Ever Scout by Stacee Adams

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rome Day 1

I left for Rome on Wednesday night (10/8) and planned to meet Normer at our hotel. He had already spent 4 days in Italy with some of his college friends and we all planned to meet up. It was my first time flying internationally by myself. I was fine with the flight but more worried about finding my way around Rome once I got there. I did finally get there around 10:30 am Thursday morning and took a train into the city. The train dropped us off at Termini station which is the worst station as far as pick pockets go. I had all my valuables in a neck strap under my shirt but I was still quite freaked out! It took me awhile to find the ticket I needed but I finally got it and hopped on the metro. Our hotel was close to the Spagna stop which is right at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. These steps were built in 1725.



BTW- The only way you will ever see the steps THAT empty is to go before 9am. Anytime after that they are absolutely full of people! People will just bring wine bottles and sit around chatting with their friends to all hours of the night!

So after walking for about an hour dragging my luggage- I finally found the hotel. If I had just drug my luggage up the steps I would have been there in 15 minutes. Oh well...I didn't know where I was going! Normer wasn't there yet so I went ahead and checked in. Normer arrived about an hour later because of a late train. After a quick rest we went down to meet Jeff, Justin and Matt at the bottom of the Spanish Steps and we all headed over to the Colosseum. It was so interesting to visit this place after reading so many books and stories about it. It was also very sad for me too. So many people were killed here for no reason. I didn't know this but one of our travel books told us how Rome conquered Israel. Every country that Rome conquered had lots of new laws to obey but there was one major law that they better not break- And that was to honor Caesar as a god. Well, as you can imagine this didn't fly so well with the Jewish people so the Romans captured about 50,000 Jewish people and brought them back to Rome as slaves. They built the Colosseum and another arch  (which was built in celebration of conquering the Israelites). I have a pic of it that I will post in Day 2.
This picture below shows what the floor would have looked like back in Roman times. The wooden floor was covered with several inches of sand to help soak up all the blood. There were all kinds of trap doors that they could use to pull up Gladiators or animals. Apparently it was a huge stage production. They would have sets and props popping up everywhere. They had a very elaborate pulley system to pull everything up onto the floor. They could even flood the stage floor and have mock sea battles. Pretty crazy.





Here is one of my favorite pictures I took at the Colosseo.



Here's our group minus Normer: Matt, Justin, Me and Jeff



After the Colosseum we tried to visit Palatine Hill and the ancient Roman ruins site but it was closed by the time we reached the gate! We ended up walking over to the Trevi Fountain instead.
Normer took this pic of me on the way. I like all the attitude I have. Haha.



Here is the Trevi Fountain- probably the most elaborate fountain in all of Rome. It was completed in 1762. If you stand with your back to the fountain and toss a coin in it is supposed to guarantee your return to Rome! Normer didn't have any coins small enough to toss in so I didn't get to cinch my return. :( Our travel book had a funny story about how people thought all the money thrown into the fountain was given to charity. Well, it turns out that a homeless man had been collecting over 1000 euro a night. Haha, once everyone found out about that they changed the laws and made it illegal to take money out of the fountain.



After spending some down time at the fountain we found a place to eat.

I'm not quite sure why I'm leaning over the way I am...maybe it has something to do with Jeff ordering us way too much wine for dinner. Hmm... I don't know!!
The wine in Italy was very cheap and pretty good. It tasted a little watered down but I liked it. For my first official meal in Italy I ordered some Gnocchi but I actually wasn't that impressed with it. :(



After dinner we found a Gelato place and Normer and Matt got some very SPECIAL gelato cones. I think Normer's ended up costing 10 Euro...haha, I think that's around $12 dollars. We were definitely OVER charged. Haha.


Here's a parting shot of Rome Day 1.



Up on Day 2: St Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel and Ancient Rome...woohoo!

2 comments

  1. This is awesome to read! Thanks for sharing! We enjoy living vicariously through your travels...

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  2. LOVED this update. You're a really great travel writer, Stacee. Perhaps this next Rick Steves... (Incidentally, i just saw his show on Rome this weekend and he too mentioned the throwing the coin to guarantee your return trip.)

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