11.95 miles, one billion photos, and one too many shopping bags later, I’d have to say that our first day touring in Rome was non stop action packed adventure. It all began with our 7 am walk to the train station in Albano. From there we got on the 7:21 train to Rome. It is about a 45 min ride to the Termini stop. From the train station we went underground to the metro. We were allowed a quick bathroom and coffee break before we went to the Colosseum. I walked up from the Metro and there it was, in all it’s Roman glory, the Colosseum. It was massive and everything I imagined it would be like. It was crazy to be standing on that kind of infrastructure that has lasted so many years. I had to give my first E&R presentation standing outside of the Colosseum. My topic was on UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. The Historic Centre of Rome is one of the world’s most visited sites and Italy is home to the largest number of UNESCO’s sites with a whopping total of 51 out of 1,052 sites total. A UNESCO site is basically a site that is recognized by the United Nations for being important to humanity due to it’s historical, cultural, or scientific significance. After the colosseum, we saw the Arch of Constantine (Mess’s presentation) then walked to Palatine Hill. This was a beautiful place and has a nice overlook of the Colosseum. Palatine Hill lead to the Roman Forum. There is so much history and cool things inside the Roman Forum. I was in awe of all the historical artifacts and their preservation. From the Roman Forum we went to the Capitoline Hill. Finally, it was time for a lunch break. We went to the Jewish Ghetto for lunch. It was very close to where we were and where we had to meet back. It was also through the ruins of the portico of Octavia so it was a pretty walk. The restaurant we ate at was delicious! Abbi-Storm, Mess, and I tried a Jewish style artichoke as an appetizer and it was delicious! It was comparable to a bloomin’ onion from Outback!!! The restaurant was called Giggetto al portico d’Ottavia, and I would recommend it! After lunch, we saw the Monument of Victor Emmanuel. It is a massive, white building to honor the first King of Italy. Although, we learned that not a lot of Italians like this monument because it is very white compared to all the other ancient buildings. People refer to it as “the wedding cake” or “the typewriter”. We then walked down the Via del Corso to get to the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the oldest caffe in Roma. The Trevi Fountain was definitely a highlight. With my best friend sitting beside me, I made a wish and tossed a euro coin into the Trevi Fountain over my left shoulder as the legend goes… it was like a dream come true. It was like being in the Lizzie McGuire movie…
[Lizzie and Gordo are at the Trevi Fountain in Rome where
it is customary to make a wish]
Lizzie: Make a wish.
Gordo: I’m in Rome with my best friend. I’m good.
Our last site of the day was the Spanish Steps. It was very crowded with locals hanging out. It was probably my least favorite site of the day, but it also might have been because it was the last of the day. Our first day in Rome was just perfect. The sun was out and the sky was blue all day, not to mention it was 62 degrees which was high for a day in early February. After the Spanish Steps we had the option to go home or stay in Rome. Of course, Mess, Becca, and I opted to stay and shop at Zara. The store was so hot and we were exhausted, but of course we all had handfuls of things to try on. An hour later we were not empty handed on the way back to the metro to catch the 7:43 train back to Albano. Being in the state of exhaustion that we were in, we could not quite figure out how to get from the Termini metro underground up the train station (it was our first time from this direction). Becca tried to talk to some Italian police guards but we are pretty sure they pointed us in the wrong direction. We figured well we have to go up to get out and we found that it was just right above us. Pretty simple after all. On our walk back to the palace from Albano we decided to stop for dinner. We went to this place we had been eager to try since we saw it. It is this adorable restaurant overlooking Ariccia and you can see the palace too. It is just on the other side of the bridge. We had amazing pizza and wine. Will definitely be going back there!!! Finally, we got back to the palace around 10:45 pm, I went straight to my nest, and passed out.
Love and miss you all lots!!!!