We're here! And it is awesome.
Our plane took off with little trouble beside a gate change at the last minute. The flight was smooth (yay for good pilots)and we made our way through customs with no major international incidents. After finding our way to our hotel in the glorious Italian heat, we freshened up and headed out to learn the subway system and start taking in the sights. We stopped for lunch at a little trattoria for our first taste of real Italian pasta - there was a HUGE menu but we walked in and were told we could only have pasta. That was fine as there was lots of pasta. We sat down and were told we could have canelloni, lasagne or something else (can't remember what...) So much for the huge menu!
Our first stop was the Colesseum. We walked out of the subway station and it was looming right up in front of us. Hard to miss! After wandering around for a few minutes, we went inside, skipping the MASSIVE line with our handy-dandy Roma Passes and looked around. It is pretty much impossible to describe how massively huge it is. It's pretty big, let's leave it at that. We spent a fair amount of time going around the entire outside of the second level before heading down to the first level and checking it out from that angle. The ruins are amazing - you can see all the tunnels that would have been running through everything.
After that, it was over to Palentine Hill to wander through the ruins of the ancient palaces. They were quite impressive. After wandering around there, it led us to the Roman Forum, which was also quite impressive. And both were HUGE, I think it took us about 2 or 3 hours to make our way from one end to the other. We were pretty tired after and went to head back to the hotel. We needed to shower again after all the dust and then made our way back out to head down to the Trevi Fountain. On the way, we stopped for dinner at a little restaurant that was out on the street. EDP enjoyed some veal scallopini with lasagne and I had four flavours of gelato - I think we were both pleased with our selection! After that, it was down to the fountain, which was quite the site in the dusk, all lit up. We made our obligatory wish with a toss of a Euro in the fountain and off we went back to the hotel for a well-earned sleep.
This morning, it was breakfast in the hotel before heading out to Vatican City, where we got a guided tour of the museums and learned many interesting things about the millions of dollars worth of marble and how to worm your way back into the church if they get mad at you for murdering someone (paint them a really nice painting and they will be putty in your hands.) Our guide was a friendly fellow by the name of Ian, hailing from Glasgow and he was quite interesting to listen to. What surprised me most was the number of gift shops running throughout the galleries. We passed probably a half dozen while on the tour and then had to go through two or three more to get out. Sadly, we didn't see the Pope, but I hear he is pretty busy. We then headed over to St. Peter's where the line was probably about 3,000 people long (seriously, it wrapped around the entire place) so we decided to skip that and had tasty sandwiches instead. Then, it was back to the hotel to sort out how we'd get to our villa (moral of the story - we're staying an extra night in Florence instead) and then off to find the Crypt with the Capuchin monks and the Pantheon. Both found, both explored, both fascinating. Then it was time for some dinner (yum, pizza) and now we are heading back to the hotel to enjoy a bottle of wine THAT THEY OPENED FOR US IN THE STORE (seriously, the day the LCBO starts doing that will be the day I start going more frequently.) And maybe some more gelato on the way.
Don't miss you at all, Italy is fabulous... Tomorrow, we're heading off to Florence so it'll be a pretty dull day but then the adventures start again.
Okay, miss some of you a little bit.
We're here! And it is awesome.