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La Dolce Vita


ITALY | Saturday, 9 February 2008 | Views [882]

After getting settled into the apartment and realizing that we still have almost two weeks before classes start, we decided to take a little trip to Rome. It was not my first choice of places to go, I thought it would be cliche and touristy, but in the end, it was fabulous! (I added pictures from the trip, as well as pictures from Venice and my apartment to the photo galleries-check them out!)

We left Wednesday morning and arrived in Rome at about 1:30 pm to find that it was a beautiful day-60 and sunny! We were starving after our train ride, so we found a little restaurant with some delicious lasagna and then headed across the street to reserve a room at the Hotel Alessandro Palace.

We decided to enjoy the beautiful weather and explore the city, so we headed off to the Villa Borghese Gardens. There were fountains and ponds everywhere, and it was so nice to be surrounded by grass and trees and smell fresh air-I didn't realize how much that was lacking in Milan! We ended up on top of a hill overlooking the city, the view was spectacular. We continued on to the Spanish Steps, though we went down instead of up. They were fantastically underwhelming, just another set of stairs, though they were a good place to take a break and people watch for awhile. We stopped for some mediocre gelato, and then continued on to the Trevi fountain. I expected it to be in a huge plaza, but it is really just in kind of a back alley-we turned a corner down a little street, and there it was! It was absolutely breath-taking. It was by far my favorite part of Rome-I could have sat there for hours, just looking at the statues and listening to the water. We wanted to keep exploring though, so we each threw in our two coins (one for a speedy return to Rome, the second to fall in love while there) and continued on our way. We went to the Pantheon, which was pretty cool. I thought the back was much more impressive than the front. It made me sad though that they had taken this beautiful Pagan temple and turned it into a gaudy, though impressive Catholic church-no need for anymore churches in Rome! Inside, we saw Vittorio Emanuele II's grave, so that was pretty neat. Laura wanted to go to service somewhere, since it was Ash Wednesday. I was pretty much opposed to the idea, but decided to be nice, so we went to a church behind the Pantheon and attended service, sitting no more than 10 feet from a Michelangelo statue! We went back to the Trevi fountain to see it at night, and then returned to our hostel. There was a bar there, so we spent the night at the bar talking to other people at the hostel-a girl and her brother from Australia, and a couple guys from Germany, Spain, and England.

The next day we went to the Campo dei Fiori market to get a picnic lunch. We got some delicious strawberries and clementines, olives, and parmesean cheese, all for under 5 euro! We then headed off to Palantine Hill, the Forum and the Colosseum. We ate our lunch at the Palantine hill ruins, and continued to explore. The ruins were pretty cool, but I never need to go back. It was cool to see them, but to me they were nowhere near as impressive as the Mayan ruins that I have seen in Mexico and Guatemala. It was nice to spend the day outside though. We continued on to the Colosseum, which was cool to see, but much more striking from the outside than the inside. We got some delicious gelato at a little place near the Forum called La Dolce Vita- best gelato I have had so far! We decided we had done everything we needed to do in Rome, so we came home that night.

I'm glad I went to Rome even though I didn't want to at first, but I don't know that I need to go back. The ruins really all look the same after awhile, and there are far too many churches, but I did have a good time. There was a surprise waiting around every corner, whether it was a neat little fountain or the Colosseum, I never knew what to expect!

Tags: Sightseeing

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