Posted in Travel

Rome-ing Around

I have been on the road for almost four weeks now and I can tell that it’s time to get back to familiarity, because I may or may not have broke down crying on a coach bus today. Don’t worry, I was just frustrated with language barriers and I ended up in the wrong location and wasted a whole afternoon. It’s fine, though. I’m safe and so that’s really all that matters. But, I didn’t start writing this post so you could hear about my tears. We’re here to talk about Rome. And Rome-ing is what I’ve been doing…

After I caught my train at 3 in the morning last Saturday, I ended up in Rome around 9 in the morning. This gave me enough time to find my hostel, store my luggage, and make a plan for the day. After doing some quick Google searches, I decided that I would visit the Colosseum and Roman Forums and then do a free walking tour in the afternoon.

This was a great plan, and I had an awesome day. (I did wait about an hour to get into the Colosseum, but it was spectacular). And now I can check off a second Wonder of the World viewed this year!

Entrance to the Roman Forum was included with my Colosseum ticket, and it was so worth it. I could have spent hours wandering through all of the ruins, and it was really surreal to see. However, I was trying to catch a walking tour at 4, so I only had a few hours to wander. It also kind of looks like a giant junk yard, except it has super cool historical significance.

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Here’s the view from the top of one of the hills in the site. Also featured are my new kicks, since I lost 2/3 pairs of shoes I brought on this journey. May they rest in piece. Next up was the free walking tour. I know I have mentioned it before, but let me just reiterate. I love free walking tours. I get all the fun facts I want from super enthusiastic guides and I only have to pay what my budget allows.

We visited the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, and Colosseum again. I also got a lot of info about the city in general and some weird facts and traditions. For example, you’re supposed to throw a coin in the trevi fountain, over your left shoulder and you will return to Rome. Throw it twice, and you’ll find love in Rome. Thrice, and you’ll marry your Roman love. I threw one coin. And took a selfie with Trev.

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That pretty much finished up day one as I was exhausted from being up so early, so I grabbed dinner, went to bed early, and rested up for day 2. On Sunday, I got up early and went to the Vatican, since it’s free entry on Sundays. The museum and Sistine Chapel were closed, but I went inside St. Peter’s Basilica.

Also, unknown to me before this day, was that the 23rd annual Roman Marathon was happening. It was so fun to be a part of watching the race, because the whole city had a buzz to it, and there was music and people everywhere in the streets. Kind of makes me want to run a marathon some day. Except for the 27.2 mile running part. (Or 42 km, as they were tracking it here)

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I didn’t really have a plan for the rest of the day, so I spent it just wandering through the streets, enjoying the crowd, tasting gelato, and soaking up the glorious sunshine. I did manage to see the Pantheon and wander into a few more churches before the day was over, though. By the end of the day, though, I felt like I had seen everything that I wanted to in Rome, so I decided to find a beach to go to on Monday.

I choose to go to Anzio, because it was only a 40 minute train ride away and there was no additional connections. It was an okay choice, because the beach was nice, but absolutely no one spoke English here. So I did end up pretty frustrated. Yet another day I almost broke down in tears. I don’t know why, but it is so utterly confusing when you know people aren’t understanding you and so I kind of end up shutting down and not wanting to ask any questions or say anything. But regardless of frustrations, it really was a beautiful little town. I just wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone else.

But alas, as with everything, you have to fail a lot before having success. So is the story of my life and the saga of my travel journeys. Feeling really ready to get back to England… (where English is spoken and Mikaela is understood)

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