Roma has blown me away in the 4 hours we've been here. I already regret that we have just 2 1/2 days here - I had imagined it to be very overrun with tourists, with postcard stands upon postcard stands of overrated sites and pictures of the Pope, but actually that was more what Florence was, only with pictures of David's crotch instead. Kate and I were both disappointed with Florence - although the history there is spectacular - modern day Florence is stinky (literally) and overcrowded and the tourism industry has just gotten ugly.
Rome seems very mellow compared to my expectations, it's a big city with a small-town vibe, plus the added bonus of lots and lots of great shopping - even the train station has about 50 trendy / high-end stores. I almost fell to the floor when I saw a store selling Barba Pappa memorabilia (!) in the train station today, an obscure cartoon that I used to watch on TV when I was 3 years old. I am so getting the keychain, t-shirt, and mug tomorrow, you can count on it. : )
Tonight we went to get dinner on a street across from the Colloseum, and as you can see, I was completely stunned by how beautiful it is at night. holy....the good news is, we have a very good & free internet connection in Rome, so more photos may be on their way soon, but the bad news is our connection here is an iMac which I have never used... and it's 1AM my time, and we are seeing the Vatican Museums at 8:30 am tomorrow... so I have to say ciao for now.