Basilica of Santa Sabina

June 28, 2016

We found this medieval church right beside the Aventine Hill lookout - the Basilica of Santa Sabina. We just followed a couple of people walking in and found this very simple but lovely basilica. It's not the typical ornate and decorated church that we saw from previous churches we visited. 

I liked the minimalist interior of this church. The church is very peaceful and not as crowded as the other churches I visited in Rome.

In another note, it's officially summer now here in Toronto! I am loving the almost (crossing my fingers) sunny weather every day! I just can't believe. I just want to enjoy this summer as much as I can. I'm trying to be outside a lot by going to barbeque's, festivals, and exploring the different neighbourhood's in my city.

And I'm hoping to go camping this long weekend! So excited! And eating tons of ice cream in between!

What are your plans for the summer? 


June 21, 2016

One of famous and most visited site in Rome is the Colosseum. Everyone comes here to see the Colosseum and I was among them. It's always busy and packed with tourists. I came here twice to take photos. I didn't get a chance to go inside but walking around the outside parameter was enough for me.

I love the back of the Colosseum. It's less crowded and the structure looks more rustic (see last photo). It is always being restored but I really like this more rugged look of it. It looks much better than the front side.

I came back the second time here because my boyfriend found a street where we can take better photos. I always follow him because he is really awesome at navigating. He even found a gelato store for me before walking to the spot.

It's less busy here and you have a different vantage point. 

Aventine hill

June 14, 2016

If you want a panoramic view of Rome without going inside a building then you must come to Aventine Hill. It's perfect for sunset watching. My boyfriend and I walked up the hill to get here. We found the Giardino degli Aranci (Garden of Oranges) park where you can see the magnificent view of Rome. It was worth the hike!
The main draw here is the Aventine keyhole. The keyhole vista lines up perfectly with the garden which centers on the Vatican in the distance. No one is certain whether this was a beautifully planned peepshow, or just a lucky coincidence. We took turns looking through the keyhole that I almost forgot to take a photo. Sorry for the blurry picture but I had impatient tourists pushing me. I found that so rude since I patiently waited for the people ahead of me to take their photos and taking turns looking at the keyhole.

Also, can you believe it's June already? Half the year is already over! I can't wait to have more bbq's and spending more time in my patio.

St. Peter's Square

June 8, 2016

St. Peter's Square is very beautiful. After spending hours inside the Vatican Museum, it was time to go outside and get some fresh air. It's a surreal experience when you finally get to a place that you only had dreams about.

I was in a middle of St. Peter's Square with people from all over the world. It was amazing! And peaceful just standing there and looking around. I tried to absorb as much positive energy as I could.

I didn't want to line up to get inside the Basilica. I was perfectly happy just being outside and looking at the statues on top of the archways. The Wednesday mass was happening the next day so they had the chairs set up outside. I didn't plan on going to the Wednesday mass but it was nice to be there before it got very busy.

Vatican Museum Part II

June 2, 2016

There is a lot to see inside the Vatican museum. The art, the flooring, the ceiling, frescoes, sculptures, and gardens. It's so easy to spend a whole day here depending on slow or fast you want to go through it. Bring the most comfortable shoes you own because you will be walking a lot and up and down stairs. 

I was really excited about finally getting to see the Sistine Chapel. And everyone also wants to see it because the crowd beelines for the sign that says Sistine Chapel but first you have to go through a million corridors before reaching it. You have to stand in a lot of lines and go through smaller corridors and stairs before finally reaching the chapel. 

It's small! Very very small and you will be packed in like a cattle once you are inside. People do not move out. They do not make room. And you are stuck between humans and no air flow. It's hot and everyone is talking while being loudly hushed by Vatican guards. No photos are allowed inside the sacred chapel but people do it anyways. You will get in trouble with the guards if you get caught. Do not use your flash no matter what! 

I stood inside the chapel no more than 5 minutes. I couldn't move or even tilt my head enough to see Michelangelo's beautiful ceiling frescoes. You will need a lot of patience to crane your neck without causing a neck injury. And be prepared to sweat it out and smell other people's body odor. There is no such thing as personal space here. 

Overall, I suggest skipping the Sistine Chapel or lower your expectations a lot. Enjoy the museum instead and take your time going through it before proceeding to the chapel. I didn't get a chance to go inside the Basilica this time but that's for another trip to Rome!

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