Read about my trip to Florence, Italy where between my weekend travels throughout Europe, Italian language courses, fashion marketing internship and Tuscan wine tastings on the weekends, I'm not sure if I'll ever want to return to "The States"...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

When in Rome...

This weekend we went on a field trip to Rome with our school. From Thursday to Sunday I did absolutely nothing but tour famous sites and enjoy the Roman nightlife. We saw more churches than one ever needs to see in a lifetime, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, and so much more. My diet consisted solely of pizza, gelato, and McDonalds. Yes, I had McDonalds in Italy so this week we have decided to cleanse our bodies and live off of salads every day.

The first night we got there we went on a Colosseum Bar Crawl. I was expecting to get a great view of the Colosseum between each bar but the title was actually pretty deceiving since really we only met at the subway next to it and took a bus to our other destinations. 15 euro though for an open bar and a free t-shirt made the night worth it. I also got to meet up with my friend, Kate, again and we had a really good time.

After waking up at 7am the next morning to catch the subway before the “public transportation strike” started and being packed in like sardines because everyone else had the same idea, we went on a tour of the Vatican. St. Peter’s Basilica was absolutely beautiful and the video I posted here doesn’t quite do it justice. You can also get a glimpse of how our knowledge of all these famous monuments has blended together after having art history shoved down our throats since we have been here from the conversation Spinks and I are having in the background. We also decided to climb the basilica and got an AMAZING view because the weather was perfect just as we reached the top.

After going to lunch and spending 25 euro at the biggest tourist trap I have ever seen for a plate of lettuce and four measly raviolis, we decided to take a siesta to get ready for our second night out in Rome. While getting ready after our nap with six girls in one room, we apparently were making too much noise because our Italian hotel neighbor knocked on the door and asked us if we could please be quiet because, “We are trying to make a baby.” Now, I’m sure that’s not quite what he was trying to say and he merely got confused in the translation but we all just stared at him for what seemed like five minutes of awkward silence until he closed the door before bursting out laughing. Hopefully our laughter didn’t interrupt him “making his baby”.

We went out to Campo di Fiori which was this big open square that looked like a fairground with a generous mix of American and Italians all socializing both inside and outside the bars. Most of the bars had English names so we were surprised to make some new Italian friends. I also ran into a friend of a friend who was studying in Rome and found out that one of my best friend’s from high school, Mike Barry, was also visiting Rome that weekend from his school in Barcelona. After going on a wild goose chase for his phone number, we were able to meet up the next night in Campo again. He decided I was bad luck though because when we went to an ATM to get cash out, the machine ate his card. I was forced to call the Italian operator where I just kept repeating “Mangia la carta!” until we figured out there was nothing we could do until Monday when the banks open. Luckily he had an assortment of cards on him so we were still able to enjoy ourselves when we got back to the bar.

After waking up before 8am for the third day in a row after going out the night before, we packed up our things to hop on a bus to go to these amazing fountains outside of Rome. We went to two different places that had once been the houses of incredibly wealthy Romans who owned amazing properties with gardens, statues, fountains, and some of the prettiest views of Italy I have ever seen.

Overall, Rome was amazing. I’m still happy with my decision to study in Florence but I’m sure I will definitely be back there again before the semester is over. Starting in two weeks, I am going to be traveling almost every weekend which makes me nervous that I am going to find someplace I will like better than Florence, but at least I know that Florence has already become my “home” because of the relief I felt when we got off the bus today. Enjoy the pictures!

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