Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I visited Rome from Feb 29 until March 2. I took a direct train and it took just over five hours to get there. I hadn’t booked a hotel or bed at a youth hostel prior to arriving, which was a mistake. My train got in late Friday night, and it was already dark outside. That first night I didn’t see much besides the quick walk to the nearest hotel. I didn’t have trouble booking a single room for that night, and since I was checking in so late they cut me a deal. The next morning I woke up pretty early to see the sights. I started with Capitoline Hill and the museums, and it was incredible. There is so much history there. I could have spent all morning there and walking around the ruins. It was pretty cloudy and rainy for most of the morning, but it cleared up a little later in the day. Some backpacker who was alone asked me to take his picture for him, and then he started talking to me in Italian. He was a student from a nearby city and just seeing the sights for the day. He was really nice and walked me to the Fountain of Trevi (pictured) and Spanish Steps, which was my next stop. I tossed in a coin over my shoulder (toss in one coin to ensure that one day you will return, two coins and you will fall in love with an Italian, three and you will marry that person). I just tossed in one.

I then headed to the Pantheon, which was really cool. The top of the dome is actually a hole to let in the sunlight, and when rainwater comes in it is drained out through tiny holes in the marble floor. It was really cool. Next I went to Piazza Navona, which is full of shops and restaurants and has three really historic fountains. I stopped at a stand-up bar and had a panino and gelato before heading to the Vatican City!

It was a pretty long walk, and I don’t think I took the most direct route, but walking through the gates into St Peter’s Square was an unreal. I walked around to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. There was so much to see in the museums, and it was all leading up to the Sistine Chapel. There were places around the side for people to sit and say prayers, and there was no talking allowed. Apparently pictures weren’t allowed either (see image), which I found out mid-shot. Luckily they didn’t confiscate my camera or kick me out! J

Daylight was running out on me so I decided to head back, where checked into a hostel and enjoyed a free dinner at the restaurant next door and went out for gelato with the girls I met in my room. They were really nice, from St. Luis and had just arrived from Stockholm, which they highly recommended. After dinner I met up with a friend from Michigan who was also in Rome, and I met his friends who are studying with him in London. They were all really nice, and we went out to a couple bars and got a taste of the Roman nightlife. The next morning was Sunday, and I went to the Colosseum in the morning and took a lot of pictures of that and the surrounding area. I then had a quick meal at the train station before catching my train back to Trento.

When I got back to via Borino, a girl had moved into my room! The previous week Joey and I had requested a room in Vela, which is where most exchange students live pretty close to town, but I didn’t think everything would happen so quickly. Luckily we had an extra bed. That night my roommate from Africa invited me upstairs for dinner with her other African friends. They made this really good sauce with spices and some sort of lentil and chicken, and you were supposed to dip this certain type of bread into it. It was very good! Also they made me braid their friend's hair. But thats another story.

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