Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rome-ing Through Italy - Day 1

Here is the post from the first night in Rome, 6/14

We arrived the night before in Rome, got to our hostel, and I have to admit it was a really dingey place. Very sketch. So Sharon and Jen didn't feel at all comfortable, and Dave and I weren't exactly in love with the place either, (it had no room keys, what is with that??) So about 10 minutes later... we were on our way to some new lodgings in a better part of the city.

With that squared away we were off to sleep for a day of exploration in Rome.

The next morning we awoke and headed down to breakfast, which was included. Now this was a breakfast! Buffet of eggs, bacon, ham, potatoes, deli meats, fruit, more fruit, croissants, sugared croissants, chocolate filled crossoints, corn bread, toast, nutella, jams, juices, coffee, etc, etc. So much delicious food! At this point I feel I should admit what our new lodgings were for Rome, but I'm not going to. You can find that answer some other way.

After breakfast we headed out and headed for the Vatican. We got there and had to wait on a pretty lengthy line that wrapped around to the back of the Vatican walls but it moved pretty fast luckily so we were in a little over an hour later. While on the line it was verrry hot and sunny, and about half way through we got some Gelato from a place near by... SO GOOD. I'm officially in love with a food from Europe finally. It is amazing here. (The strawberry is the best, but the others I had were good too. Always go with a fruit flavor.) I'm going to have to control myself to not get some every time I see a place.

Anyway, we got into the Vatican and headed strait to the Vatican Museum. The Vatican Museum was totally awesome. When we first walked in, the halls just absolutely filled with statues were so cool. Then the paintings, the ceilings, the tapestries, all so amazing. There was even galleries of modern religious art, and my favorite piece was this really big deformed statue of the pope (see picture) he was so crazy looking and had a really funny face. And finally, after going through the whole musuem we arrived at the Sistine Chapel. Wow. Just incredible. You just stand there looking up with your mouth agape. You are not allowed to take pictures and the guards just keep alternating between yelling NO PHOTO and going SHHH real loud the whole time, so that is all you hear as you look... but I managed to sneak a few photos for you, my dedicated readers! (Thumbs up!)

After the Sistine Chapel we exited the museum area and went around back to St. Peter's Basilica. Wow. The place was gigantic. Just so overwhelming. We payed to go up into the dome, first we chickened out and took the elevator to the mid point (it is over 550 stairs total, just 320 if you elevator half way) and we came out in this walk way that circled the base of the dome, high over the alter. It was a sort of dizzying view. After looking around in the dome, we continued up the 320 steps to the top, and stood outside the dome on the top and it was an excellent view of Rome, and a particularly good view of the Vatican. After we left and walked back down, back into the basilica to look around it more. (I just kept thinking of Assassin's Creed, because you can climb around inside the basilica in it... at the top I looked around and imagined a camera swirling around me like I was at a view point. Haha...) On the way back I got some more Gelato. I'm obsessed.

So we left the Basilica, and by this point it was 5pm and everything was closing now or in an hour, so we had no time to go to any other sites today but tomorrow we plan to hit as much as we can. We headed back to the hotel and decided that it was about that time again that we were out of clean clothes so we spent some time washing our clothes. After we finished we looked up where to find this restaurant, Osteria Qui Se Magna, that in the Chicago air port I read about in a magazine article that was listing the 5 best places to eat in Rome, and this place was high up and super cheap, so we want to find it. We looked up the address and directions to it on Sharon's Blackberry and started tracing the directions on our map. It was difficult. So difficult in fact that we decided to go to a different place. We will try this place again tomorrow night, but for now we were going to go to a place Jen used to go to a lot when she was here, she said it's good, so off we went!

We ate at a place called Evo de Tresevere, right off of the Tresevere Square. The food was surprisingly cheap and really good. We got a margarita Pizza, a mushroom pizza, a 4 cheese pasta, Dave's pasta was somethng involving peppers, and we each got some suppli. The food was sooo good. (but your suppli was better Jamie! For seriousness!) After we ate we headed down to the square (I don't have the spelling in front of me but it was like santa maria de tresevere or something like that) And got gelato from Blue Ice. Yay for more gelato! I hope I didn't gelato myself out already... We walked down to the river and kind of meandered through this big fair thing set up along it as we ate our gelato, and then got a taxi back home. Tomorrow, we explore some more!

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