Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Italian Job: Rome and Venice

Hey everyone,

This post is all about my time in Italy when I visited Rome, and then Venice. I thought that since I spent such a short time in Venice I would combine this to make this whole post about my time in Italy. I had such a great time there, and there are so many things that I think if you get a chance to see either of these cities in your lifetime to go and due. Well first things first Rome.

So I woke up early took a shower and got breakfast before checking out of the Hostel. If you're ever looking for a hostel in Madrid I highly recommend The Hat, great staff, great people and overall a great time. But I took the metro over to the airport to catch my flight to the City of Rome. Getting to my gate was a breeze, but in normal Ryanair fashion they had to either delay the flight or change gate right before we were suppose to board. They did both. After a quick run around the airport I hopped on my flight to Rome. 

I slept most of the flight; I did however see Ibiza from the sky, which was really amazing. But the best part about that flight is that in order to land in Ciampino airport (the other Rome airport) you have to fly right over the city. I saw the Vatican, and the Colosseum from the sky, and to have that happen to kick off my time in Rome was a bonus. It took me about an hour and fifteen to get into the city, since people don’t know how to drive in the city. My shuttle driver was going to get out of the bus and kill someone if he had to drive in that mess any longer. It was a 5-minute walk from the bus stop to the hostel, and then it was checking in.

I only spent a short time in the room, because I was starving and I needed to get some Italian food in my life. I saved in France to spend here in Italy, so I found a nice place right next to my hostel, and sat down with a glass of white wine and the best carbonara I have ever had in my life, and don’t even get me started on tiramisu I had. That was one of the best meals that I have had on this trip. I wanted to lick the plate clean to be honest.

Then after dinner I ended up at the bar for the night, and I met a lot of amazing people, a graduate who is on a similar trip to me, and a BC grad that was telling me how to get into BC Law School. Then I met both Sean and is friend who were traveling together around Italy. They were both really great guys, and I wish them the best on the rest of their trip.

So after a slow morning, since I knew my tour didn’t start until 12:30 I decided to sleep in a bit. I grabbed some pizza, and it filled me right up and I was ready to see were this tour would take me. We meet at reception and then hopped on one of the two metro lines that go through the city of Rome. (Side note since there are only two lines in the city don’t take it early in the morning, or from like 3:30 to 7 in the evening, unless you like feeling like a sardine.) We started at some amazing Roman Ruins called Circo Massimo, after that we walked up this hill and saw the first orange garden in Rome. I have to say the view from the top of it was amazing, so for you photographers go there. After which we walked down and saw some buildings from Ancient Roman, and some buildings from Italy’s Fascist era. I saw the only building left in the city to have Mussolini’s name still on it. From there we walked into the Jewish Ghetto, and learned all about the gold bricks in front of some of the homes in the area. They were there for the Jews that were taken by the Germans, and it states whether or not the person survived the Holocaust or not. That for some reason really hit me and made me think about how the actions of a radical politician can cause so much pain. All I can hope is that it will never happen ever again.

But after that historical and somber walk around the ghetto, our tour guide took us to a cheap pizza place for lunch, which happens to be one of the best pizza spots I have ever been to. Watch out Cristy’s these guys are making a case for best pizza I’ve ever had. This place was known for a Pumpkin, Bacon, and Provolone Cheese pie, so I thought I would give it a try. That pizza was one of the best. I would have never thought of Pumpkin on a pizza!

After filling up on Pizza we headed out again, and saw several churches before seeing the Pantheon. The Pantheon was amazing and it is one of the few round churches in the city. There was just so much history there. Then after the Pantheon, we made our way to a few more churches than, to get some amazing gelato. That was the best gelato I think I have ever had. When in Rome just get the Pistachio, and Vanilla gelato.

Then we walked for what seemed like ages, I think it was good after all the food that we ate. But we then saw the building that Mussolini gave all of his speeches from, and right next to it was the Tomb of the Unknown soldier. It was amazing monument to this soldier. Then it was only a short walk to see most iconic monuments in Rome, the Colosseum.

I had wanted to see the Colosseum for ages and then I finally got a chance to see it in all if its glory. It made me realize that there was so many people that came before me and I need to learn from them in order to learn from their mistakes. But in that moment I stood in bewilderment looking at what the might of the Roman Empire was like.

That was the end of the tour, but I managed to find my way over to the Trevi Fountain. I just wanted a picture and to throw a coin in the fountain, but I soon learned that it was one of the biggest tourist traps in the city. People were like seven or eight people deep to try and get a picture. Yeah I squeezed in and made my way to the front, got my photo, threw my two coins and made my wish, and booked it to the closest metro station. 

I got back to the Hostel in one piece and grabbed dinner with Sean. Half way through an amazing dinner, I looked over at a table across from mine and recognized someone. It was someone I had gone to Elementary school with and I hadn’t seen in years. Briana I hope the rest of your trip went will! Just goes to show how small the world really is. After dinner it turned into another night out, and met some more amazing people, and then called it a night.

Now it was the same story as the morning before, since I hadn’t slept in in such a long time. Then once I was ready for the day I made my way to the Vatican. Some of you know that I am not the most religious person in the world but I need to see the home of the Pope, and of the Christian church. It was amazing, and I wish I could have taken even more time then I had in the Vatican, but my time there made me think about life in a new light, as a lot of things on this trip have made me do. But then it was back to the Hostel for a quiet one, because the Vatican took the full day.

 The next day was a travel day, and I was traveling to Venice.

I left Rome early, and it felt really bittersweet because I loved Rome. I did however manage to lose my sunglasses the morning I left or someone grabbed them the evening before. I really wasn’t gutted about the glasses; I was gutted about the Camp Lincoln Chums that were on them. If anyone knows if camp is making more or has any left from last year let me know because I loved those.

Ok back to the adventure. I ended up at Termini shortly after getting new shades, and after another short wait I was on a train headed to Venice. I fell asleep for most of the four-hour train ride to the city. But when I awoke I was on the way into the “City of Water”. The city really should be called the City of spending all of your money. For anyone that is going to the city be prepared to spend way too much money for simple things in other cities. To get to where my hostel was it was almost 30 euros, and the boat ride took more than a half an hour.

But besides how expensive the city was, the city really was a living work of art. I guess if you get caught doing any form of graffiti in the city the punishment is huge. But I was there to enjoy the city that was basically built on water. It is amazing how this city with all its beauty hasn’t sunk. I went through St Mark's Square, and just soaked it in. Honestly if you're ever in the city just walk around the city is just so beautiful.

I did feel however it really is a HUGE tourist trap. Like Venice is something that everyone needs to see in their life and I totally recommend that you do, but please don’t be like the ignorant tourists that I ran into everywhere in the city. It really makes other travelers times a lot less enjoyable.

I woke up early the next morning know it was going to take a while to get to the airport because of these boats, and the bus to get me to the airport. But I was glad to be out of the city. I really can't describe my time in the city, because at certain times I was stuck just looking at the city, and realizing it’s beauty, and what it took to create. Although my time was short here, I found myself wanted to come back. But if I was to come back it would be with someone else so it wouldn’t be weird to take a gondola ride alone, and that we could just enjoy the beauty of the city together. But that is all for now, next stop Germany! But remember to stay safe and have fun!


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