Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Rome If You Want To"

Rome was a whirlwind! They say you cant see Rome in a day, but we did. ALL OF IT. But I’m getting ahead of myself. When we got in the first day we went to the Vatican, which is technically its own country with around 800 residents. I’d been to St. Peters and the Sistene Chapel before but they are both so breathtaking that I still feel like I didn’t see it all. The basilica is gorgeous and the giant alter-thing can’t be fathomed in words. This time in the Sistene Chapel I paid less attention to the ceiling (the creation of Adam by God’s finger) and was more interested in The Last Judgement (the huge painting behind the altar also done by Michelangelo). I could have sat there FOREVER taking it all in - I cant imagine the life of a pope or cardinal that spends days on end in there just looking up like, oh hey million year old fresco that is one of the most well known paintings in the world done by on of the most amazing painters in the entire world. I’m just a tad bitter… That night we went to Hard Rock Café. The wait was awful but the food was sooo worth it all! Hamburger, fries, FREE ketchup (you pay for ketchup here which is no bueno for me who slathers it on everything) and ...drumroll… ICED TEA!! We were most excited for the “iced” part since not many things have ice or are cold in general.
The next day was probably the busiest and most rushed day of my entire life. I mean, when in Rome might as well go big or go home, and since home is a bajillion miles away we went BIG. We started out at the Spanish steps, then on to Trevi Fountain (my all time favorite forever and always), Italian parliament, the Church of St. Ignasus (ask me about it’s dome), the Pantheon (which is HUGE by the way), Piazza Navona, Piazza Venecia, Capital Square, the entire expanse of the Roman Forum and finally the Colloseum.. PHEW… If you weren’t tired reading that then I suggest you pull out a road map of Rome and measure out the path we took. If you still aren’t tired after that then get your lazy butt over the pond and walk it yourself and YOU WILL BE TIRED! We had a 30 minute break in there for lunch and we found a gelato store with 100 flavors!!! Talk about heaven on earth…
Our next day in Rome wasn’t any less rushed. We got up and went to the Catacombs - creepy-, then walked to the Apian Way, which is the original rock road where Christians were persecuted and claimed to be the road Peter was killed on. Following that we had a 2 ½ ish hour break, which sounds like plenty of time for everything right? Ha, well my roomies and I planned to go back to the Vatican but we had to run to our hotel (Hotel Bled…ha) to get cover-ups and other stuff so we were slowly running out of time. By the time we got to the Vatican we had maybe 10 minutes to take pictures and do whatever before we had to leave again. It definitely wasn’t enough time for them but we still have another trip to Florence this week. After our break was over we took a forever tram ride to Fiesole, an ancient Etruscan ruin town. In a sentence, it was a forum of ruins and rocks and pillars and grass and headless sculptures. For some reason our tour out there lasted from 2 till 7…blah… and when we got back we were even more rushed because we signed up for the Coliseum Pub Crawl. Basically this is a function where you pay 10 or 15 euro for a free shirt, free pizza, free beer/wine, and then entry into several bars along the way. The majority of the maybe 150 people who went on the “crawl” spoke English so that was nice. I was really in it for the pizza and the sweet shirt (it says I CAME I SAW I CRAWLED on the back!). I played the watchful mom most of the time, but I had a lot of fun dancing at the random pubs/bars. They play fun American songs which is always nice to hear now and then when you can’t understand ANYTHING except for gelato flavors.
The next morning we got up and had time before our train left for Naples so me and my roomy went souvenir shopping and stopped by the Trevi Fountain to take it in one last time. We met up with another girl and went to the outside of the Vatican one last time before heading back to Roma Termini to catch our train. More of the weekend to come later!