Burnt out in Rome

Trip Start Jun 26, 2004
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Trip End Jan 2005


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Friday, August 6, 2004

Well I'm back in Italy, this time the great city of Rome. It was a 24-hour journey from Corfu to Rome, by overnight ferry (where I slept on the floor), four trains (one of which stopped in Naples) and then finally to Rome. We found a cool hotel to stay at though (once again by following people we met on the train, this time it was two elementary school teachers from Anapolis), I got a fill-sized bed to sleep on too.
Rome is great. Probably my favorite city in Italy. Florence was cool for awhile, but art museums and bars and clubs packed with American students gets old after awhile. Naples had the best pizza I've ever eaten plus I got to see Pompeii, but the whole time we were there was a straight-up lesson in street survival (dodging the insane Naples traffic and keeping our eyes open for pickpocketers and swindlers).
Rome is a different story, as Mike said, it seems like a cross between Paris and Naples. The size of Paris and the upscaleness, with a Naples flare.
We met one waiter that told us he was "Super Mario." He looked lke Mario too, short, a little rotund, and a mustache. He was born in New York and moved to Rome when he was eight. He goes back a lot he said. He has seen "The Boss" in concert four times, maybe all of those times in New Jersey.
We also went to the Coloseum yesterday. We got in and then just latched onto a tour group. The guide was really informative. He told us a story about the first spectacle that was presented at the Colleseum. It was an account by a Roman writer who attending the festivities.
The game for the day was 20 elephants against 100 lions. The elephants were gathered in the arena all together while the lions were gradually brought in. At first nothing happened because the lions were outnumbered, then as more lions were brought in they began to get aggressive (the Romans had been starving them). It didn't take too long before the lions were leaped upon the elephants and the elephants began thrashing and stomping about. Blood and dust sprayed everywhere.
The spectacle had a mesmerizing effect on the audience, who was kept in such awe that not a person spoke nor ate. The Roman writer was so disgusted that he got up and left the Coloseum. He rode out six miles from Rome in his chariot before stopping. At that point he could still hear the noise from the stadium. That was six miles away! The elephants were trumpeting so terribly that all of Rome could hear.
I titled this entry burnt out in Rome because I kind of felt a little burnt out from traveling these past few days, especially on the journey from Corfu to Rome, it didn't help that I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I was just through with meeting people and using hand motions to speak. Last night when Justen again was offending the girls we were hanging out with, I just said, "I through with this, I can't take it anymore when you offend people and drive them away from us." Which was not totally true.
I knew that it would eventually happen, but actually today I feel ready to do more stuff, ready to keep adventuring through Europe!
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