries and fresh baked goods and the gelato, don't even make me start! I can write a book about it, I swear to you. Italians are so passionate about their cooking and you can tell that so well when they serve you their meal and I also love how simple food can be so great! Simple fresh ingredients plus a passionate Italian cook, that is cuisine there alone friends. Nothing too fancy, everything is simple and fresh.
Their fresh market was good too and a lot to see and a lot of ingredients I've never seen before! I bought a lot of herbs and spices and until now I use them and are still in good condition. I also met travelers while I was there and had this Vatican tour and ate lunch with them, they were really nice and it was a bummer that we never exchanged contacts. They were from Israel and they are there backpacking or something, they were really cool. Also while we were there we dropped a coin in the Trevi Fountain because as the myth tells that who ever throws a coin in that fountain ensures his/her return to the roman land. I hope it to be true at some point because I would certainly love to visit Rome again and I know by heart that it will still take my breath away for the second time around. It was magnificent, it was beautiful, it was unbelievable. And if there's something I learned in Rome is that you should not worry too much where to go, every small streets you walk through gives you more options to walk and discover different streets and which ever place you end up there would be something great to see. Or the worst. Only you will be the judge of what you get and only you will be the one to solve it. That is how we stumbled upon the Trevi Fountain accidentally. We walked, we turned, we ran, we got scared, we smell water, we saw foreigners then boom, there it is. Obviously, you have to take extra precautions and don't go to mysterious 'killer sites' looking kind of streets unless you want to get stabbed to death or something. That wont be fun, wont it? Anyways, enough said praising this marvelous city before I oversell my thoughts about it. I hope you all a wonderful week ahead of you and smile always! It is december and for most of you who celebrates the holidays, don't buy unnecessary stuff! And socks is not a gift, no one appreciates it. Believe me.