That's Amore - Rome

Trip Start May 23, 2009
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19
28
Trip End Jul 20, 2009


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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Wednesday, July 8, 2009

WEDNESDAY, JULY 8

I love Roma!

My dad, brother, and I came to the consensus that the airport in Paris isn't our favorite; it was pretty weird for us to get to the check-in counter only to wait since they were all always on break! Our flight was delayed but we made it to Roma and took a shuttle to our hotel that was located near the top of the Spanish Steps. After freshening up we got some pizza at a nearby restaurant and then walked around the city in search of an obelisk that David’s teacher had mentioned to him and we saw on the way into the city. We didn’t find it but got some gelato at one of the many gelato stores that we passed.

At 7 we met up with our Through Eternity tour group at the bottom of the Spanish Steps and there were about 15 of us. When we had all gathered we sat down on the steps to listen to our tour guide, Gracelyn, talk about the history of Rome and the area in particular. Towards the end of her mini history lesson I had a very pleasant surprise when my sorority sister Allie happened to be walking up the steps! It was so random to run into her in Rome but it was great to see her and catch up a little before regrouping with the tour. Our tour took us all over Rome and included the Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon, and more. The city was so gorgeous at twilight and I took many mental pictures since I was having issues with my camera lighting.

At the Trevi Fountain we threw in coins with hopes to return to Rome (hopefully Danish kroner are just as effective as Euros!). Gracelyn was really animated and the tour was informative and fun. It was also interrupted by all of the police helicopters circling the city because of the G8 Summit. It was pretty crazy because at one point there was a group of about 8 cars racing through the narrow winding streets – just like you’d seen in an action movie – and one car hit another but they just kept going! There was also a point when we were walking down the street and a big mob of people came barreling through and filming someone in the middle of the group as well as more cameras filming the people on the sides as they walked by. One guy in our group thought it was Moammar Kadafi and my dad thought that they were filming the crowd in case anything should happen they’d have our faces on tape.

After the tour finished around 10 we had spaghetti and pizza at Navona Notte, by Gracelyn’s recommendation, and it was delicious! There was something about the sauce that was different from American spaghetti and added a little extra umph. After dinner we got a little lost getting back to the hotel but managed to find our way – it was nice getting to see more of the city, though.


THURSDAY JULY 9

On Thursday we had breakfast at the hotel on this cute little pavilion and then headed out on the Metro to meet our tour group at the Vatican. Unfortunately, David wasn’t feeling well so he stayed in for the morning. Our tour began at 9 and we had a group of about 17 people from South Africa, Australia, Los Angeles and more. Our guide was fun and really good with the three kids in our group. I enjoyed the tour but it was so crowded!! It was also really great to see some of the artwork that I had studied in History of Art last semester! I know that it’s often said that art is better in person and I found that to be very true. My favorite part of the tour was going through the Sistine Chapel – the ceiling was amazing and I was surprised how big everything was since the figures are always so small in pictures.

After we left the chapel everyone was ushered out so that some ambassador could come through. We went down the stairs that dignitaries use to go to the chapel and according to our guide the Obamas would be going up those steps on their visit to the Vatican the next day! After the tour we met up with David and had lunch near the Colosseum where our next tour was scheduled to take place. On that tour we went all through the runes of the Forum; it was really amazing to see the runes and I’m so impressed by all of the parts of buildings that are left standing. We also got to go into an old senate building and could see the differences in the ground level of ancient Rome and today. We were also fortunate enough to go into an old apartment underground (we weren’t allowed to take pictures) and saw some amazingly colorful frescos on the walls. After a couple of hours in the forum with the runes we headed into the colosseum.

The Colosseum was so huge and David informed me that Harvard’s football stadium was modeled after the Colosseum! It was also really neat to see the exhibits that explained some of the technicalities of the area; the ancient Romans were so intelligent and clever. Being there really made me want to watch Gladiator again. It was sad to hear about all of the people who died there since many of them were slaves forced into battle entertainment. After our tour was complete we had our last Italian dinner (I had some delicious ravioli) and gelato and then got ready to wake up early and head to Scotland to meet up with my mom and begin our HP adventures!



It’s crazy how fast the summer is going by! The summer is basically divided up into sections: 1) Florida, 2) Tennessee/Nashville w/ Olivia, 3) Indiana, 4) DIS Sessions 1 & 2, 5) Paris and Rome, 6) Harry Potter Tour, 7) Home in Hawaii, & then back to Vandy!! I’m now 5/7 done with the summer!
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