Rome, Italy March 13-15

I know it’s been a while since a post. We literally did nothing in February. We attempted a trip and even had approved leave, but plans fell through, nothing worked out, and we had a glorified Staycation. It was awesome. We needed some time to just sit around and hang out some more. Right? ūüôā

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Right!

But no worries. It was good to crack down and focus on training for the half marathon I have coming up in a couple days. Leah and I are running it together in Vienna, Austria. We’re so excited but I’m terrified! It’s my first one and I hate running. But it will be a great experience and training better pay off!

In other news, we finally made it up to Rome! It’s so close to home and such an amazing historical place. We’ve been anxious to go and had a hard time deciding how we’d get there, car or train?

Back in January, I signed up to take my Certified Pediatric Nurse exam. It’s purpose is to “Validate your nursing skills, knowledge, and abilities. Certification empowers nurses in their professional specialty and contributes to better patient outcomes.” It’s all about professionalism, going the extra mile, etc, etc.

Well, the only place the test is available close to Naples, was in Rome. Perfect excuse to take our trip. I signed up for the test in January which gave me 3 months to study and plan our trip. Let’s be honest, I planned and studied most the week before the test but, Va Bene!

By a stroke of pure chance, the day Ben and I drove up to Rome, was the same day they picked the new pope!

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No white smoke was seen from the highway. But we did get to drive by the vatican the next day. The chaos around St Peter’s Basilica was ridiculous.

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It’s increasingly difficult to leave the pugs and go on trips…

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But we were excited enough to get over it

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Glad Ben decided focusing on the street was more important…

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Good thing too, because it was a rainy/ugly drive

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I don’t know what those are but I like em!

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Road trip snacks are a must!

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sugar high

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We got in late so we went to a pizzeria close to the hotel. It was delicious.

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Our hotel

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Our balcony

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Represent!

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GQ model?

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Ben waving to the statue…

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I liked the lily pads they were flawless

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See!

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I was looking for fish. I didn’t see any ūüė¶

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the creepiest child mannequins ever!

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Waiting at the bus stop. We’re pros at public transportation

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beautiful building, I would love to remember what it was…

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the view of the colosseum from the road

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these guys…

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they encouraged me to stab Ben, that’s what the thumbs down is for

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aww and a thumbs up for kissing even though I’m about to get stabbed in the neck

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more GQing

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tourists!!

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not sure what the hand is for?

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the arch at the other end, view from in front of the colosseum

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constant restoration work

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they used to put sticks at the top and then hang material to help shade the audience inside

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we were so excited, what cheesy faces

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we got to skip this line to get in!

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inside the colosseum

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we were all listening very carefully to our tour guide

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this was all hidden under the wooden floor that was covered with dirt/sandImage

there were lots of employees running around making sure the show went off without a hitch

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where everyone sat watching the events

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The gladiators were well trained, went to a school with the best of the best. They didn’t typically fight to the death, just to first blood because it was expensive and time consuming to replace them! The more they won the more money they got!

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The tour guide said this may have been the escape path the king could use to get away quickly if he needed to. It was next to the shadiest part of the Colosseum to sit.

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that’s what the level of ¬†the floor would have been

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mossy stairs up to the seats just like a modern day sports stadium

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we thought this statue was pretty hilarious

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this was the more appropriate picture, I wouldn’t take it with the last face Ben was making… We’re so mature

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these stairs were steep!

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that was my butt workout for the day

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such a cool view looking out from the second story

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nailed it!

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Ben the headless statue

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an example of the pulleys they used under the stage

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they’d put weapons or animals like tigers on the pulleys and they’d appear from a trap door to help/fight the gladiators

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such a copycat

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eating our roman pizza sandwich, feeding it to the pigeons, and getting yelled at for it. Va Bene, Napoli!!

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Entrance into the palatine hills. The Palatine Hill is the centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city.Image

According¬†to¬†Roman mythology, the Palatine Hill was the location of the cave, known as the¬†Lupercal, where¬†Romulus and Remus¬†were found by the she-wolf that kept them alive. According to¬†this legend, the shepherd¬†Faustulus¬†found the infants, and with his wife¬†Acca Larentia¬†raised the children. When they were older, the boys killed their great-uncle (who seized the throne from their grandfather), and they both decided to build a new city of their own on the banks of the River Tiber. Suddenly, they had a violent argument with each other and in the end Romulus killed his twin brother Remus. This is how “Rome” got its name – from Romulus.¬†

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and indoor chariot racing stadium

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everything in these ruins were once covered by buildings, all of this was supposed to be indoors!

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Mussolini ruled from 1922-1943, this was his home and headquarters ontop of the Palatine Hill. The structures Mussolini had built still stand and are now museums. The eagle was a symbol of the ancient Roman Empire and was used by Mussolini and Nazi Germany

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a view of part of the Roman Forum

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playing inside the ruins

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Walls of the palaces were extremely thick in order to support the massive structures that covered acres and were as tall as 4 stories. Image

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the flowers in the picture below, not quite in full bloom

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some of the flooring is so well preserved

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inside the building, Ben enjoyed this statue

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all statues are naked

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see. and typically headless or armless

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if you’re a statue, you’re either just a head/bust or a body with no arms or head

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this is my husband when he tells a story, this one’s about the paintings

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obviously he’s making it up, but you can see how into it he gets. our children are going to love him

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The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) was the central area of the city around whichancient Rome developed. Here was where commerce, business, prostitution, cult and the administration of justice took place. Space where religious activities were conducted and the communal hearth of the city.

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our tour guide was like, duh of course the prostitutes were close to the colosseum, after a full day of watching gladiators (from sun up to sun down) they had good business!

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one of the only arches that have an engraving that shows a seven holder candelabra, the other one is at the vatican

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Temple of Caesar!!! Julius Caesar!

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waiting for the other tourists to move. smooth. look how small this temple is, it doesn’t even really look like a temple

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¬†That’s his grave! We were amazed. All that drama in his life and now he’s in a tiny temple under a mound of dirt in the Roman Forum. Crazy

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it was hard to come up with stories for all the engravings on that arch. we tried though

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who wants a David magnet?!?!

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I still don’t understand how they did that. ben’s guess is meditation

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SPQR¬†is an initialism¬†from a Latin¬†phrase,¬†SenńĀtus¬†PopulusQue¬†RŇćmńĀnus¬†“The¬†Senate¬†and People of¬†Rome“, referring to the government¬†of the ancient¬†Roman Republic, and used as an official emblem of the modern day commune/municipality¬†of Rome. It appears on coins, at the end of documents made public by inscription in stone or metal, in dedications of monuments and public works, and was emblazoned on the standards of the Roman legions.Image

we saw the initials everywhere after that

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oh its the pope just reading on the sidewalk

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if you zoom in he’s giving me a really creepy look :/

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maps showing the progression of the Roman Empire over time!

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from the smallest

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to the largest area ever ruled

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palatine hills from the road

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The Circus Maximus right in front of it. If you look you can see the worn down oval shaped ring in the valley in front of the building. I wonder if it’s still just worn down from all the chariot races!?

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The Circus Maximus (Latin for great or large circus. In Italian- Circo Massimo) is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 2,037 ft in length and 387 ft in width, and could accommodate about 150,000 spectators. In its fully developed form, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire. The site is now a public park

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that guys really excited

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I think that was a church? I wish I remembered. Oops

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It was important enough to photograph twice! We meant to go back the next day but never made it

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the courthouse

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in front of the Tiber River!

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statues of judges in front of the building

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the madness at the vatican. there were so many news people there!

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St Peter’s Basilica

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it was beautiful! but we weren’t allowed in, everything was closed during the craziness of picking the new pope

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And then we shamelessly went to Hard Rock cafe to indulge in some American style food. The nachos were amazing, but the milkshake was a miss ūüė¶

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he had one too, and a burger. it was all delicious and nice not to eat Italian food for at least one meal out.

Hey, 6 months is plenty of time to wait for an American style restaurant!

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those were my boots after walking around all day. they were not happy

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The next day, my second reason to come to Rome. I took my test and passed! They let you know right away thank goodness!

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we celebrated with gelato! much better than the milkshake ūüôā

And then we had to leave because our car had a light on that made us nervous ūüė¶ But we’ll definitely be back!

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I have no idea what that is but I like it!

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and of course the beautiful mountain views combined with sunset are amazing

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Ben was tired when we got home, but the pugs were happy!

The verdict, we both loved Rome!
It’s just a short 2 hour drive or 1 1/2 hour train ride. I’m sure we’ll be back a few times in the next 2 1/2 years, what a fun city.

Up next, our trip to Paestum!

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