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.
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.
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.
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.