Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Day 14--Rome, Italy

May 2nd, 2012

Viva la Roma!! The tour group hijacked the bus to the Metro station and into Rome we go! We started out at the Spanish Steps that was filled with flowers. Gorgeous. The plaza around it is so pretty. I love it here already. After the steps we walked to the Trevi Fountain. Eeep!!! Holy crap it is huge! And stunning! Seriously, words, pictures, nothing can do this justice! It is so pristine and clean looking. The sculptures are way more interesting and pretty than I thought. I enjoyed this SO much more and was so much more impressed than I thought I would be.

So they say, if you throw 2 coins over your opposite shoulder the first coin grants you a wish, the second coin guarantees your return to Rome. So romantic *sigh*. Of course, we all did that. Cross your fingers my wish comes true! There is also a drinking fountain to the side and the story goes that if you drink out of it your virginity is returned to you. Teresa and Rachel are going to have to drink quite a lot, haha. I drank it too even though clearly I didn’t need any help in this area. Still, ya gotta do it. When in Rome, right? I love this fountain. I just want to sit here and stare all day. Definitely in awe.

Then it was on to the Pantheon. Holy shit. This building is huge and epic and has been standing since 27 BC. Are you for real?! It. Was. Incredible. Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe how old it is and how so many important people so long ago met here and discussed important things. Its unbelievable. Truly. The inside had beautiful altars and the hold in the ceiling is the only source of light so they obviously have a drainage system in the middle of the floor. Crazy!

Gelato shop was our next stop and had roughly 100 flavors. Caramel, tiramisu, and kit kat. Solid choice. After that we went to the Victor Emmanuelle Memoirial. Wow, I mean wow. It is intense! First, it’s huge. Nexty, it is so white and bright it almost glows. And after that, it is so intricate and detailed its literally insane. I could not believe how effing gorgeous it is. This is the man that nified Italy. Yay! But I guess to build it they had to destroy a lot of Roman ruins that included a medieval village. That quite sucks. The locals hate it for that reason and that it is so white it doesn’t fit in with the surrounding browns. Whatevs. I think its gorgeous. And they hve two eternal flames for the toms of the unknown soliders. Very cool.

We also saw Mussolini’s balcony where he lied to the Italian people during WW II about how he was going to restore Italy to its former glory. Lying bastardo.

After that a short walk to the Coliseum!! They view on the way there is breathtaking. Rome is officially my favorite city. Everything is so old and the ruins are so beyond beautiful. I want to stay and never leave. All of it I just want to take with me

SO! The Coliseum. Um, yeah. So. Frickin. Cool. First, the actual structure itself is everything and more of what I imagined. Its immense and old and just so amazingly cool. We ended up buying tickets from a tour guide who would give us a guided tour as well as entrance into the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum that also includes a guided tour. Our tour guide was incredible. He knew everything! It was so interesting and so worth doing. He walked us through the small rooms they got ready in, where they went oup through the floor, where they slept and the entrance they walked through. Wow.

It was absolutely beautiful inside. The floor was not there and you could see the tunnels of the Coliseum where they used pulleys to lift people up into the arena. Little unknown face for me was gladiators were a huge financial investment and because of that the battles between gladiators rarely ended in death; weird. Only 1 in 10 actually died in battle. And a lot of times the people would use hand gestures (thumb tucked in fist to stay alive) to signify what they wanted to happen to the losing gladiator (thumb sideways to kill them). At the end of the day thought it was the Emperor who decided life or death. I also didn’t know that animal were the first creatures to fight in the arena. People would spend tons of money to import exotic animal to fight. Weird. Oh! They also flooded it one time to stage naval battles with ships. WTF?! How cool is that?! Like I couldn’t believe that! Amazing. We also went in a small tunnel/room where they threw the dead bodies. Ugh, it still stunk like they were there yesterday. Ick.

After the tour we walked around and took some pics; had a very nutritious and late lunch of Pringles and it was off to the Palatine Hill tour which I hd never head of until today. Oops. So this place of ruins used to be a palace. It if effing huge! Parts of the wall are still standing and actual pieces of the marble floor are there. It was so wicked cool to see. PS-our tour guide is a legit voide twin to Robin Leach. That shit was crazy. You close your eyes and you couldn’t tell the difference. Amazing.

The palace was really interesting to see actually, moreso than I thought it would be. I kept trying to imagine what this place looked like when it was in all its glory. Probably ridiculously lavish. Most interesting story was about one of the men who lived here and used to have like 50 course dinners and for people to accommodate the massive amounts of food, they would have people in the bathroom tickle their throats with feathers to make them throw up. Then they would go back out there and keep eating. Ew.

Sidenote: after the Coliseum, Palatine Hill, and reading Julius Caesar, I have come to the conclusion that Suzanne Collins was so inspired by Roman history. All this stuff is in her books. From the puking, to the arena, the fight to the death, the fighters coming up from the floor, the names, all of it! Incredible! It is unreal and totally amazing. She is even cooler than I thought.

After the hill we did a quick walk through the Forum and took a pic of T stabbing me. Et tu, Brute? Famished—walked around until we found a restaurant. The entire staff was very attentive…and creepy. Meh. They gave us free champagne, so whatever.

Eventually made it back to near the Spanish Stephs. Long story short, Jarrah wanted to buy sunglasses so we went into a lot of the high end stores; Louis Vuitton, D&G, Burberry, etc. to try and find some. Well, she is so damn indecisive she can’t make up her effing mind and I’m dragging ass with this task because I don’t give a shit. They’re sunglasses. C’mon, it’s not that big of a deal. We literally walked in and out of each of these stores at least twice. Back and forth, back and forth. What also grinded my gears is that it was getting late, stuff shuts down early, and the ONLY thing I wanted to do and that I’ve been talking about for days is go to this bookstore underground that Becs told me about.

I finally asked the lady in Max and Co. where it was and I snapped that I was going to find my bookstore and I’ll be back and hauled ass out of there. Probably not the best decision objectively but I have a short fuse, I’m irritated with this superficial material bullshit, and I want out for a few minutes. But honestly, I’ll take my chances against a mugger or rapist rather than take it out on Jarrah for a few reasons. One- I would feel bad about snapping on her. Two-awkward would not begin to describe the feelings of the next 9 days after my having exploded verbally at her. And three-at least my rage at a raist would be rage well spent…SO, off I went. Got slightly turned around BUT I did eventually find the bookshop! Yay! And no English books. Fuck. Me. Bookshop worker told me about the galleria and they have inglese libres. Success! Bought a non-fiction book about the Borgia family. Score. Done. Purchased. Finito. Let’s go before Teresa ends up calling my mother to tell her I ran off alone in Rome. That rage I spoke about prior, remember that? Yeah, that would be child’s play compared to the Sicilian wrath that would be reigned down on me if my mother found out I started blindly running around by myself…in an unknown city…in a foreign country. I’d be fuckign every way for 20 years of Sundays. Shit.

Anyways, made it back to the store, they were all there. Thank goodness. Hopped the Metro and bus back to the hostel. Stopped at the mini market the hostel has and bought a pack of cards for my Nonna, she’s gonna love it.

Started getting ready, skulling rose wine, pure class. Rach and T finished a whole bottle of limoncella. Wonder how that’s gonna feel tomorrow? So we finished putting on the hot girl disguises, tried for longer than I’d like to admit to to tie a toga, and we were off to the bar. It was 11:30 by this point…oops. Still had a rockin good time. I don’t think you can’t NOT have fun running around in a toga. There was this totally cute lawyer from the other tour that Rach made take shots with us and I coerced into dancing with me. Apparently the girls on his tour told me he doesn’t do shots or dance…welp, I can be quite persuasive and I really don’t take no for an answer. However, while adorable, he was super awkward and made no move. Story of my life.

Super fun time dancing. And then one of the chefs kept flirting with me…I said to him, ‘I thought you had a girlfriend.’ He said, ‘I do, I love her more than anything.’ Um…how about you stop telling me how beautiful I am then? Not that I was interested but if I had a boyfriend (lol), and he was telling other girls they were beautiful, he would no longer hold the prestigious title of boyfriend. Gosh, guys are such retards.

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