Sunday, November 18, 2007


"No need for reservations. Just show up."
Become immediately suspicious if anyone ever tells you this. In fact, go out of your way to insist on a reservation and show up early.
We showed up at the train station on Sunday well slept and eager to catch an afternoon train to Rome. Surely not many people would be riding to Rome on a Sunday, it's sabbath! With all this buildup it goes without saying that the tickets were sold out for the rest of the day. This messed with everything, as we had a nice young man waiting in Rome to hand us the keys to his no-refund apartment that evening.
Humiliated and almost in tears from the sharp dissent from pure unadulterated excitement to the pits of despair, I sat down on my luggage in the middle of the crowded train station.
"I'm going to go get a slice of pizza, " Ryan exclaimed as he exited the disaster scene.
"I think he's going to get lost," Deb exclaimed as she excused herself to follow Ryan.
"Come on, honey. Let's just try." The surprisingly optimistic Matthew to the rescue!
"Yes, ma'am, there are no seats left on the train. But for the same price you can purchase a standing room only ticket."
That's a five and a half hour ride!!!!! "We'll take it," I said in desperation.

Once we got there, Rome was pretty stinking awesome. Our flat was fantastically huge, with three bathrooms and literally 7 beds (and two sofa beds). My room was the one that was set off of the patio, separate from the rest of the flat. We were two blocks from the Colosseo (Colosseum). So, yeah, pretty fantastic.

We pretty much saw everything. The most impressive thing to me was the Trevi fountain. (see above picture where I look like a man) We visited it at night, which is the only way I suggest seeing it. We bought 1 euro wine and beer, drank it on the benches, threw a coin over our shoulder to ensure a return visit, and watched all the tourists, local college kids, and the chestnut sellers mull about.

  • Colosseum: Matthew licked it.
  • Victor Emmanuelle Monument: Huge bronze statue of Victor on a horse, which had disproportionately HUGE balls (which were discussed in the description plaque about the statue). Awesome view of Rome from the top. Saw a man get out of his car and chase a pedestrian (who he almost hit) to literally kick him in the ass. "You're breaking my balls!"
  • Cesar's ashes spot.
  • Pantheon.
  • Caligula's palace ruins.
  • Arch di Triumph
  • The Sistine chapel. I got goosebumps going in there. I didn't think I was going to be impressed.
  • The Vatican museum. Matthew bought a fake Rolex. Sent some postcards from their special post office.
  • Spanish Steps.
  • Ate the best Indian food, followed by marzipan treats and gelato.
  • Piazza Navona
  • Roman baths
  • HUGE fountains
  • Borghese Gallery (Venus statue)
  • Hermaphrodite
  • The Discus Thrower
  • lots and lots of ruins, including where Julius Cesar was killed
  • saw a woman's purse snatched off her by a passing motorist "la borsa! la borsa!"
  • ate zucchini flowers (on my list of things to do in my lifetime, believe it or not)
  • saw the most attractive and fashionable street cleaner ever
  • saw a real Luigi (also street cleaner. green outfit and all)
  • and enough Romanesque art to last a lifetime

Proud of my planning so as to maximize sightseeing and minimize effort.
Proud of use of Italian.
Proud of ability to navigate the public transportation system (taxis, buses, AND trains without the use of english once).
Proud to be kicked out of the McDonalds(!!!).

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