Rome to me was like Disneyland. The whole city is packed full of monuments and things to do and see. There is basically a monument every 2 blocks. It was a must-see city with really historic monuments and beautiful buildings.
Even though it was a little crazy in the city, I was lucky to be in Rome starting on the day of the Canonizations of Pope John Paul II and John XXIII. It was an interesting day to arrive in Rome and I was excited to check out the action. The trains were not as jam-packed as I thought they might be from all of the news coverage. The first thing I did when I got into town was walk over to Vatican City to see if I could get close to St. Peter’s Square. The closest I got was to the Piazza Risorgimento. I also walked around to the other side, but there were a lot of people there and I stopped trying to get closer when it got too thick and I had to start worrying about pickpockets because of the closeness… I retreated, but still could hear the choirs singing and if I listened closely enough, I could even hear the mass. This was in large part because almost everyone had headphones in streaming the mass. It seemed that most people that were attending for the canonization mass were in groups, and most had a group leader with their country’s flag as representation. One million people were said to be in attendance.
As you can see (if you’ve been there before) I couldn’t really even get close to the square at all. But it was still cool to see all the people and to hear the service through everyone’s portable music players (I think these are just called phones actually) on the street. There were definitely people with sleeping bags and backpacks that had stayed the night to be there in the morning for the service.
In case you didn’t catch the news surrounding the canonizations of John Paul II and John XXIII , it was a significant event in Vatican history because two popes were canonized at the same time. This means they were declared saints by the Church. Read more about it here. It was also significant because Pope Francis presided over the mass, but also Pope Benedict XVI was in attendance, resulting in the day being dubbed the “day of four popes”.
Aside from the canonization craziness, I did visit the Spanish Steps, Vatican Museum (including the Sistine Chapel but no pictures were allowed), St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, and other various monuments. Here is my show-and-tell for Rome! Ciao!!