When In Rome…

So our roman adventures started very early Friday morning. Sari, Katie, and I met up at 8:30AM and walked over to the train station together. We got on a 9:09 train to Rome. We had to take the slow train because it was way cheaper than buying a fast train ticket. Our train got in at around 12:40 and we grabbed a taxi and went straight to Sklare’s (Dylan Sklare my friend on “Hello Dolly!”) apartment. Brooke Maher (a friend from school) was there with her 3 friends that are studying in Barcelona, and Sklare’s friends, Giggles (Matt, but we call him giggles), Christian, and Jerry. We met them all when they came to Florence.

Sklare and Giggles lead us on a walking tour of Rome for the day. Sari and Katie started the tour with us, but then bailed and went to sleep instead hahahaa. They have already been to Rome so they didn’t want to do all the touristy walking in the crappy weather. We saw the pantheon, a lot of ancient ruins, and the coliseum. The coliseum was huge! Rome is really cool because there are just ancient buildings and ruins everywhere. It’s incredibly impressive how smart the Romans were. All the ancient architecture is so big and intricate. Way to go Romans! I really wasn’t expecting Rome to look the way it looks. It’s almost like Florence on steroids. It’s not urban or anything, just way bigger. It started to rain so we ended the tour and just went back to chill. We all met up at around 9:30 and had dinner at this place called Tony’s that everyone told me about. It was abroad central. Sooo many American students. But it was delicious. All 11 of us went together. I got this chicken called “Chicken Roman Syle.” It was chicken with some tomato sauce and vegetables.

After dinner we went and chilled on the Tiberian Island. It was cool! We sat in between the two rivers on the very tip of the island. There were all these broken tiles on the island and we threw a bunch into the river. At around 1:45, we left and went out at a club called Gilda. They go out way later here than in Florence. Gilda was actually so fun. It was WAY bigger than the clubs in Florence. Sari got into VIP and then got kicked out hahaha and everyone was so sweaty.

We walked home together at like 4:00AM (so euro). It was a pretty long walk. Maybe like 30 minutes. The farthest we walk in Florence is 15 minutes, I can’t get over how much smaller Florence is! Going to all these different places makes me appreciate Florence so much more. We got back to the hotel and just went to sleep.

On Saturday, we woke up and went to this panini place called Da Li Chochi on Via Della Scala. Giggles told us about it. It is €3 for a panini and it’s really good. After getting food we all met up at Giggles’ apartment. Sklare had his “Roma” tourist umbrella and we went on a nice walking tour to see the rest of Rome. We first went to the Vatican. It was pouring so we didn’t go in to see the Sistine Chapel because the line was so long. I’m going back to Rome in May, so I’m planning to go and see it then. Then we went to this gelato place that everyone told us about called Old Bridge. It’s right in Vatican City and it is bomb.

After a quick gelato break, we kept on trucking and walked by Castel Sant’Angelo, a castle in Rome. On Dylan’s Roma umbrella, there is a picture of the castle, so we took a picture of the umbrella with the exact shot of the castle (I’ll attach the photo below).

After the castle, we went inside a church close to the Pantheon. There is a Michelangelo statue in the church that we wanted to see. The ceiling of the church was beautiful, a really pretty blue color. After the church we stopped for a cappuccino break, then kept walking and passed two different obelisks. Dylan said that one of them was an obelisk turned into a sundial. It had hieroglyphics on it. The other one is called Trajans Column. It is a victory column depicting a victorious battle. Latin was written on it. Then it was finally time to go to the Trevi Fountain. It was so cool!!! I really liked it. It was huge/grand/majestic. I guess that you are supposed to throw coins into the fountain and then they collect the coins and donate it to charity. Sari, Katie, and I threw in a 2 cent coin and held up a “due” for a photo – so symbolic (if you’ve been following the blog, you know what I’m talking about – “due”).

We finished up the day with possibly the greatest photo. We went to the Spanish Steps and asked this Asian girl to take a photo for us. Her other Asian friends decided that they wanted to get in on the picture with us and we took a giant group shot with a bunch of Asian tourists. So so so funny. We all held up peace signs.

We then walked back to the hotel on Via del Corso, the main shopping street. Katie, Sari, and I went out to dinner just the 3 of us. We stumbled upon this small little restaurant right next to this plaza where there are a bunch of outdoor seating restaurants, and where this bar Sloppy Sam’s is. The restaurant was pretty authentic. I got roasted chicken and Katie and Sari shared Gnocchi and Ravioli. After dinner, we went to Sloppy Sam’s. At around 1:45, we went back to the hotel and went to bed.

This morning we woke up and got the hotel breakfast at this little cafe next door.

Really quick side note – my friends have pretty much designated me the Italian speaker of the group. Not sure how this happened because I don’t speak Italian, but I’m trying to learn it so badly and my Spanish speaking skills certainly help a lot. I booked the hotel reservation in Italian…don’t really know how I was successfully able to do that, but it happened. So at the little cafe, the waiter was talking to us and I was speaking Italian, but he must have been able to tell that I knew Spanish from my accent because he asked if we were from Spain and I told him no and that we were American. He responded saying “Barack Obama.” Pretty funny response. OH and another great moment was when we were looking around for restaurants in the plaza where Sloppy Sam’s is, the guy standing outside the restaurant promoting it, mistook us for Italians and was further convinced that we were Italian when I was able to respond to him in Italian. He said he was complimenting us. Great!

So after breakfast, we checked out of the hotel where the mean hotel lady charged us way more for having a third person in the room…so lame. Then she called a cab for us and we went to the Termini train station. When we were buying our tickets, the machines didn’t take credit cards, only debit cards because it asks for a PIN number which our credit cards obviously don’t have. So that was annoying. We got on the slow train back to Florence and just sat and did our own thing. I’m currently writing this blog entry, waiting for wifi to post it. Of course today is a beautiful day, no rain at all, and we are leaving today. Oh well….

Like I mentioned before, I am so much more appreciative of Florence and can’t wait to get back. I really love how accessible the city is and it’s actually nicer I think in comparison to Rome. Everyone seems happier in Florence and nicer. I like that a lot.

I’ll post this when I get back home with a bunch of photos from the weekend!

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Me and Brooke!

Me and Brooke!

Brooke, Dylan, and I

Brooke, Dylan, and I

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The trees here!!!! So cool!

The trees here!!!! So cool!

The coliseum

The coliseum

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Brooke's friends, me, Matt, and Dylan

Solo shot at the coliseum

Solo shot at the coliseum

Pose girl

Pose girl

The pantheon

The pantheon

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I'm obsessed with elephants. Saw this and had to take a pic!

I’m obsessed with elephants. Saw this and had to take a pic!

This asian girl was wearing an IU hat...

This asian girl was wearing an IU hat…

The Vatican

The Vatican

The Vatican with our umbrellas

The Vatican with our umbrellas

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Dylan's umbrella and the Castle

Dylan’s umbrella and the Castle

The church with the blue ceilings

The church with the blue ceilings

Michelangelo statue

Michelangelo statue

The hieroglyphics obelisk

The obelisk turned into a sundial

The other Egyptian-esque obelisk

Trajans Column

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

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Throwing in our due coins

Throwing in our due coins

The group photo with the asian tourists

The group photo with the asian tourists at the Spanish Steps

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