We arrived in Rome on July 13 and found our hotel, Pensione Monaco, with no problems. After a quick nap we set out to buy toothpaste and find dinner. We passed Piazza Repubblica on the way and ate at Trattoria Abbruzzese for dinner.
The next day we saw the Colosseum, which had a temporary exhibit about gladiators inside. It was one of the first very hot days of the summer, and we melted. We spent the equivalent of $15 on Gatorade and water, rather than walk to find cheaper fuel. We then wanted to see the Forum, but couldn’t figure out where it was. Well, we later realized we had walked right by it, and taken pictures of it. Let’s blame that on the heat…
We then saw Pizza Venezia where Brian got “whistled” at for sitting on the stairs by a uniformed guard. After all this sun, we decided to head for a park, Villa Borghese. Some little boys were playing hide and seek with each other. One of them kept giving us the “shhhhhh-don’t-tell-where-I-am” gesture. We didn’t tell, but we couldn’t have anyway, we don’t speak Italian. We then went to dinner on Via Veneto, a very pretty (and expensive) street.
On Sunday we went to an Internet cafe to e-mail home and then went to the Spanish Steps. An organization was setting up sound equipment and runways there, but we never figured out what it was for.
We then headed for the Trevi Fountain. We had finally found somewhere in the city that was shady and had benches, to eat our lunch. But as we were eating, a man sitting across from us spit on the lady next to him. So we snapped some photos and took our lunches to our next destination. We didn’t through coins in the fountain (so that we could come back to Rome) at this point we didn’t want to. We got lost looking for Giardino del Quirinale (a park) but finally found it and ate our lunch there. We then took a bus to Castel Sant’ Angelo. We bought ice cream and saw nuns.
We then went to the Jewish Ghetto and saw a church where Jews were once forced to worship. We also saw Sinagoga Ashkenazita, where a rude man informed us we had shorts on when we asked if we could go inside. He also yelled at Brian for taking photos, so we went around to the other side to take them. We then left to eat dinner in Campo dei Fiori. We sat right next to a pizza oven. On our way home we bought a Peroni beer to drink in our pension.
On Monday we decided to visit the Vatican. We ate breakfast in Piazza San Pietro (right in front of St. Peter’s). For the rest of the day, everything was ‘papal.’ We saw the papal parking lot, the papal post office, and the papal p.a. system (big speakers). Inside the Vatican museum, we basically just walked through the other exhibits to see the Sistine chapel. We also saw School of Athens by Raphael and Brian got yelled at for using the tripod. (Italian people seemed to yell at us a lot.) We then went to the Pantheon, where we caught a free tour. We ate dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, our first American food in almost a month. We both had stomachaches; we think we overdosed on the no-refills Pepsi.
On our last day in Rome, we did our laundry, where we met the cutest dog. We played with him a lot. He would jump up so high for his toy and was super-hyper.
We then went to the train station to catch our train to Florence.