Thursday, March 4
our weekend with rick
ROMA! when i think about this past weekend, my head wants to explode. with the help of rick steves we managed to hit up every main tourist site in Rome. and on 5 hours of sleep each night, no less.
Michelle, Brittani, and I departed for Rome Friday afternoon, we grabbed a quick lunch and got to the 2:15 train just in time. Three hour train to Rome for only 11 euro. We found our hostel, Sandy Hostel, 5 minutes away from the stazione. The location was completely perfect; we were only 5 minutes away from the Colosseum and the metro. The front desk was also nice enough to put all 5 of us in the same room together. Our 6th roommate was named Martin from Denmark. He was the best roommate, and put up with our noisiness coming in at 3am and waking up at 8am.
We grabbed dinner at a restaurant, Wanted, and then met our two other friends, Jess and Morgan at the stazione. That night we went to a bar/club area called Testaccio. It was a very italian bar scene, I'm sure we were the only Americans there. We went to a couple of bars, one of them was called Coyote. We made friends with a couple of guys who were nice enough to help us get into the bars and keep the other sketchy italian men away from us.
Saturday began at 9am, out the door, grabbed a cappuccino, and we were off to the Vatican. Rome was incredibly easy to navigate. We made it to the Vatican within 20minutes to a half an hour, and didn't wait long to get inside. We were allowed to photograph every part of the museum except for the Sistine Chapel. We spent half our day just in the Vatican museum alone. After lunch, we walked to St. Peters Basilica, which was absolutely breathtaking. The piazza and the fountains alone were incredible.
After wrapping it up at Vatican city, we headed over to the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. Both gorgeous. We arrived at the Trevi fountain just before sunset, so we were able to see it during daylight and also when they turned the lights on during sunset.
We headed across the river in search of dinner and found a really great place with cheap wine and relatively inexpensive pasta. One thing I've learned here, there's no such thing as bad food in Italy. No matter where you go there's never an issue of quality. And I haven't had to wait more than 5-10 minutes for my food to arrive. Everything is always fresh and quick. And the wine is usually just as cheap as water. And everywhere you turn you can find gelato or cappuccino.
Saturday night we headed to Campo de Fiori, a large square lined with American bars and lots of college students. There was a rugby match that day against the Scots, so there were a bajillion men running around in kilts all day and night. I think I enjoyed the night atmosphere of Testaccio moreso than Campo, only because at Campo it was impossible to sit down or even get a drink because of the crowds, and there were also many more Americans at Campo. For some reason, I haven't really been too interested in meeting other Americans here. I'd much rather meet Italians.
Sunday we hit up the Spanish steps and the Galleria Borghese. The Borghese was the perfect size, and the Bernini sculptures were my favorite part. After the Borghese, we walked to find a gelateria named Giolitti, that a friend of mine recommended. It was comparable to the atmosphere of Mikes Pastry in the North End. Filled with pastry and lines out the doors. We then walked to the Colosseum, completing our trip around Rome. We grabbed our bags at the hostel and had chinese for dinner. Rice and shrimp platter for only 3 euro. What?! I love this country. Even the Chinese food is better here.