14.06.2010 - 16.06.2010 84 °F
Heidi and I have finally arrived in Rome! After spending a significant amount of time in security and what seemed like forever in airports, we arrived in busy Rome at about 10 yesterday morning. We tried to check into our hostel, but our room wasn't quite ready. Instead, we snuck into the showers, dropped our bags and decided to see what Rome had to offer. For us, Roman transportation in made up of metros and local buses, both which are incredibly easy to navigate. We were headed to Campo de Fiori but ended up having lunch near the Pantheon instead. We found a cute little restaurant where we could sit outside, share a pizza and have a glass of wine. I think our waiter may have had a little crush on us, because he kept asking up to come back later and when we left he gave us cards to the restaurant, insisting that his number wasn't on there (but he'd be willing to write it down if we wanted). Thanks, Mario!
After lunch, we strolled toward the Pantheon which really took our breath away. There aren't words to describe what this amazing building looks like with the sun streaming in. Even more impressive is how long ago it was built and the detail the covers every inch. Heidi and sponged then decided that our next stop was definitely gelato (or gelati, we're learning Italian so quickly!). Mario had suggested Gioliti and we definitely trust the locals, so we passed up one beautiful gelateria after the next before arriving and deciding on chocolate for me, banana and mint for Hides. Between the wine, the walking and the gelati, Heidi and I were more then ready for a nap. We headed back to our hostel (much more of a hotel, actually) and tucked in for a two hour (not nearly long enough) nap.
For dinner, we decided that we wanted to do our own version of a Roman pub crawl that would hopefully end at the Colosseum (which we have heard is amazing at night and caught a glimpse of on our way to the hostel). We started in Trastevere, which is the wine district. We quickly realized that our “Roman Pub Crawl” would not include many destinations when our wine options were big, bigger and biggest. We settled on “big” white, which turned out to be a sparkling wine, almost like champagne. We sat and enjoyed it (and some delicious bruschetta) outside while (new Mario) tried to charm us into going out dancing with him and his friends tomorrow. Apparently the waiters in Italy really have a thing for us! For our second stop, we decided to ask some locals where to go for dinner. An adorable father and his daughter gave us directions in what sounded like part English, part Italian and a little bit of Spanish. When we couldn't find that place, a nice Italian man named Mario suggested another place. In fact, he even called de Lucia and made reservations for us so we wouldn't have to wait too long when we got there. Mario said that this place was cheap, delicious and very Roman (read: no tourists) and he was right! We filled up on bread, olives, pasta, steak and a little more wine. By the time we finished, we realized that we had probably missed the last bus (since the bus system stops running at midnight) and there was no chance we were catching a metro. About twenty minutes later, long after we had resigned ourselves to walking, bus number 40 (which we had taken earlier and knew would drop us off relatively close to our hostel) pulled up right behind. We hopped on, arrived at our stop and hopped off, then headed back home for a good nights rest (sort of).
So far, Rome is amazing. Everywhere you look there are beautiful old buildings. The culture here is astounding, it really takes your breath away. Most people are more than happy to speak English, which is good because we're not quite fluent in Italian (yet). More often than not, I find myself responding to people in Spanish, and then I feel a little silly.
Now Heidi and I sit, anxiously awaiting Alicia's arrival (the cappuccinos might have something to do with that, too). I am so excited to experience all the Rome (and Italy!) has to offer!