Roma at last!

Trip Start Jun 07, 2010
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Trip End Jun 30, 2010


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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Saturday, June 19, 2010

After wishing Florence a heartfelt goodbye, we hopped on our train to Roma termini, which was slow to arrive. It's a very short ride though, only 1 1/2 hrs. The time passes even faster watching the rolling hills of Tuscany pass by. Lazio brought the same joy through the windows of the speeding train, and as more and more graffiti became visible on the concrete, I assumed we were nearing Roma termini. 
    For the first time on our visit overseas, we met hot weather. Rome is hot. That is my first impression. The heat isn't a myth, it exists! We still decided to walk to the accomodation because Chris wasn't keen on taking the public transport. It wasn't very far anyhow, and we arrived at the flat where we are staying. It's very sweet, the flat is a bunch of rooms run by a young asian man above the Chinese restaurant. He is very nice, and even went through the map of places to see and where to eat which would preserve our wallets. 
     Getting changed, we went to explore. We had to start at the Colosseum of course, it being only 1 block from our place. We had seen it briefly on the way over, but there was no experience like walking up to it for the first time. This is the history that I study, it's what I know, and to be here in this fantastically beautiful, ageless yet ancient city is unbelievable. Roma takes my heart. The Colosseum looms over the Roman Forum in ruin, columns dotting the landscape, buildings left standing only because they were converted to churches. It's a hauntingly beautiful sight, and I cannot wait to visit the interior. The expanse of it is much larger than I expected. Definitely looking forward to it. 
    We left the Colosseum to find a bank, and eventually we found one with the help of a waiter at one of the restaurants along Via Cavour. We decided that if it worked, we would eat there. It worked, so we ate. I had a salad with pineapple in it, the dressing was oil and balsamic vinegar. Despite sounding weird, it was really good! 
    After this we walked out to the Circus Maximus to view the sad stretch of grass that was once the largest stadium the world has ever known. All that remains are a few arches where the audience would enter, and that's it. The rest is a park (sort of) that gives the outline of the chariot track. We sat here for awhile, pondering the grandeur and musing over the great exhibit that has been lost to time. And medieval quarries if you really want to get into it. 
    From here we walked around the forum, found the Museo Capitolini, and ventured toward the Trevi Fountain. On the way we came across Trajans Column which was bigger than I expected. This chronicle of the victory over the Dacians is still impressive, yet completely unreadable from the ground. I will also note that the ground level once sat a few feet below what we stand upon today, and it is obvious here, as well as in other places in the forum. 
     There is a huge monument to Vittorio Emmanuel II I believe, which is just this massive marble structure. A little ridiculous in its size and grandeur, but photographable nonetheless. 
    Everything is very close together here, and in a few minutes we came upon the Trevi fountain, which was an absolute zoo. But whatever, it's a Saturday and tourist season is beginning. We are here aren't we?
    It is rather beautiful though, the crisp water falling over the stones. We didn't stay long because there were guys everywhere wanting to take your picture. No thanks.
    The Pantheon was close to so we just decided to go there. I was a little disappointed when we arrived because half of the thing is covered in scaffolding due to a restoration or something. The neat thing about the particualr moment we were there is that the police band was playing in the square. That was a very neat experience. Entering the Pantheon you could still hear their beautiful music. 
  After this we came home because we both were tired. Now I lay here writing this and wish everybody could see what I've seen today. This is the heart of Western civilization, a great empire existed here that gave us our customs and many of our ways of life. The whole city strikes awe into my heart. Every street corner is beautiful, walls are sprinkled with green leaves that grow down to the streets. Scooters and fiats whiz by on the cobblestone, the trees seem to whisper what they've seen in their lifetimes. And the trees are stunning here. New to me, foreign, and I love it. 
    I wish I could describe it better. This is what I can do.
Thanks
Jenna
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Comments

mom and dad on

we could feel the excitement in your writing and are overjoyed that you are so very happy.... love you (beautiful pictures-awestruck!)

birgit on

when you order the pink fiat, get ME one too ............ LOVE it !!

Aunt Brenda/Uncle Mel on

Jenna and Chris,
OMG!!! We really have been enjoying the blog and reading it at night!!
The landscapes are wonderful, the buildings and history are spectacular...
we want to go there one day ... soon. Lots of things remind of of old mexico also... enjoy the rest of your travels...

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