Buonasera! I woke up this morning at 9 am after pressing snooze on my 8.45 am alarm, certainly feeling a bit exhausted having spent the past week constantly sightseeing and walking from monument to monument. I fought the morning blues then quickly got dressed and headed down to enjoy a delightful Italian breakfast in the hotel.
Our hotel is located in the heart of Rome, walking distance from the Trevi Fountain. With complete excitement, I made my way to the Fontana di Trevi, expecting nothing less than what Lizzie McGuire experienced after throwing a Euro into the fountain (cue: meeting my very own Paolo, international superstar).
Though to my dismay, instead of finding clear water and a beautiful Italian boy, I found scaffolding encasing the beautifully sculpted marble. Could you believe it!? I traveled all the way to Italy to find out the Trevi Fountain is closed. General disclaimer to all prospective tourists traveling to Italy: The Trevi Fountain is and will be under construction until September 2015.
Following the fountain, we went to the Spanish Steps where I was flocked by an excessive number of street vendors trying to sell me selfie sticks. After denying the first five that came to me, I reconsidered the option of buying one… and so I did. I haggled the price down from 25 Euros to 16 Euros and walked away with a selfie stick and bluetooth remote. Only in Rome. But don’t be alarmed! It’s actually completely normal to carry around a selfie stick and awkwardly prop out a metal stick four feet in front of your face.
Afterwards, we went to the Colosseum and I was completely blown away by the architecture of the building. I imagined the sword fights, gladiators, and lions running around the maze within the concrete and stone. Most of the walls were visibly charred, burned from the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD. I climbed the steps to the second floor and spent the next hour in complete awe, admiring the engineering of the structure and taking selfies with my sister on our new selfie stick. When I ran my fingers over the stone, it emitted the energy of all that was when the Colosseum was actively used. All in all, I’m so grateful for the experience of visiting such a monumental piece of Roman history which I’ve read so much about in my history textbooks.
We walked around the Roman Forum for a bit and headed home on the busy, busy, busy Italian Metro. What I learned today is that the Italian subway is significantly dirtier, less efficient, and more crowded than the French subway system. Oh, and that selfie sticks, though absolutely ridiculous looking, are certainly a blessing. It’s now 10.30 pm and I’m sat in the media room in our hotel, Italian football flickering on the T.V. behind me, and have been typing this blog post for the past hour while enjoying the company of my fellow travelers.