Monday, July 4, 2011

Postcards from Italy: ROMA {PARTE UNO}

So technically this was my last day in London, but also my first day in Italy. But I was packing all day and making travel arrangements so it doesn't count. We said our goodbyes to everyone and left with a bittersweet feeling. We dropped our bags off at Victoria station to store them while in Italy and then left from Gatwick Airport and Landed in Rome. We planned on getting Euros at the airport when we landed so we could take a bus or taxi to our Hostel but when we got there it was broken...just our luck. But eventually we figured things out and took a bus to the train station and a taxi from there. Our hostel was a couple of blocks from the Vatican and Patrick was waiting for us when we got there thankfully. We ate a quick dinner of pizza at a place down the street, where we were immediately greeted by a nice old Italian man who shook our hands and served us with charm as we tried to communicate our orders. Afterwards we went back to sleep in our rooms since it was late. We didn't have internet access so we hoped that our parents would just assume we landed safely. First night in Rome=a charming success.
Lugging the giant suitcase on the tube -__-

We had booked our reservation for the Vatican at 11:30 so we slept in a little bit before heading over. Because we had reservations we didn't have to wait in line (brilliant). It is a huge place and takes hours and hours to get through. We saw loads of sculptures, paintings, and religious artifacts. When we entered the room with Raphael's "The School of Athens" I didn't notice at first because it was painted on the wall and the room looked just like all the others, but when I realized what it was my mouth dropped open and I stood there probably looking quite silly. After walking through many more rooms we finally made it to the Sistine Chapel. After hearing everybody say how small it was all these years I expected it to be a lot smaller than it actually was and thought for a chapel it was pretty big. The chapel was packed with people all trying to take pictures. It was against the rules to take photographs of the Sistine Chapel but since so many people were doing it most of them didn't even try to hide what they were at this point I just made sure my flash was off (it was dark in there) and snuck a few pictures as well. After that we went to St. Paul's which is part of the Vatican but you have to exit and reenter to get inside. {Before going in we got our first gelatos in Italy (mine was chocolate)}. They have a strict dress code in many of these religious places and made Lauren pull down here shorts, gangsta style haha.
this is what the courtyard of the Vatican looked like
you see me? i am behind dezi taking pictures. basically all i did here.

hall of sculptures, with of course a man's head in the picture.

censored. you're welcome.

School of Athens by Raphael

yes it is blurry but it was dark in the sistine chapel for crying out loud.

outside with st. peter's in the background

i still don't know what the outside of the vatican looks like, all there is only a huge wall
drinking from a fountain
the square in front of st. peter's


Pietà by Michelangelo

dead pope

From there we left the Vatican and made our way into the center of Rome. On the way we saw the castle, crossed a beautiful bridge, and got our second gelato. One of many more. It was in a small alleyway hidden from tourists, called "Gelateria del Teatro". Best gelato I had the whole time we were in Italy. I got chocolate tartufo (truffle) and something else...maybe tiramisu. We passed through Piazza Navonathen went to the Pantheon and sat inside for a while to recoup. Then, like all good tourists, we visited the Trevi Fountain. We threw in coins, made wishes, and tried to document the whole process...which means that we threw in lots of coins to get it just right. There is a myth about trowing coins into the fountain and I have heard different versions, but this is the one I like best: One coin ensures your return to Rome, two coins leads to a new romance, and a third leads to marriage. I think I threw around 5 coins soooo maybe that means I will have 3 husbands? Who knows. Is it sad that the whole time I was doing this I was thinking about the Lizzie Mcguire movie that takes place in Rome? Me and Dezi even broke out into a chorus of "This is what dreams are made of...hey now, hey nowww" which I will admit continued until the day we left Italy, but really the lyrics fit what we experiencing perfectly. 

GELATO #2 (the best one) Chocolate truffle & Tiramisu

Piazza Navona

The Pantheon

The hole in the top of the Pantheon

The Trevi Fountain!

Can you see the coin in the picture? 
We walked by the Capitol building (Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II) in our attempt to make it down to Palatine Hill and The Forum. We saw some ancient Roman ruins but we still aren't sure what we were seeing but I hope it was The Forum and Palatine Hill. We crossed to the other side of the bridge in hopes of some dinner. We were all starving because we hadn't gotten lunch at all unless you count gelato. We found an authentic place that was reasonably priced and delicious {score}. I got pasta with carbonara sauce (bacon and egg) and let me tell you SOOOO GOOD. Best food I had while in Italy. So basically all the bests I had food wise were on our first day and in Rome of all places. But wait that's not all. We went to the Colosseum and by that time it had gotten dark so the lights were on it and it looked beautiful. Never mind the creepy man following us around or the annoying people trying to sell us least we still had Patrick with us, so it wasn't a bunch of girls roaming around Rome {sorry couldn't resist} all by themselves. Then past the Pantheon again on the way to more gelato. Yes the third of the day {and Patrick's fourth}. I got this berry flavor called "moré", chocolate, and something else, but I didn't like my flavors unfortunately...and neither did Dezi. She accidentally got an alcohol flavored one and it tasted disgusting and burned your tongue as you licked it haha. Back to the hostel and into our beds once more. It was a perfect first day in Rome and I couldn't have asked for a better way to start our adventure. 

Carbonara=eggs and bacon sauce=SO GOOD.

The Colosseum! 

oh cobblestones

GELATO #3 Moré, Chocolate, and something else 

Piazza Navona at night


missliss5/Melissa said...


Steve and Donna said...

now this is a 'passle' of pictures and well documented. Rome is fun and looks like you enjoyed it to the fullest :)