We saw the famous sites...
And even climbed to the top of the dome through spiral stair cases and narrow corridors for a breath-taking view.
I will admit that my fear of heights kicked in at the top, but not too much that I couldn't snap some good pics.
We also saw the not-so-famous sites...
And enjoyed coffee in a piazza or two...
One of my favorite things in Rome this holiday was some of the churches we visited. Not just the famous ones, but the pilgrimage churches containing important Christian relics. We saw the sign above Christ's cross, thorns from his crown, a sliver from his cross, Thomas's doubting finger, and Peter's chains in which he was imprisoned (to name a few).
I will admit skepticism as to the true authenticity of these Christian artifacts, but they were very interesting to see regardless. The faith and spirituality of Rome definitely tugs at my mind and heart, such as when I see people climbing "the stairs" Jesus descended after his trial with Pontius Pilate on their knees.
At the same time it makes me think how corrupt the "church" has been over the centuries as I learned about different popes and the means to which some of the artifacts were acquired and churches were ornamented. Not to get political in this post but... the church and politics mingling - some things never change!
We got outside of the Roman walls to see other sites, such as the Christian catacombs and Pompeii. When we grow up learning about Ancient Rome, Pompeii is one of the stories that stands out - a whole city destroyed and killed instantly from an exploding volcano. We got to see the city and the volcano...But the best part of all, getting to do all of this with my bro and sister-in-law!