A Travellerspoint blog

beautiful day in the neighborhood

last day in Roma

sunny 67 °F

We woke up the next day an had to be out of our rooms by 10 am and have our bags down in the luggage room. Once we had taken care of that Berkeley and I went out to search for cappuccinos and pastries. We found a place in between our hotel and Campo dei Fiori and sat outside in the most amazing weather we've seen yet. Of course me being that clumsiest person ever in the past few weeks knocked my caffe latte over with my giant bottle of water and completely soaked the white linen that was covering the table..oops. We then finished our drinks and donuts and quickly got out of there before the workers noticed.

We headed over to Campo dei Fiori and sat at the base of the statue that is in the middle of the square. It was amazing! We sat there for awhile until Hanna and Stef met up with us. All of us then went around the square and looked into different stores and then decided that the best thing to do right now would be to sit outside at a cafe and eat and drink and just chill out. So we did just that!

We headed over to one of the cafes in Campo dei Fiori and got a table right in front of where different musicians were playing. I ordered some gnocchi with tomato and basil sauce and a caffe late, Berkeley ordered a salad and water, and Stef and Hanna got some fresh squeezed orange juice that looked delicious. We all just sat there in tshirts and tank tops and talked and sketched and just took in the surroundings before we had to meet back up with our group and head to the busses.
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Once we were on the busses we went on another bus tour and Berkeley, who was exhausted from the night before, slept through the whole bus tour just like she did on the bus tour the day before haha. After the bus tour we got off and headed to the Colosseum. We went on quite a long tour through the colosseum and then headed back on the busses to return back home to Firenze.

Posted by scoviello 09:15 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

When in Rome...visit another country!

the vatican and castle saint angelo

rain

We got up the next morning and went on a bus tour of Rome. It wasn't the best thing I've ever been on but we got an idea of what's in Rome. Berkeley slept for most of the bus tour because she didn't get any sleep the night before. After driving through the Medici Villa and another villa of a famous Roman family, we ended up at The Vatican! Its weird to think that when you are in the Vatican you are actually in a different country. So we got off the bus and entered another country and waiting in the line that went around the whole perimeter of Saint Peters Square. We were in the line for about an hour or so while it drizzled and our tour guide talked about the area and St Peters.
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When we finally got through security, we went down to the crypt of St Peters. We saw tomb upon tomb of past popes and old relics of the the old st peters basilica that emperor Constantine built. The new basilica is built on top of the old one so there is a room from the old basilica where st peter was supposively buried so they built a shrine there.
A guard then came up to us and told us no photography and we were all confused because we had been taking photos the entire time we were down there. We walked up a bit further and we saw all these people praying and I turned to my right and there was the tomb of Pope John Paul II.

After the crypt we entered St Peters Basilica and toured the entire church. We were then given 10 min to take a final walk around and take more pictures. This was my second time in St Peters but I was still amazed at the size of the church and the amount of paintings, statues, and mosaics that were inside of it. We then left the church and went to the neighborhood right near it and were given 30 minutes for lunch. Berkeley, Hanna, Stef and I went to a restaurant that had "tourist" deals. Berkeley and I split a plate of pasta and a pizza and then inhaled the coffee gelato that came with our meal because we were suppose to meet our group now.

We ran down the street and were at the meeting place at the time we were suppose to be and no one was there. We walked around frantically looking for people and there was no one in site. So we called a random API number and got in contact with one of the leaders and come to find out, they were already at Castle St Angelo and had left without us. Thank god I have good directional skills. I got us to the castle and we were met there by an API lady who told us just to go in by ourselfs and that we probably wouldn't see our group. So we went up the castle and eventually met up with our group that was actually waiting for us...embarassing. We continued through the castle and saw the popes apartment that was there and then went up on top of the castle and saw the most amazing view of Rome. The Vatican was to our right and the Pantheon was to our left and we could see the villas that we drove through that morning up on a hill behind us. It would have been even more beautiful if the weather had not stunk.
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After this we were given the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted. So the roomies and I went over to the Piazza Barberini and went to a church that had a famous crypt that was decorated with the bones of the capuchin monks that had died from 1500-1800's. It was quite the interesting site. You look up onto the ceiling and there is these beautiful designs made out of jaw bones, shoulder bones, and hip bones. At the end there are the bodies of 2 little boys and 1 girl and these are the bodies of some Popes children. It was definitely a one of a kind experience.
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After that Hanna and Stef went into a museum and Berkeley and I relaxed, had some coffee, and went out shopping. We got back to our hotel a few hours later, took a nap and got ready to go out to a nice dinner and then out to a lounge.

We went to Trestavere which is an area of Rome, one of the first neighborhoods of Rome, and we went to this restaurant that Stef had gone to with her mom a few years ago when they went to Rome. It was amazing! We ordered a cheese plate, a salami and proscuito plate and then got wine and big meals. I got a mixed grilled seafood plate that was amazing!
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After dinner we went to a lounge/bar that was close by and had some drinks. While there, two italian guys sat down with us and we talked with them for about an hour or so. We left and started to head back to our hotel but the two guys followed us and Berkeley and I ended up going to a club with them. This club was like nothing I had ever seen before. I felt like I was in a dream. It was an old church that had been turned into a boys school that was now a club...very interesting. Each room had different music, there was hardly any decorations except for giant projector screens playing weird videos. The "bar" was in a giant white room with a picture of mary and baby jesus at the end (haha) and there were old sofas that people were sitting on. The place was jam packed with all Italians..I think Berkeley may have been the only blonde there. After awhile in the reggea room I was ready to head home. Berkeley and I headed back to the hotel and passed out.

Posted by scoviello 02:31 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

When in Rome...

overcast

I decided that I needed to start recording my travels and keep an up-to-date journal of what's been going on in my life....so here it goes!

Last weekend we went to Rome with the API program. We met at our usual excursion meeting place, Piazza Independenza right across the street from our apartment, at 7 in the morning. A good break from our 5 am meeting time that was for Milan and Parma. We got on bus 1, our bus for excursions, and fell asleep for a bit until we had to make a stop at an Autogrill. Autogrill feels like a second home to me with traveling every weekend we always make at least one stop at Autogrill for sandwiches, expresso, bathrooms, and kinder! Within 4 hours we arrived in ROME!

The bus dropped us off at some random street and we rushed to grab our stuff and get on the sidewalk before we either get hit by a car or the bus gets in trouble for stopping in a restricted area. We all stubble off the bus, grab our bags, and follow our two tour guides to our hotel. After winding through a few narrow cobble stoned streets with vespas nearly hitting us every step of the way we arrived to our hotel- Hotel Smeralda.

We quickly dropped our stuff off into a "baggage room" if you could even call it that and met our tour guide outside for a tour of the area. First stop was Campo dei Fiori, a piazza that was located right down the street from our hotel. There was a market set up selling flowers, jewelry, and other random goods.IMG_1895.jpg
We quickly took pictures and headed to the next site - Piazza Navona. Piazza Navona was gorgeous but the main fountain in the middle was under repair so we could not really see it. It has 4 giant figures that represents the 4 main rivers of the world of that time. I can imagine how pretty it would look if it was not in-repair.

We then went to the Pantheon which was bustling with people and stood at the obelisk in front of the Pantheon while our tour guide went on about the history. Berkeley and I didn't listen to a word the tour guide said because we were too distracted by this little italian boy that was running around the piazza chasing pigeons. He was the cutest thing ever.IMG_1913.jpg
After a few minutes of watching the kid run around, we went inside the pantheon. It was amazing. Berkeley and I went inside and took pictures of the building and the statues inside and then we asked some girls to take our picture inside. Berkeley kept telling me of this cool shot that you could take inside the pantheon. You lay down on the ground and look up at a person standing next to you and you get the light shining in from the center of the dome. After trying to get that picture without having to lay on the ground we saw these two guys taking the photo but one guy was laying down completely on the ground. Before he got up Berkeley and I went over and asked if he would take our picture. His friend thought it was the funniest/coolest thing that we asked him to do that and decided to take pictures of his friend taking pictures of us...weird! After getting the picture we headed back outside and met up with our tour and headed off to the Trevi Fountain.
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We went to the Trevi Fountain and we given 30 minutes to take pictures, throw a coin over our shoulder, and grab something to eat. Berkeley and I first went down the to fountain and threw a coin over a shoulder to wish to come back to Rome. Well I already know my wish will be coming true since I'll be back in a little over 2 months with the fam! We had some girls take our picture while we sat on the edge of the fountain and then we met up with Hanna and Stef and we took some more pictures. The more the merrier I believe! The men selling the stupid stress balls with faces and the magnets that make a an obnoxious noise started to pester us too much so we walked out of the fountain and headed around that area to find a little snack. We stopped into the gelato place that I went to when I was in Rome with Mr. Curbois (?), it was one of his fav. gelato places, but none of us wanted to gelato so we headed over to a stand with popcorn and fruit. Just as we got to the stand the skys opened up and it began to rain :( . We sat outside a store under an overhang and waited there till we had to meet back up with our tour.

We all got together again and we headed to the Spanish Steps and the street with all the expensive designer stores on it. As soon as we got to the Spanish Steps that sky opened up and it POURED on us. Of course I decided to straighten my hair that day and decided not to bring a jacket or an umbrella to Rome. So there I am soaking wet while everyone else is getting out there umbrellas, rain jackets, or putting there scarfs over their heads. The tour guide laughed at me and we talked for a bit while we went down the expensive designer street. She was an archeologists, had a beagle, and wanted to visit Boston and New England at some point.

After that we headed back to our hotel area and were given free time for the rest of the day. Berkeley and I went window shopping and then ate at a restaurant right on the corner of campo dei fiori and continued to window shop until we met up with Zack. We walked around some more together then parted ways to get ready for dinner and going out that night. We couldn't decided on a place to go so Hanna and Stef went to a wine bar and Berkeley, Zack, and I went back to the restaurant we had lunch at and ate there and then headed to the bars around campo dei fiori. We went to drunken ship and after a beer decided we were too tired and we headed back to the hotel and went to bed. All together a pretty jam packed day.

Posted by scoviello 13:56 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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