Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Italy: Rome Part 1

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!

The final destination of the chronicle...(since when this thing became a chronicle? =P)

So after Pisa, we head to Rome, the heart of Italy!

We arrived quite late already. Sooooo sleeeeppyyyy

Taking the train..the outside sure looks nasty. But the inside...

The next morning, bright and early, we went to the Vatican City, the heart of Christianity (so they say).

The city isn't that big, most of it is the church and cathedrals. 

We didn't buy the tickets in advance, so we had to queue. The queue was very long, but that wasn't the worst part. There were some ignorant, rude pricks that tried to cut the queue. One family (yes..a family, a mum, a dad and two young kids...good example they're showing those kids of theirs) actually got through us. We didn't even notice until suddenly they were standing in front of us, acting all innocent. It was up to the people in front of us to stop them from passing through again. When this 'family' managed to pass through, some more aliens tried to do the same thing, coming from the back. So my friends and I formed some sort of a fort. Poor my bestie because there's this one older lady, she's in the heavy department, tried to push through her by acting as if she wanted to sit on the railings. I told her to stand her grounds!! Even other people behind and in front of us started to get annoyed at this kind of behaviour. 

This was our first bad impression of the Italians. Mind you, these queue-cutting-rude people are Italians. I didn't see any foreigners doing the same thing. Another thing that you need to be aware of when you queue for the Vatican City are people that offer tours. There are many of them, probably legit, but it's quite pricey than you just buy the ticket yourself. You don't need a tour inside anyway, you can just read about them yourself. 

After finally managed to get through and buy our tickets, we went inside. It took us about 20 minutes waiting. It wasn't that bad if you think about it because we arrived quite early in the morning.

As you went up the stairs, you'll go to this foyer. I'm not going to show you the whole gallery inside this city (because there's too many).

The main thing that I want to see here is the one at the back, Sistine Chapel. It's famous for the painting on the ceiling made by Michelangelo. I'll show later on in this post.

This painting is famous in Italy as well. The last supper. The real one is actually in Milan. This is just a canvas replica of the painting.

The Vatican City is actually a huge museum, consisting of various rooms and displays. Some of them are these Egyptian marble jars. Remember The Mummy? Yup, these actually existed. The part about the curse is to be determined. =P

This is actually a letter and an envelope during the Egyptian Era. It's made out of stones!!

Part of the Holy Quran. Amazing!!!

Another Muslim in the Italian history. And they say there's no place for a Muslim at the west. They should read their own history more.

The good shepherd. It's very renowned in the Christian history. 

The halls are covered with such beautiful decor from the walls to the ceilings. These are the only thing that I was interested in. Other displays are all about Christian paintings (which are all made up stories by the artists) and nude statues.

Last, the most important is the Sistine Chapel. You must know this painting.

This is the famous painting. Actually, inside the Sistine Chapel, you can't take any pictures since the space is still being used for holy gatherings such as the Pope Francis's election in 2013. We did this illegally since the opportunity to capture it is hard to pass on. I love art, and this piece is one of my favourite. 

Let's see it up close shall we...You must know the middle picture. It's very famous. If you want to read about it, here's one suggested source.

After all the art that we saw, our tummy was already rumbling so hard.

While we were queuing earlier, someone hands out a pamphlet to my bestie for a halal restaurant nearby. So we went to look for it.

The owner is actually from the middle east. He was very kind and friendly. The food was mediocre, however. I can cook a better pasta, for sure. =P

But the dessert, ooh lala...so good. The tiramisu was up to Italian standards.

This is how the Italians make their coffee called a Moka Pot. I wanted to buy, but I don't even know how to use them. Our accommodations had Moka Pots. I tried using them, but couldn't get a feel to it. 

After Vatican City, we went to the centre of Rome. See the building in front? That's actually a mall. Yup! Believe it.

We went to the bookshop inside the mall..

And found a cafe with a view. So we decided to have a cuppa and rest a bit. 

Image made from multiple images. Awesome!!

I love the architecture in Italy. It is very detailed. Look at this post. Seemed like an ordinary post? Look again...

Each curve, each groove has a very detailed and unique carvings and stories.

In Italy, when you want to cross the road (at a crossing with no lights), you just go ahead and walk, and the cars will stop. You can't wait for the cars to stop by themselves (like in the UK), because they won't. This happened to us when we waited and waited, but the cars just flow through so fast with no intention of stopping, until a local man just walk pass with no care in the world, and the cars stopped. huhu...so we followed his lead throughout our journey.

Afterwards, we walked to the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain), which is the most famous and largest fountain in Italy. 

See all the people? Hence the fame.

I managed to get a seat beside the fountain, but my friends were seating far away and I couldn't call them. Hence, the selfie. hehe...

After the fountain, we walked to the Pantheon. Dedicated to the worship of every god (Pan-every Theon-divinity), the Pantheon was built by Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 A.D. over the ruins of another temple dating back to 27 A.D.  Statesman and General Marcus Agrippa was responsible for the construction of the original church, to whom a dedicatory inscription is clearly visible over today’s magnificent portico.

In 609, it was converted into a Christian Church by Pope Boniface IV and consecrated to Santa Maria of the Martyrs. Turned into a memorial chapel for the kings of Italy in 1870, the tombs of Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I and Margherita of Savoy are to be found here together with that of the celebrated Renaissance Artist Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, who is more often referred to as simply Raphael. -source

Pantheon is famous in Greek Mythology too, but they're not the same.

We didn't enter since none of us are interested to see the tombs. 

That's the end of our first day in Rome..before we went back, we stopped by a supermarket and saw this...

This is called a roman broccolli. Spikey! huhu...

Until next time...


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