Rome Rome Rome Rome

I've always loved going to Italy. I went for the first time in the tenth grade on a school trip, and I remember feeling like I'd never have time to see everything I wanted to see. this was my third time in Rome, and I still feel like there are things I've missed.

my favourite Roman thing in the tenth grade is still my favourite Roman thing today; the Colosseum! I don't care how cheesy or touristy it may be, I love seeing it and I love the funny tour guides. I even love the guys dressed as Roman soldiers out front that you can take pictures with. it's just so much fun, and so much has happened here. and it's the oldest (man-made) thing I've ever seen, which has some significance.

I'd also like to mention that I'm a huge fan of the movie Gladiator, so that adds to the appeal.

there are tons of people wandering around with badges around their necks offering tours of the Colosseum in a bunch of different languages. and people have a knack for guessing that you're english. I've done the guided tour every time I visited, and in my opinion it's one of the places where the guided tour is worth it. I normally skimp out on paying for those things, but at the Colosseum you get to skip the (usually very long) line and have a little fun. 

Caitlin and I were in a group with this tour guide named Roberto, and it was hilarious. he was funny and really knew his stuff, so it made the whole experience that much more memorable. otherwise you're just walking around the Colosseum looking at different holes in the ground and not knowing an elephant door from an elevator shaft. 

the tour continues out of the Colosseum and to Palatine hill and the Roman forum. Roberto passed us on to a colleague here, and we were sad to see him go. the new guy was really informative, but not really funny and said a lot of years and dates. not so easy to remember. this part of the tour was not as great, but still worth it because otherwise it's hard to figure out what exactly you're looking at. and it's much cooler to be able to say "this is me sitting in front of the Temple of Saturn" than "this is me in front of Roman pillars."

Rome is full of old, beautiful things; it's like one giant photo-op. just walking around the center of the city you'll find almost all the big sites. we started walking from the forum and saw "the wedding cake," the fountain of Triton, and the Trevi fountain. I love the Trevi fountain. it's another big touristy thing, I know, but it's still kinda romantic. I always throw a coin in so that I'll return to Rome one day! so far it's every five years, so let's hope that tradition continues. 

Rome is full of narrow, winding streets that make it kind of hard to use a map. the Trevi fountain, for example, is smack in the middle of a few twisty side streets so that you can't see it until suddenly you're right there. navigating can be frustrating in the afternoon heat, but there are signs everywhere pointing the way- however vaguely- to tourist attractions. and it gives the city an atmosphere of mystery and exploration! you never know what you'll stumble upon next. 

on our second day in Rome- and incidentally the hottest day of all time- we went to Vatican City to see the Pope! well, not JUST us. on wednesdays a prayer service is held and you can request tickets (they're free but you have to request them/pick them up in advance, otherwise you have to line up and wait to see if there's room). there were so many people. we saw the Pope drive around in his little Popemobile and heard him say the same thing in ten different languages. then we went to the Vatican museum and saw the Sistine Chapel, which sadly you are not allowed to photograph, but it's amazing. 

arguably the best thing about Italy is the food. you're always safe getting a monstrous personal pizza, like above, but my personal favourite is the gnocchi and, of course, cannolis. the gelato is amazing, and we also had some pretty incredible spaghetti. basically, if you stay in Italy too long, you may get fat. 

restaurants are really enjoyable, too, as in most you can eat outside while you people-watch and drink Italian wine. and unlike many places where food gets more expensive the closer you are to a tourist site, you can find decent prices right next to some major attractions. we had the giant pizzas right around the corner from the Spanish steps. it's a gorgeous area to visit, and there's a Keats & Shelley museum on the steps for those of you who are poetically inclined. 

our stay in Rome was short, but enjoyable. you can do a lot in the city in just three days! we walked almost everywhere, but we also bought a three-day travel pass because they're super cheap and work for the metro and buses. it was definitely worth it for us because we had to take the bus into the city from our hostel. 

we stayed at Camping Fabulous, which is about a 15/20 minute bus ride to Termini metro station. it's actually a fantastic place to stay; the prices are great because you aren't in the city center, and you get a private cabin with your own bathroom & shower (you can rent tent sites as well). there's a restaurant, cafe, information centre, and internet point on site, along with two fantastic pools. there are a few weird things, like having to pay extra for towels and things closing unusually early, but I would definitely recommend checking it out (for the pool alone, honestly. a pool. at a hostel.).

and that was Roma! 

later we have the last leg of our virtual journey in Athens. 
ciao till then! 

playing: Rome- phoenix


Francesca Giusti said...

love this pics and also your blog! It's so nice!!! I follow you!
Pass to my blog and if it likes you follow me too, I will be so glad :D

Anonymous said...

hey, nice article ! I'm a french student living in Rome and I post photos of Rome on my blog, so if you like, you can give a look