Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Roamin' Roman Last Week in Roma

It feels like forever since I’ve written, which is partly true. I apologize to my readers—I have fallen behind in my postings. I just got back from my trip from Greece and moved to Florence. Don’t worry I should have more current postings very shortly. Although I am dying to write about how amazing Greece was, I have to conclude my stay in Rome. Which is extremely important because I saved the best for last!
With only a week left in Rome it was time for me to do some serious sightseeing. I had walked past the Coliseum and Vatican many times but was always in a rush to see something or someone else. I had yet to go to the Trevi Fountain. It would have been a crime to have not gone to either one of them. Seriously!
First on the list was Trevi Fountain. I went with some friends who were also in my program. On our way there we went out to dinner. I hate saying it, but after eating pounds of pasta and pizza I was ready for a change. By the Trevi Fountain there is a Chinese restaurant; I couldn’t resist. This probably was the biggest mistake. Bottom line you get what you pay for. It was inexpensive and the food was……….. that says it all. I was craving sweet and sour pork. When I got it, it tasted neither sweet nor sour. It had no taste. I am sure there are better Chinese restaurants out there. This place is not one. I don’t even bother to remember the name. All I can recommend is that if you are by the Trevi Fountain and see a Chinese restaurant—keep on going!

The Trevi Fountain was beyond words. (I feel like I say that all the time… but in all fairness it really is true.) I highly recommend you go at night.  Although it will be crowded, it is totally worth it. And yes, I threw a coin over my shoulders into the fountain and made a wish. There was so much going on it can be overwhelming. I almost got lost in the moment. Of course everyone wants to get their photos taken in front of the fountain, and I can guarantee that on a weekend night a guy is going to propose to his girlfriend and get down on one knee and the entire crowd will cheer him on. But that’s the magic of the fountain. We’re all a bunch of tourist looking at the same thing but experiencing it in different ways.

Did you know that Trevi Fountain receives 3,000 Euros a day!!!! That’s pretty impressive! I am glad to have read that the money is donated to various charities. 

With the Trevi Fountain conquered, it was time to visit the next sight. Originally my roommates and I had intended to see the Van Gough exhibit. Right after class we took the bus to the museum, walked up to the ticket booth, fully prepared to spend some money to see the exhibit and… we were a day early. We walked up the steps, through the door, and past security guards, only to discover that the next day was the opening. As the saying goes, when you are given lemons make lemonade.

Five minutes later I found myself standing in front of the Coliseum. That’s the beauty of Rome. There is always something to do and see! So this is what I’ve learned about going to the Coliseum and hope this helps you.
1.     I promise you there will be private tour guides out in front trying to sell you their tour. DON’T DO IT! They’ll claim the line takes over two hours and they can get you in within 10 minutes for an extra six dollars. Do not let the line intimidate you. In actuality, it only took us 15 minutes to get in. Don’t be afraid to walk up to the front of the line and ask the cashiers how long of a wait there really is.
2.     Students don’t get discounts! I know for a fact if you are an Italian citizen you get a discount, and if you’re a EU citizen. The cashier will ask to see your passport if you “think” you qualify for the discount, we tried, and failed to pass off as a EU citizen. Bottom line is, if you’re American, you’re paying full price!
3.     Do yourself a favor and go to the top, find a spot and sit down for at least 20 minutes after you’re done reading and exploring the place. Life seems to slow down within those 20 minutes. I was really able to take in what I saw. Plus, I got to hear everyone’s reactions. I didn’t even have to speak the same language to understand what they were saying.
Too perfect for words

Another site that should not be missed is the Borghese Gallery, also known as the Galleria Borghese. It is an art collection in Rome that has paintings and sculptures. Talk about art! I wish I could have taken photos, but everyone has to check their bags and cameras are not permitted. The artwork belonged to Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who started the collection. And today the collection fills rooms and rooms! When you purchase a ticket, I strongly recommend you make reservations a head of time. Once you make reservations you are allowed a two hour block of time to explore the collection. So don’t be late! This is definitely worth your time. The only thing I regret is not getting the audio tour.
Outside of the Borghese Gallery

On the second to last stay in Rome I finally went to the Vatican. If you love art, this is the place to go! Everywhere you look and step are sculptures and paintings.Of course I was excited. I’ll try and organize my thoughts and knowledge I gained through this experience. But most importantly photos!
Vatican court yard
The ceilings were my favorite! Every inch full of art
1. The Vatican City is the smallest country in the world with the smallest population.
2. The Vatican has its own Post Office and even has its own stamps. At the end you can go to the Post Office and purchase postcards and stamps to send out as a “souvenir.” Many Romans use the Vatican mail system because it’s a lot faster than the Italian mail service.
3.  The Sistine Chapel is incredible. Don’t expect to take any photos, as it is not allowed inside. However, I did witness people take photos and within a matter of seconds those people got a serious tongue lashing from the guards. You’re supposed to be quiet, but in all honestly people are really noisy and it makes the guards MAD. They shushed everyone in the room and it would go quiet for a second and then pick up again. It really was kind of sad to know that people couldn’t be quiet for 5 minutes in their life. No need to be talking when you’re looking at the work of Michael Angelo. 
4.  For all you food loving people, if you’re hungry or thirsty think twice before you purchase anything. It’s extremely expensive. My friend ordered a sandwich and after purchasing it he found there was no mustard or any condiments on the sandwich. If you want condiments you’re going to have to pay extra! As for me, I was stupid enough not to ask how much a small glass of juice would be before ordering. Let me tell you it was 3 Euros! But if that’s my biggest complaint then I really don’t have anything to complain about.
More art from the ceiling. Make sure you look up if you ever go.
The last week I discovered an amazing bakery shop by apartment in Trastevere. I guess it’s a good thing I found it on the last week, because I probably would have gone every day and depleted my entire bank account. I love how they wrap your goodies; it’s like opening up a Christmas present. I got to know one of the servers really well, her name is Sonia. Every time I came in she smiled and instantly walked over to the pastry section, she just knew the kind of gal I was. The hot chocolate was good as well however; I couldn’t justify spending 2.50 for a cup. I can’t wait to go back when I return for Christmas.
What could this be?
I will miss Rome, but I’ll be back for Christmas and this time I’ll be with my sister, and I am ecstatic to show her everything. I have a feeling it’s going to be better than the first time. Life keeps on getting better!
Dessert makes any day better!

Roamin’ Roman


  1. Only you would get almost every dessert in Rome. I could imagine you saying "wasted calories" when you had the sweet and sour pork. LOL
    Take Care. Can't wait to enjoy Rome with you again.

  2. I think you'll need an escort (that's me) to help and guide you in the selection and disposal of your pastry goodies on your next adventure trip.
    Hugs, Norn.

  3. wow your full of excitement you make every thing pop out ant come to life i'm glad i get the exchange to look at you see all these old age beautiful landmark things , thank cant weight to see more !!! chow :> mind u i'm doing history in your moms class about what your seeing so this a eye treat !.

  4. Alece, thanks for the great info. Happy Birthday, enjoy your trip, which we see you are. Happy Birthday, Uncle Bob & Aunt Jeanine.

  5. thanks for nice blog, it is preferential for us and it is brilliant blog. your filled with excitement you create each issue start pismire come back to life i am glad i purchase the exchange to appear at you see of these maturity lovely landmark things , give thanks cant weight to examine a lot of !!! sugar :> mind u i am doing history in your moms category concerning what your seeing thus this a eye treat !.