I just got back from Rome and have never been so exhausted! I’m trying not to fall asleep right away though, because it’s only 7:30 and I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night. WOW ROME WAS AMAZING! Maybe just because it was the first place I’ve traveled to outside of Florence, but I am obsessed! It is just so old and beautiful and everywhere you turn there are huge statues and churches and omg it was just incredible.
Friday morning the bus left at 7am which was an early wake-up call for us. Thankfully, I slept basically the entire 4 hour drive and woke up excited to see Rome out my window! The bus dropped us off in the middle of town and we immediately started our first tour at the Column of the Immaculate Conception. It was my first glimpse of the ancient statues and I was in awe. Just a short distance from that was the Spanish Steps, which I thought for some reason was going to have a lot more steps. There were so many people on them its hard to capture a good picture, but I loved the church (I think it was a church) at the top of them! After taking too many pictures with every combination of people, we ventured to the Trevi Fountain. THIS WAS MY FAVORITE PLACE!! I wasn’t expecting it to be so big and my mouth just dropped when we turned the corner and I saw it for the first time. There is no possible way to describe how beautiful and grand this fountain is. Of course I threw a coin in, but forgot to make a wish because I was focusing so hard on getting a good picture. My bad. And I didn’t even get a good picture either. Legend has it that if you throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain you will find your way back to Rome again someday. LET’S HOPE! Our tour guide told us that every year all the coins are collected from the fountain and given to the poor people of Rome, and last year 40,000 euros were collected!! We got a break to get lunch at the fountain so we grabbed the first paninis we saw. Mine was turkey and was delicious, but I realized later that I’m not supposed to eat meat on Friday’s during Lent, oops! After the Trevi we found our way to the Pantheon, stopping to see many columns, statues and fountains along the way. The Pantheon was HUGE! And inside was really cool with Raphael’s tomb and a bunch of others. I took a video of us walking into it but can’t post it here – just the pictures! The tour ended a little later at the hotel and we obviously all napped. Once we were all awake we took a walk to see our neighborhood and sat down for dinner in a cute little piazza that had a ton of restaurants outside with big heating lamps. I got the gnocchi in pesto sauce and it was like I was eating little clouds. They were perfect! I’m still always so surprised at how small the portions are here, which is a good thing definitely, but I am continuing to expect a massive plate of pasta like I would get back at home.
Saturday we didn’t have anything scheduled so we just walked around and went to Vatican City. I was sure to bring my passport because I know it is technically its own “state”, but they didn’t check passports and I was upset because I wanted mine stamped again! We didn’t go inside the St. Peter’s Basilica or the Sistine Chapel because the lines were sooo long and we were hungry and tired after a long day. I regret that after talking to my other friends who went inside and “their lives were changed”, but mine was changed at the Trevi so too much life-changing in one weekend might be weird. That night we ate dinner at a place called Classy in the Front Sloppy in the Back HAHA and it was so good as well! We ended up back there that night too!
Today, Sunday, we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel. I finally got to have one of the chocolate croissants I’ve been craving and so I had 2. We checked out of the hotel and got in the bus to go to the Colusseum! On the way we got to see the whole side of Rome that we hadn’t seen yet and I was continuously amazed by all the insane architecture and how old everything was. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that basically everything there was made B.C. as in Before Christ. The Colusseum was enormous, as expected, and just so crazy to be in. I need to see the movie Gladiator now. We walked all around it and went on the ground floor as well. After our tour we got back on the buses to come home and it was weird for the first time my mental image of “home” was my apartment in Florence, and I couldn’t be happier. After this weekend it really hit me how lucky I am that I have the opportunity to study here and really experience so much of the world! Thanks Mom & Dad ❤
I’ll post an album either later tonight or tomorrow!