Like most cities I explore myself, my arrival to Rome was a little rough. To start with, I got turned around just leaving the terminal, but it was all good because I had to wait for my luggage anyway. I could not for the life of me find the shuttle to Rome Termini, so I took a bus. I had no idea how long it was going to take. Unfortunately, not only did it take longer than expected but I got on the wrong metro line, then I took a wrong turn because clearly I don’t know my left from my right, and missed my tour of the Vatican museums. No one in Rome really speaks English (that I found) and the way they decide whether or not to put street names on the walls are just willy nilly. However, I was not deterred. I still went to the Vatican, even though the museums were closed for the day and saw St Peter’s Basilica.
Then I did what I do best and just lost repeatedly lost and just kept finding new things. From the Vatican I went to Castel Sant d’Angelo where there was something important happening. There were guards and paparazzi surrounding a woman with a sash and then a bishop looking man showed up and they shook hands and the pap took pictures… I don’t know what was happening. Then I walked along the Tevere river to get to the Ara Pacis, because it’s awesome. It was really cool but the part that I liked best, as I was just sitting there admiring it, was that a group of deutsche Schulkinder came in and two of them did a presentation on the AP. My two loves, merged. It was wonderful. After that I wanted to go to Augustus’ Mausoleum, which is next door I might add, but I could not figure out how to get in. I took more wrong turn than I care to admit, but it was again all good because I found a Zara, which came highly recommended by my Twinsie. So that was fun. I wandered into the Piazza Colonna, which had a column just like Trajan’s column, but wasn’t. It was weird because there were police around it and everything. Then I stumbled on the Trevi Fountain and unknowingly found the Spanish Steps on my way home to the metro.
|On top of Vesuvius, Naples in the background|
|Summit of Mt Vesuvius|
The next morning I woke up early to get to the Piazza del Populo for my tour to Pompeii. It was a 3 hour bus ride to Naples, where Mt Vesuvius is and I looked at that mountain and thought, “You shall be conquered.” So I start. I don’t get very far when I decide I need a picture. Typisch. Then the rest of the way I shamelessly use photography as a way to mask how hardcore that vertical slope was kicking my ass. About a third of the way up I start creating cheating strategies in my head and how much I would pay for such services. Most involve me being airlifted in some fashion, but I would not give it the satisfaction of knowing it had beaten me, so I pressed onward. There are stations along the way that prey on people’s weaknesses. I was too focused on dragging myself to the next checkpoint so I did not bother checking the price but I’m sure they make a killing on food and water. Two thirds of the way up I started to worry that if I slipped and fell down the side of the mountain that no one would know since I am traveling alone. Finally I made it. (Victory dance). I got a couple pictures up top and then made my way back down, though it was slippery, it was a breeze compared to going up. After everyone had assembled, we drove another hour to Pompeii to have lunch, and I had it with a lovely Irish guy and an Australian sailor. The ruins of Pompeii were amazing, however, I had kind of hoped there would have been more artwork on site, but alas it is all in the Napoli museum. But the tour was still really interesting because it did not emphasize the same things as my Pompeii class. So yay learning! The night ended with the Germany: Italy game. THAT was an experience. So much fun. The Italians act like the Germans after a victorious game… but before the game. It was hilarious. I naturally took pictures.
|Main forum in Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius in the background|
Day 3, the adventure started around 830 and I made my way to the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Something I have not been prepared for upon arriving in Italy is the HEAT. I WAS LITERALLY DYING ERRYDAY. I was told that the days I was in Rome were the hottest days of the year- my Irish skin was soaking up ALL the UV rays. So yes. I saw lots of things that day. My camera died almost immediately due to the humidity which annoyed me but at least I had a backup, my iPod. Trusty ol’ Sylar. I was supposed to meet my Big at the Trevi fountain but that did not happen. Sad. I went home, showered, and tried not to congregate in areas where there was so much heat. Fabulous Fabio, the hostel owner, took everyone out that night except a Canadian girl and myself. I didn’t go bc I had to get up early the next day for Florence, but we made up for it by having a lovely ol’ chat and nabbing wine from the kitchen (which was DELICIOUS). I would be remiss in not mentioning that Hugh Jackman was sleeping in the same room as me. He had a beautiful voice and I wish I went out just so I could talk to him more.