On a Weekend in Roma

On a weekend in Roma, wear comfortable shoes, partake in the shopping, take lots of pictures, and enjoy the food. All 22 of us chose to go to Rome for our second weekend. One of the main objectives of our weekend was to complete our grand scavenger hunt assignment. We had to find and take pictures in front of 15 major sites. Using the map from my Rick Steves Rome pocket book that mom gave me, we had mapped out our sites earlier in the week. We were ready to conquer the weekend… then we had a very small international “disaster”… we were an hour early to our train. We assumed that there was a train from Albano to Roma Termini every hour on the 23 starting at 7 am, because that is how it usually is. We had planned to get on the 10:23 train, but for some reason, there wasn’t a 10:23 train this morning. Therefore, we were an entire hour early to the train. It could have been a lot worse haha but we were not happy that we lost an hour of sleep. It actually turned out to be a fabulous thing though, because I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet and we used the extra time to grab coffee and pastries at the caffe nearby. Obviously due to the size of our group we couldn’t all stay together. We split into 3 groups and all stayed in Airbnbs near the Pantheon. I stayed in the group of 11 with Emma, Maddy E., Becca, Spencer, Megan, Taylor, Melissa, Miranda, Mess, Gabrielle, and Abbi-Storm. We were all making our way there when Maddie E. got her wallet stollen by a pumpkin (our code word for gypsies). She wanted to file a police report, but we also had to meet our airbnb host at a specific time for check in before she went to work. So our group split and half waited with her while the other half hastily made our way to meet the host. After trying to keep up with becca and mess’s long legs I was quite winded when we finally found our place. Our airbnb was on the fourth floor of the building: amazing views but a horrendous amount of stairs. Nonetheless, we met with our host and everyone else found their way to the place as well. Once we were all settled into our apartment for the weekend, we went out for lunch. We were very pleased to see fettuccine Alfredo on the menu! Contrary to popular belief that dish is hard to come by in Italy. After the extremely satisfying lunch, we started working on our scavenger hunt. I had organized the sites into two days. Some of Fridays sites included Michelangelo’s angel bridge, Magnum chocolate factory, and Piazza Novana. Once we had completed the hunt we shopped around a little then grabbed some take away pizza and went back to the apartment. All 22 of us met up and went out to Scholars Lounge Irish Pub later that evening. Scholars has a very cool atmosphere and is one of the most famous Irish Pubs in Italy. Due to the fact that Ireland was playing Italy in a rugby match, it was insanely crowded. Probably one of the most crowded bars I have ever been to and if you’ve been to SkyBar on a game day weekend in Auburn you know this is an extremity. Aside from the crowds and insane number of Irish clientele, it was very fun. Having coffee and a croissant next to the creative director (fashion designer) of Gucci, Alessandro Michele, is how we began the day on Saturday morning. Mess, Spencer, Becca, and I went to go get coffee at this nearby place that Becca had researched about. I highly recommend ordering the Romeo and Julietta. It was so good!! As we were sitting down, Becca spotted Alessandro and at first we didn’t believe her, but low and behold it was him. He was having a business like chat with two other nicely dressed Italians. Becca, being a fashion design major, was so excited she was shaking. It was awesome. After coffee, the four of us began the scavenger hunt plan for the day. We started out with Campo di Fiori and the Portico of Octavia. Mess and I got a little off task and slipped into a sunglass store. So glad we did, because we both got great deals on some sassy new shades. Next, we went on to the temple of Hercules, the mouth of truth, and we ventured all the way to the knights of Malta’s keyhole. Getting to the keyhole was quite the adventure. We had seen this on pinterest and travel blogs of Rome so we were determined to see it. It is a literal hole in a door that you look through to see a fabulous view of saint peters dome, but it was really hard to find. All we knew was the general location and that it was a door. We saw a gathering of people bending over by a door, so we got really excited and were sure we found the keyhole. Well, it turned out to be a soup kitchen.. whoops. We just kept walking and eventually found a long line of tourist waiting to look through the keyhole. It was cool, but can’t say that I would recommend it to my best friend on a travel itinerary of Rome. We did find a beautiful park that was nice to walk around in with lots of orange trees. The scavenger hunt came to a close with the final two destinations: Trajan’s market and column. To celebrate the completion of the scavenger hunt we did some shopping and got some delicious gelato at Venchi’s. I had mango and caramel which is a great combo. After a very short siesta back at the apartment, we all went to dinner in the neighborhood of Trastevere! Dinner was FAB. Maddie Coats encouraged me to try the special pasta of the evening. All I got from the waiter’s explanation was that it had something to do with pumpkin. It was one of the best pasta dishes I had eaten thus far. After dinner, we explored a little more of the area. It was very lively, and full of younger people and american students. We went to a couple different places for drinks and dessert, then went home. Not a more perfect way to end our second week abroad than a weekend in Rome.

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