Friday, April 3, 2009

Roamin' in Rome

Going to Rome, we were sad to leave Catania. Leaving the land of sunshine, warmth, and arancini certainly wasn’t a welcome sight. At the same time, we were excited to go to Rome. Our hotel was near the center of the city…if by ‘near’ you meant ‘nowhere near a metro stop’. Still, we were excited to spend a few days in a big city with great sights and a bustling nightlife. We were also to be staying in a hostel for the weekend – for many of us, it was our first time in a hostel, so we were pumped about that.

Our hostel, to me, wasn’t too bad – a bunch of bunk beds in one room, wireless, a decent (if curtain-less) bathroom. It was adequate. For me. However, the fact that it was run by a 36-year-old Romanian man named Gelu who made jokes to the girls about them possibly being lesbians probably didn’t help their perceptions of the place. Well, that and the fact that the eleven of us had to juggle bathroom/shower use. Suffice to say the other boy and I never got much shower time.

Still, Rome proved to be a fun, if tiring, city. We went to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, which, if you are given the right information, looks truly spectacular (although, if you don’t know anything about it, it just looks like a pile of rubble, really). At the same time, there is so much to see and do in Rome that you can’t get it done in five days. We were all pretty tired by the time we’d get back to the hostel.

And now, promised to you all (and yes, it's late) -- some photos!

The Duomo in downtown Catania. Unfortunately, we weren't able to go inside.

The inside of the Colosseum. The 'floor' part was artificially built to show how it would look in ancient Rome. It's a lot bigger than it looks.

The Trevi Fountain, lit up at night.

Oh yeah, you didn't think about this, did you? We go way back, here. Like 14th century back.

A political rally that I stumbled upon in a Roman square (how fun!). In reality, it was quite boring, with some dumpy lady giving a very un-impassioned speech to about fifty people with flags. But I got a free newspaper out of it!

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