finishing up 2018 in rome!
a couple of days after christmas, we packed our bags and headed to rome. i gotta say, i wasn't super excited for this trip.
back in the summer, we booked flights to cologne and rome in december. this was already a lot, and then we got the news that my nephew was getting married, also in december! so gabriel and i sandwiched a trip to the states in between our family trips to germany and italy. and thus the end of 2018 became crazy. as our days in rome approached, i was just tired and wanting to be home for a while.
but our jaunt to that amazing city was really, really great, and turned out to totally energize me rather than further exhaust me. we had great weather and great food, and enough time to take things slow. it was actually really wonderful to end the year with a bang in a fascinating place together as a family.
here's some photos from our first couple of days in roma....
we decided to split up for seeing the vatican - a place i just don't think two-year-olds mesh with very well ;) on our first morning in rome, ian took gabriel through the vatican museum and st. paul's basilica while i let moses run around rome, and then we swapped in the afternoon. (so gabriel got to visit the sistine chapel and go to the top of st. peter's dome twice in one day!)
mo and i passed by trevi fountain on our journey to find a playground. i was most excited to see this spot of anywhere in rome, and it lived up to my high expectations! (i have been to rome once before, but it was twenty years ago! so everything felt pretty new and fun to see.)
we found two different playgrounds in the villa borghese. and a pond full of ducks!
moses is totally an explorer. he was leaning forward in the buggy really taking in all the sights, sounds and smells of the city as we navigated around on our little mommy date. and he's also definitely a gelato lover!
we passed through piazza di spagna to catch a peek of the spanish steps. there's a story in a book that moses loves to read at home about rome and a car rumbling down the spanish steps ... so mo was really excited to see them in real life.
we walked along and across the river to meet up with ian and gabriel in st. peter's square.
i have to say that in our first hours in rome i just wasn't very into the city. it felt really dirty, crowded, and devoid of the super charm of smaller towns in italy. but i definitely felt some thrill in my veins as we approached st. peter's.
and it was pretty fun to find ian and gabey there. here's moses singing a little made-up song (very typical behaviour these days), happy to be reunited with his brother and daddy :)
i sat on some steps and breastfed the baby while moses chased some birds:
we wrangled mo into a family picture, haha:
and then i took gabriel back into the vatican museum! the array of art there is pretty dizzying.
my favourite part was this corridor with a jaw-dropping ceiling and painted maps lining the walls.
the crowds were almost as spectacular as the art. the crown jewel being the sistine chapel, of course. (there are no photos allowed in the sistine chapel.)
gabe and i went up the dome and enjoyed views down into the church and then (after a lot of stairs) down into the square.
i thought seeing the shadow of the dome on the vatican museum buildings was pretty neat!
we wandered around the church itself before leaving to reunite with dad and big brother.
the pieta is sooo moving. can you believe someone just sculpted this out of a block of stone? incredible.
we left just as the sun was setting and found mo and ian near piazza navona. of course moses rode the carousel (that little boy + carousels = pure, perfect joy), and we shared some pasta at a sidewalk cafe.
these are screenshots of a video of moses eating fettuccini. it was funny and awesome.
we stayed at an airbnb near the colosseum. we chose that particular apartment because it was on the top floor of a building, and we hoped to see fireworks after the kids went to bed on new year's eve. here's a shot taken from the stairwell. (five flights up a spiral staircase every time we came and went was no joke, but it turned out to be really worth it when we saw toooons of fireworks on nye.)
after church on sunday, we passed through the market in campo dei fiori and some other pretty corners of rome (which was really growing on me by this point...).
these two photos are from the church across the street from our airbnb and the little piazza just a few steps away.
we walked to the circus maximus and then around the colosseum (we had tickets to go inside the following day, so this was just a stroll-by).
we randomly saw acrobat performers getting ready for their new year's eve show the next day!
these next couple of pictures give you a sense of the crowds. apparently lots of people think new years in rome is a good idea :)
the building i think i was actually most impressed by in rome was the vittorio emanuele ii monument. i just feel like i've never even seen a picture of this magnificent structure ... it was a total surprise to me among the very well-known edifices in rome. it is so impressive in person - just so huge and grand.
we ate really well in rome. this pizza i picked up one nap time while ian stayed at the airbnb with the boys was out of this world. especially the potato and onion one. yummmmm.
an evening walk to the pantheon:
with two sleeping baby boys:
we went together to trevi fountain to see it lit up at night. it was gorgeous, and the number of people admiring it was pretty incredible.
adventures in trying to get a photo with an overexcited toddler (who is going through a really-doesn't-want-to-smile-for-a-picture phase...):
this gives you a little sense of the crowd that night. it was packed!
...and here's some more attempts of pictures with moses, this time back at the spanish steps:
it was pretty incredible to look out over this absolute sea of humans from the top of the steps, where we took a break to nurse the baby.
the christmas decorations around rome were awesome. i didn't get many good photos because wrangling these boys just doesn't leave many hands for cameras. but i looooved how christmassy everything felt there. after seeing trevi fountain and the spanish steps lit up at night, we walked through the decked, cobbled streets back to our airbnb, stopping once for pizza and once for gelato - of course!
i almost put all my pictures from this trip in one post, but there was just too much roman goodness to fit! so ... to be continued!