Today’s funny quote is while we were in the Coliseum:
“I wish I were fat so you guys could call me tons of fun!” –Kayla; Followed shortly by her fat walk/hop.
We started the day out by going to breakfast at this little place around here. The guy serving Carlo asked him who he was with and when Carlo said 3 girls the guy didn’t believe him, so he called us over. It was humorous.
After breakfast we went to a hill where you can see the whole city of Rome. Coolest view ever. Before we walked up the hill we walked into this square where there was a big fountain with an oblesque (sp?) [the Egyptian rulers used to build them to show their greatness] a lot like the one in Central Park Dad had me seek out and take a picture of, so I took a picture of this one for him too. Then we went up the hill and saw all of Rome and from there we walked to the Spanish steps. We walked down those to the shopping district of Rome that’s apparently the place people think of when they think of Rome. New York City:Broadway; Austin:6th Street; Rome:Via Dei Condetti. Every designer you can think of and some you’ve never heard of are here. Very cool and very expensive. From there we walked to the Trevi Fountain. It took 122 years to build and was BEAUTIFUL! Huge, white and beautiful. So many people were there. We each threw a coin in the fountain – “they” say if you throw a coin in the fountain you will return to Rome. I think I can handle that.
From the fountain we walked to the Pantheon and on the way we saw Gipetto’s clock shop. You know, the guy from Pinocchio. So neat; all these cool wooden clocks all over the walls. Then we went to the Pantheon, went over a little history and then got some lunch. Carlo’s friend had suggested some places to him where we should eat to get the real Rome experience. It was SO good and so very authentic. I don’t think there were any tourists in there but us. Carlo spent much of lunch teaching me some Italian. Fun! After lunch we walked back down that road and back to the Spanish steps where we caught the Metro to the Coliseum…only after getting some real Italian gelato of course.
So weird to go in the Coliseum and imagine all the people who were killed there. Gladiators, Christians, maybe some lions? Hard to imagine what it was like during the prime of the Roman empire. None of that stuff ever seems real to me. Caesar, Brutus…any of them…it just seems like fiction to me because it’s been made into so many movie and stories/plays you read in English class. It’s also hard to imagine something being thousands of years old. The whole United States is 250 years old. People (with the exception of Indians) have been there for what, 350? I can’t imagine my city dating back to before Christ! My mind doesn’t wrap itself around that.
After the Coliseum we went to the Arch dedicated to the first Roman Emperor (who converted Rome to Christianity) whose name I cannot remember. Oh, it’s the Constantinian Arch! It’s right there by the Coliseum. Very cool. Right there also was the Roman Forum which we wouldn’t go through (I think it was closed or being restored) so we walked by and looked through a fence. On this walk we found the first of the 7 hills Rome was founded on. Very cool. That was pretty much the end of our very touristy day. We did a lot today. We caught the Metro back to the hotel, stopped at an internet café and all checked out email/bank accounts, and are now at the hotel resting before dinner. Dinner is about 8:30 and we’re having pizza!
Tonight I think we’re supposed to go out, I don’t know…but tomorrow we’re going to mass in the Vatican!!! Until then. Ciao!
Tonight we went to this area that Carlo described as very “animated” for dinner. It reminded me of the meat packing district in New York in that it’s where people seem to go to be seen. You can go there or go to a bar there and there are people all over selling things like a market. It’s not all fashion, but it is a lot of show and a lot of people; eating, drinking, standing around. There seems to be as much traffic at 10pm and 1am as there is at any other time of the day. I’m under the impression that it never lets up. For dinner we went to Hostaria Pizzeria where, I am under the impression, it’s never really slow in the sense of business. We were told we’d wait 15 minutes and waited about 30. The waiter later told us lots of famous people go there to eat. It was very good…we all got pizza. Carlo says Saturday is pizza night.
After dinner we walked around some and then made our way through the city back here. We walked by this huge white building that was a gift to the first king of Italy by some sculptors. Then we walked by parts of the Roman forum. At one point we were surrounded completely by different parts of history all commanding our attention. It’s so very different from anywhere I’ve ever experienced. Really, you will be walking through the city and then, Bam!, there are just some 2000 year old columns chillin. We walked by the Coliseum and got to see it all lit up and finally caught the bus back here.