Rome, not enough words…

11 Mar

Spring Break

Last Saturday night, I was up late packing and waiting for our 4am bus to Stanstead Airport in London. It was an hour and a half bus ride, it was raining out and I had to fit my life into a backpack for a week in Italy! I was so excited. This was the first trip outside of London. It was going to be amazing to finally see somewhat of another culture, eat amazing food, and see some of the most amazing places on earth! We ran through that rain to the bus stop and waited in the station until the bus pulled up. When we arrived at the airport, it was a whirlwind, who would have thought that 5:30 would be such a busy time to fly. Rushed to weigh our bags, check in, and run through security, it was a stressful environment! Flying in the United States is such cake compared to this, you can basically have two carry on bag the size of who knows what as long as you can carry them without pulling a muscle. Not this, it had to weight under 15 pounds as well as the same diameter as small square trash can, and that’s pushing it! We sat waiting in the lobby/mall area until out gate was posted and a mad rush of people went sprinting toward the gate, which happen to be literally a two mile walk. In line we were about 10th each person having to shove there tiny little bag into the Ryanair required space, people are starting to panic, an intense flight attendant was yelling at the people trying to shove there bags in, a poor guy in front of us literally took everything out of his bag and put it on just to be told by the woman he had to pay the 35 pound fee to check his bag! Ah we were on our way up, ah mine didn’t fit, time to re-arrange, I shoved my bag under my coat and tired again! Whoo it fit, what a relief, right behind me, and my roommate was not so lucky. We boarded the plane and for the next ten-minute the flight attendants were running through the flight taking out bags and rearranging them ah it was awful. I thought the madness was over when they shut the door and began to prepare for take off. I was wrong it was just beginning. For the next two hours they sold anything from a 4-course meal, smokeless cigarettes, bus tickets, and basically if they saw you dose off it was time to make another announcement! Ah

But when we stepped off the plan on Saturday morning it was all worth it, the Roman air was crisp and the perfect temperature, comparable to a breezy fall day at Purdue. It was time to jump right into Spring Break 2010!!!! It was definitely not the typical spring break destinations, cathedrals, art museums, and ancient ruins, bring on the sun tan… think again! The bus ride showed the city, much different than I expected, graffiti everywhere, initially I really disliked it, I felt like it was disrespectful to the beauty of the city. Toward the end it was really just the start to a city with so much character, and so much to see.

We started day one after checking into our hostel by heading to St. Peter’s square and Basilica it was AMAZING! The square alone was so creatively designed in the shape of a cross, I felt as I stood in the center like I was in the middle of a Dan Brown novel! The free entrance to the basilica lead us to the 7 pound entry fee to the Convey, well worth it! It was around 6 hundred steps to the Very top, but half way up you can walk around the inside of the dome and see inside the church! Stunning to see the intricate paintings up close and view the inside from above. On that same level was a roof top view of inside Vatican City and St. Peter’s square and the top of the dome. It was breathtaking, and with the 60-degree weather, it was a perfect day! 370 steps more and we were literally on top of the world, every view of the city as you circled the top! It was my favorite part of the day! The Sistine chapel was closed that day for some reason so we couldn’t go, it was really disappointing but hopefully one day I will be back. From there we walked through the city to the Pantheon, it was stunning Dark stone on the outside and housed the largest concrete ceiling/ dome ever made, there is a hole right in the middle, so when it rains water comes right through. Rafael’s tomb is inside as well as many royal figures. While we were there, musicians were warming up for a show, we sat and waited to see if they would play but decided after a half hour, hunger was calling. Pizza and Pasta were the options! Near the Pantheon we found a cute Pizzeria, expecting to have a personal pan from Pizza hut, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a large thin crust from Dominos all for my self for the bargain price of 5 euro! WOW I couldn’t believe it!!! It was amazing, so fresh, starving from walking around all day, I ate the whole thing, how can you waste food when you are in ITALY!

Day two began with an exciting trip to the Colosseum and Roman Forum, these were two things I was really excited to see. We had two great tour guides for 20 euro, well worth it, they told us about how all of the gladiator fights took place. Who would have thought that the real reason for species of extinction was because of the gladiator games. Slaves fought to the death for their freedom, and most of the fights to the death we pardoned anyway so not many people actually died. Thousands of Lions and tigers died including and entire species! The Roman Forum, one the heart of the city, you could tell was so lively at one point. The time and detail in each building, its hard to give credit to modern architecture.  One day someone will look one the way we live and think the same thing. So much history recorded among the stones, so much to see and so little time! After a 4 hours tour well worth it, and feeling as though I could teach a class or perhaps move to Rome for a new career in tour guiding, it was time to eat lunch. Another pizza place, I mixed in a few greens this time and split a pizza with my roommate. After lunch was Caesars palace, the Spanish steps, a park with an amazing view of the city and a FREE Shot from a corner restaurant called Pepe’s. We were lured in my some local Italian to watch one of the most famous bar tenders in all of Italy! It was really fun and the shot was great! We headed back to the hostel to get ready for the night, with goals to find a place to go out. It never happened, we walked around, but apparently Monday nights in Rome stud down. After about an hour walk we found a gelato place and decided to walk to the fountain were you make a wish to return to Rome! This was important because I defiantly want to go back! We ended up missing the last tube at midnight to our hostel so it was about an hour scenic walk home, then it was off to Florence at 5am the next morning!

About Florence tomorrow!

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