My flight time changed to 6am so I had to wake up at 3am today. I surprisingly slept well the night before, but regardless was half asleep from taxi ride to plane ride. My experience on Maroc Air was much smoother this time. I arrived in Rome and was pleased at how close my hostel was to the train station, only 3 blocks. I settled in, napped and then made my way to a nearby wine bar to hold me over until the 7:30pm dinner at the hostel.
I loved the dinner because it was a home cooked meal. They cook it in the kitchen while you sit nearby and chat with the other guests. The meal was a fennel, orange and pepper salad followed by a risotto. The employee cooking shared some unfiltered Italian culture with us which I enjoyed.
The next morning I woke up early to try and beat the crowds to the Colosseum. After researching some tours to take online the night before, I finally decided to skip tours altogether and just buy my tickets when I arrived. I walked down the streets (in the perfect temperature weather) in constant of the old mixed with the new. I would walk in a general direction and occasionally take a side street if something looked interesting. I stopped for a coffee and some sweet bread on the way.
As expected, the cappuccino was small and the bread, delicious! Not long after, I approached the Forums and stood in just a two minute line for a ticket. As I entered, I was absolutely amazed! I think what amazed me was at how I felt thrown back in time. Of course, I started to think about the shows I have been watching such as Outlanders and Game of Thrones and picturing that I was in those 😉 The structures were so large, which is impressive in those times. Luckily, I was one of the few people there so having the place to myself added another layer of intrigue. The flowers growing from the ruins not only made my photos turn out lovely, but also were ironic.
I then walked to the Colosseum where I stood in the line for people who already have tickets (the Forum ticket also gets you into Colosseum). It didn’t seem too long, but it literally did not move. I realized that it was because some people had tickets with time slots on it. I ended up going on my phone and purchasing one of those for 17 Euros, and what do you know, I was inside within 15 minutes, and the other line still wasn’t budging. Speaking of budging, everyone budges here. I have never been cut in line so much, that said, I also have never cut the line so much myself.
The Colosseum was impressive because of how big it was, the fact that it was built so long ago and without the technology we have today. The history behind what took place there was interesting and added to the drama. However, for the amount of money and time it took to get in and the large numbers of people that took over the space, I actually wasn’t as impressed with it as I thought I would be. I wonder how the people who truly waited 2 hours in line felt. I thought the Forums were much more inspiring.
I stopped for more food along the way, which seems to be my trend. I’m snacking as I go which is giving me good energy for all of the walking. It’s true what they say, it really is some of the best food here. In my opinion it’s because they use such simple yet flavorful ingredients. The olive oils, the cracked pepper, the basil, the cheese, the egg bases, the sugar…everything is just rich and delicious! At one stop, I had a cappuccino and two small sandwiches while I read my book in a leather chair is a quaint cafe. It was very relaxing and had I not had more to see, I would have stayed much longer.
Up next I passed the Trevi Fountain which was beautiful. Large white stone, light turquoise water and of course, hundreds of people trying to get to the front for a selfie. I didn’t stay too long because of the crowds but I was glad I saw it nonetheless. Not far away were the Spanish steps. In all honesty, I had no idea what the history was behind them so I actually just googled that now… Regardless, they were pretty and had some cool views from the top. Also at the top I founds myself on a path that took me into a gorgeous green park, Borghese. It seemed like the perfect place to hang out on a Saturday afternoon. I sat on a bench for awhile and looked through my photos before heading back to my hostel to freshen up.
On the way, I passed by a clothing boutique where I found the leather jacket that I wanted and really needed. I needed a more dressy jacket here and opted not to bring my own leather jacket knowing I might find one in Europe. The great thing about this one is that it was mesh based so it wasn’t too warm.
I joined a friend I had met, from Canada, for lunch at this small restaurant nearby. We split a salad, a cutting board of meats and cheeses, the most amazing nutella dessert and a bottle of red wine. Afterwards, we wandered a bit, or should I said “roamed” (lol) and came across a church. We stopped in despite it not being anything to extravagant I was most interested in the holy water bowl that had a hole in it…so much irony.
The roaming continued to what we thought was a park but turned out to be a graveyard. We saw a few interesting gravestones, but decided it was time to go when I felt something and looked down to see my feet covered in fire ants. I’m still cringing about it now. The walking had tired me out and I planned to have another productive day tomorrow. I read some of the book I picked up at my last hostel (such a good book called The Girl You Left Behind) and got a good nights rest.