Monday, November 12, 2012

Midterm Break Part Two: Doing as the Romans Do (How Cliche...)

The Spanish Steps

Trevi Fountain
  Our next stop was Rome, perhaps the most culturally and historically rich place I have ever been to, and within such a small area. In the late afternoon, we arrived at our hostel, which had the greatest people working there, as they pretty much mapped out our tour of Rome by giving us the best places to eat and buy tickets for our daily activities at the best prices. I was a bit overwhelmed by everything I wanted to do in Rome, but everything was in close proximity and the city was relatively easy to navigate. Upon arrival, we had just enough time to go to the Spanish Steps, which were as grand as I could’ve ever imagined. Next we went on to Trevi Fountain, a majestic piece of art crowded with people just waiting to throw a coin over their shoulder into the water in hopes of returning to Rome again. Me being the tourist I am, threw two coins, which means I have double the chance, right? 
Cortile Della Pigna

St. Peter's Basilica
The next day, we woke up bright and early to go to Vatican City, which has been a dream of mine forever not only because it is a religious haven, but because it holds so much historical and cultural meaning to the remainder of Italy. Erin and I went through the amazing galleries of the museums, in addition to the Cortile della Pigna, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. I really cannot describe the brilliance of the intricate paintings and sculptures within each of these locales without bringing about some indignity, so I will sum it up by saying everything I ever look at from now on will be ugly and insignificant! 
One of the many displays in the Vatican Museums
Obviously this is an overstatement, but everything definitely loses a bit of its significance when compared to the artwork of the Vatican. Later on, we went to the Pantheon, another masterpiece, as well as several Forums and Piazzas within Rome to get the full Roman experience. 
The Pantheon: don't judge a book by its cover!
The Ruins of the Roman Forum (Foro Romana)

We somehow managed to find ourselves in yet another Irish pub that night in Rome, but it was karaoke night, so it was justified. On our final day, we visited the Colosseum to take a tour of the structure. Obviously a grand monument, the Colosseum holds more significance when its history is fully known and you are able to understand the importance of the events that occurred there. Rome mostly consisted of sightseeing, which was right up my alley, and everything we saw, did and ate seemed to be the best thing I’ve ever seen, done or eaten until I went on to the next thing!
The Colosseum

Favorite Meal: We were referred to this adorable family-run restaurant and were pretty much the only customers they had all night, so we went big. We started off with bruschetta and bread, then I had Chicken Milanese and Spaghetti Pomodoro, finishing off the meal with Tiramisu. Decadent, yes, but absolutely worth it! 

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