Monday, July 28, 2014

What Dreams Are Made Of!

The second leg of our Italian journey was five days in Rome! The Eternal City was one of the top cities on my bucket list and it is so large that we allotted more time so as not to feel rushed when exploring the city and its' history. Of course the girls on the trip were all hoping we'd meet an Italian pop start who would need us to sing with him in the middle of the Colosseum, but no such luck. Here's a look into some of the adventures we had in place of that dream!

"Promise me that when we're here, we'll find adventures."

We arrived in Rome at about seven in the morning after a restless night on a train. We wouldn't be able to check into our hostel until later in the morning so we decided to eat breakfast first and then slowly make our way over to our hostel.

We stayed at the Rose Guesthouse, a hostel that I highly recommend. The rooms were nice and the staff were wonderful, we had an awesome stay there. They let us drop our bags off so we could go explore while our room was prepared. We walked over to the Colosseum, just a few minutes away, and relaxed while enjoying the incredible view for a while.

The street we stayed on.

First glimpse of the Colosseum on a beautiful day!
 After a quick nap at the hostel we ate lunch before doing some more exploring of the ancient city. We decided to forego a walking tour in Rome because everything is pretty spread out and we felt that we could see more of what we wanted if we just did it on our own.

My obsession with balconies and windowsills covered in flowers originated from this trip. Amazing!!

The group in front of the Pantheon!

The eternal flame of the unknown soldier.
 We woke up bright and early on our second day in Rome, despite our lack of sleep, for a chance to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis while he led prayer at the Vatican. We made our way over to Vatican City and walked into St. Peter's Square. A lot of people seemed to have tickets, but they didn't check so we just walked right in and took our seats. We had to wait in the heat for about two hours so we were all falling asleep but it was a cool experience once the Pope finally arrived, drove through the crowd, and then led prayer. My recommendation to anyone doing this during their visit to Rome, unless you like waking up super early, don't do it. Just wake up sort of early and go, you'll get a similar, and maybe better, view of the Pope as he drives through the crowd.

Cheesin' in front of St.Peter's Basilica.

There he is!!
 That night we decided to enjoy gelato by the Trevi Fountain after dinner. We found this delicious pizza place near our hostel (TGIF in Italian!). We each ordered very interesting pizzas, that we all devoured, before making our way over to the Trevi Fountain.

We got gelato at the famous place near the Trevi Fountain that the lady who wrote "Eat. Pray. Love." raved about. My honest opinion: skip it, completely overrated. It was good but a small portion for way too much money when there are better options (such as GROM or Flor) for much cheaper. Our tour guide in Venice also told us to avoid the gelato places with gelato piled over the tins

I'll end my gelato rant there to spare you all. We walked over to the Trevi Fountain and sat on the steps, eating our gelato, and observing the tourists tossing their coins in the fountain. Everyone making sure they had the toss pose down for the picture their friend was taking, I giggled knowing I would partake in just that as soon as my gelato was finished.

My favorite moment of that night happened as I observed the various tourists making their wishes in the fountain. As flashes were going off around him, an older man walked up to the fountain, glanced around, admiring the view, and then simply tossed the coin in the fountain over his shoulder, glancing back to see where it landed. He observed the fountain for a moment more before returning to his friends who were waiting across the street. This simple moment struck me so. As fun as it is to snap a picture of the moment you toss the coin, the more important factor is the actual moment, not the picture, not the 'likes' it will receive on social media. It is partaking in this tradition people have partaken in for years and years in a city so full of history. Life is made up of these simple moments that we each need to be fully present in to comprehend their significance.

I won't tell you my wish, sorry!
This is what dreams are made of! More Rome next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment