The Vatican is technically its own country because of how powerful the church is and that it follows its own set of laws and even has its own police force. We went on a tour of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. Once inside the Vatican we went to the art museum, where they had huge statues, paintings and accurate aerial maps of Italy from before airplanes were even invented.
One thing you should know about Rome is its churches all have something you wouldn't find in any other church and all have their own unique history. There are so many that with every step you take, you seem to find another church. We even went into the Basilica of St. Paul where St. Paul is buried.
One day we decided to take a city tour of Rome. The first place we went was a place called the Pantheon, which is a huge dome capped church that has a hole in the top. During certain times of the day the sun shines through the middle and lights up the whole place, which makes it look really beautiful.
Next we went to a famous fountain called the Trevi Fountain and they say that if you throw a coin in it you will come back to Rome. It worked for my Mom because this was her second time in Rome - maybe because she threw a coin in it when she was twelve. Both Stefan and I threw coins in the fountain, so I guess we'll be back too!
The last thing we saw on the tour was the Colosseum, which was used as a big arena for gladiator fights. In ancient times the Colosseum had a basement under the arena, topped by a wooden floor. It also had another four levels of seating for the spectators. Now the wooden floor over the basement is gone and the top part of the third and fourth level's outside wall is gone as well. The gladiator fights that went on were really vicious and cruel. Sometimes they would fight ferocious animals like starved bears or lions to the death!
On our last day in Rome, we went to a place called the Villa Borghese, where my Mom went with her parents when she was last here. They have all kinds of great things for kids there like an art museum, a zoo, and a huge park filled with all types of things to see like statues and fountains. After we left the gardens we went to go get one of our favorite Italian foods: gelato. Gelato is a special type of Italian ice cream and in Rome they sell it everywhere. The hazelnut flavor is my favorite.
So, that's all for Rome. Now we are off to Scotland, our 22nd country of the trip!