Monday, February 28, 2011

Roma, Italia.


Laura, Georgie, and I have recenly returned from a week-long trip to Italy during our half-term break. (It was really a 'pause pedagogique' meant for studying, but...)

Our first stop? Rome:

Upon arrival, it was drizzley but mild. we set off from the Termini train station to find out hostel. It was a bizarre experience: we found my name on a note taped to the door of the address on the directions from the hostel's info. print out. The note told us to go to the nearby laundromat. Once there, a guy took us to another building and up some stairs to a tiny little apartment called "Rosa's B&B". Funny, considering our hostel was the "Korean Rome" or "Rome Korean" or something. All was well, and the hostel/B&B was fine, really, just... a bit odd to get that sorted.

We got settled and decided to find the tourist information center to acquire a map, but as we were then mapless, we went to the bookstore inside Termini and I studied the map in the back of a tourist guide. We set off and quickly became lost. after some grumpy confusion and walking around, we decided to return to Termini for a snack (McDonald's for the first time in Europe for me) and a map from a Tabacchi. Afterwards, we headed out for a wander, stopped at the Theatre Cafe for a drink, sat at the Trevi Fountain, and stopped in for pizza slices on the way to the Byron Cafe. We shared a bottle of wine and had a good chat before returning to the hostel for sleep.
Trevi Fountain.

Georgie, me, Laura.No idea why I look so displeased. I really enjoyed the fountain. And I really enjoy Georgie's company, too! ;)
With Georgie, this time looking much happier. As it should be..

On our second day, we learned it would be great and sunny, so we immediately walked to the Villa Borghese. It's an old estate that now houses art galleries, but is also a huge, green-y park. It was beautiful, just as Georgie had predicted, and we spent a long time basking in the warm sunshine...

Ferns make me think of dinosaurs...

Following the Villa Borghese, we traversed the city to the Pantheon. On our way, we passed through the Piazza del Popolo where Georgie found a wallet on the ground. After turning it in to the police (and waiting a good 20 minutes for them to finish looking through Laura's passport) we continued on our way, stopping off at the Spanish Steps and finally reaching the Pantheon, which is really an architecturally fascinating building. Grabbed a yummy panino at a small, busy shop run by one man and walked on to the Piazza Navona to see Bernini's Fonata Dei Quattro Fiumi and then to the Vittorio Emanuele II monument, which is huge, starkly clean-looking, and quite impressive. It happens to be located just at the edge of the Roman Forum and Coliseum, but, unluckily, both were closing just at our arrival. We spent time in before going out to dinner again that night.

With Georgie in front of the Pantheon, in our matching outfits.
One of Laura's great panoramic shots. From the Villa Borghese, looking down to Piazza del Popolo.
Spanish Steps.
Piazza Navona: Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
Vittorio Emanuele II monument

Saturday morning, Laura, Georgie and I set off for the Vatican. we queued for more than a halfhour before entering the museums where we saw some great sculptures, very ornate ceilings, and, of course, the overcrowded Sistine Chapel. We moved on to St. Peter's Basilica, a building which I love for being so overwhelmingly huge and for containing such stunning sculpture, painting, and architecture on the inside.
Vatican Museums.Beautiful ceilings in the museums.
Really awesome lion.
Can't remember who this waaaaas...St. Peter's Basilica.
Outside in the Piazza, we then met up with two of Laura's close friends from home: Cara and Ruth. Both are also spending a year abroad, albeit in other countries. We had lunch while listening to some awful 12 year old learning her first song on the violin (or at least that's what it sounded like...) and then split off after agreeing to meet for dinner. Laura, Georgie, and I strolled along the Tiber after a stop off at Castel Sant'Angelo in order to return to the Villa Borghese for the afternoon. Dinner with Ruth and Cara was really great, and we wandered back to the Trevi Fountain.

On our last morning and early afternoon, we went to the Coliseum and Roman Forum together and enjoyed more beautiful weather and the end of our time in Rome!
Roman Forum

So, there you have it. A brief recounting of our adventures in Rome. I've used several photos from Laura, and she's a brilliant photographer, so if any of them seem particularly excellent.... they're hers.

As this is a small selection of the numerous photos of our trip, feel free to check my facebook albums to see the rest!

Next update, coming very soon:

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