Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 198 - Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica, Pantheon, and Others

We headed out to see St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican City since it was something I missed on my previous visit to Rome. Luckily, this time around, there wasn't nearly as long of a line to get in. It took maybe a couple minutes to go through security before heading straight to the front of the church. It was a very special church, maybe the biggest church I've ever been in, or is it the biggest church ever? I'm not religious, but it was nice to be in what is probably one of the holiest places for Christians. We walked around, admiring the ornate details in each of the different sections of the basilica. Below, there were the tombs of all the former Popes/Saints. EJ said that it is believed that their bodies don't decompose or corrupt as a sign of holiness.

We were planning on going to the Vatican Museum, but it was already late in the day so we opted to skip it for other sights since we had a strict itinerary of what he wanted to see. The next stop was the Spanish Steps and the Luxury Stores at the bottom of the steps. EJ bought himself a nice little gift for himself since it was his birthday. Nearby, we visited the Pantheon and my favorite church, the St. Ignazio di Loyolo, since they were still open.

The last stop for the night was the Trastevere, where we walked for about an hour, just trying to find a cool place to eat for his birthday dinner. We finally settled on a restaurant that looked lively, but was hidden from the rest of the restaurants in the area. It ended up being the best Italian meal I've had so far! I ordered some sort of Cheese Ravioli dish with some of the richest sauce I've ever had, but it was so good, I could probably drink the stuff. I ended up using all the bread to dip into the thick sauce. Simply amazing... Based on the menu, they said that the dish won two awards in Italy, one in Rome and one in Milan. Not sure what the competition was for, but I wouldn't doubt that a dish like this could be award-winning!

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City

My FAVORITE Italian Meal

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