First post of 2017 are photos from my Christmas trip to Rome. While abroad, I've barely used my camera as I've been working with factories and suppliers the past month so definitely haven't had time for anything else. I was hesitant to go to Rome at first because I still need ACL surgery, and I heard that Rome required a lot of walking. Let's just say "a lot of walking" is a total understatement. It requires tons of walking. I went anyway because it was Christmas and all the factories were closed anyway so I figured I would just make the best of it. Rome is totally inconvenient as a spoiled, mass transit utilizing person that lives in New York. Although they have a subway and buses, the subway lines aren't really conducive to exploring the more interesting parts of Rome. Getting a bus ticket, one needs to go to a tobacco shop to purchase so speaking Italian is somewhat required for basic transportation purposes. Also private car companies like UBER are pretty much illegal. Taxi's are only available at designated areas throughout the city which is similar to Milan.
I'm glad I went because there's no doubt in my mind that I will go again. Four days wasn't enough time to see nearly as many things as I wanted to see. One important tip when going to Italy is that if you want to see any exhibit or anything that is remotely "touristic", it is smart to consider booking a ticket ahead of time as it's almost impossible to show up to anything and expect to get in without waiting in a massive line. And I mean massive, especially in the summers as I can imagine. If you are a fan of ancient history, Rome is basically as good as you can get. I've been to Istanbul and while Turkey is really beautiful, Rome is just on it's own level. It's historic religious significance between The Vatican and the hundreds of gilded churches throughout the city are a testament to why the city has been dubbed "The Eternal City". I was surprised to find that the Sistine Chapel does not allow for photos for none other than "trademark purposes". I was also fascinated to discover that Rome is truly a melting pot of Asia, Africa, and European immigrants and influences. I didn't get that vibe when I was in Milan, but I think there's definitely aspects of the Ancient Roman Empire that have continued to thrive in the present day. You can literally walk down the street and casually see a pyramid or an ancient Egyptian obelisk. The amount of casual history rooted in the midst of a cosmopolitan city like Rome is truly awe-inspiring. While the magnitude of many of these ruins and structures leaves one completely dumbfounded.