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life's adventures This is the story of my wanderings through Asia

Kia Ora Roma!

ITALY | Thursday, 7 July 2011 | Views [619]

That first full day of walking the streets of Rome started off pretty badly. The strap of my bag broke. Then at first sight of the coliseum I went for the camera and Smash, Bang, *^@#! So now all pictures of Rome will be blurry and unfocused, quite romantic looking actually, and after moments cursing and laughing at my clumsy bad luck I realize the camera on my ipod is nearly as good anyway.


So off into the haze of heat that suffocates any city centers streets. I avoid paying for anything and just wander, every now and then glancing at a map, but lost most of the time by choice. Rome is great, each area is a bit different, and as I’m staying next to the main train station I manage to organize a ticket to Perugia with not too much hassle. That evening I jumped on a tram without really checking what direction it was going, and totally forgetting when I was supposed to get off. Dread seeping in, another failed attempt to meet this couch host, but no, I had bought a sim card and used it to call, managed to end up on the back of this guys scooter to his place for dinner.


Ronaldo is very polite and friendly, we chatted over locally made wine and pasta he cooked. He then took me to San Lorenzo, I wanted to check this area out as it is known as the studenty artist hub of the city. It was booming with young people, groups scattered through the square, stage set up with tango dancers in front of busy bars and cafes along the side streets. This area is super colourful with graffiti and street art, and the casual dress and mixture of ages and styles was refreshing, compared to the starched uniform and upturned noses of the rich I have seen in other areas.


Today I slept in a little, waking only to the noise of the busy road outside the dorm window. Starting my day with the usual Macchiato and croissant and checking emails for the day, I decide to check out San Lorenzo by day. This turned out harder than anticipated, and after walking in a melting 32 degree sauna about four times the distance I needed to, I finally get to where we had been the night before, and everythings closed as by now its siesta.


So on that note I made my way back to the hostel for my own nap, before heading out in the other direction to check out tourist haven Trastevere. Across the Tiber river that winds through Rome, I find lanes full of restaurants, the standard images of Italian men leaning in a doorway eager to make noises and gestures when they see fit, and wandering groups decked out with cameras swinging from straps and at least one map holder, scratching head as the puzzle out each intersection of cobbled paths.


Along the riverside sits hundreds of tents, most only just opening, but I walked up and down peeking in. Some shops and many restaurants, cafes and bars, even some games you would find at a circus. It surprises me the similarity of the shops wares everywhere through Italy, nothing tempting me which is unusual. London really played on this weakness, Italy however has not much to offer other than food so far.


This evening, after having walked in the wrong direction for hours, feet pulsing in pain from so much activity, each Piazza and great monument I accidently stumble upon less and less intriguing and beautiful, I think its bedtime, and will use more public transport when next I am in Rome.



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