July 3, 2012

Do As The Romans Do

So here begins the saga of our adventures in Rome. Let me first start off by saying that I'll be writing just as much as I'll be sharing pictures, and I won't blame you if you don't read all of it and just skim through the pictures. In fact, I'll commend you if you read through all of my rambling, since it will probably be a short novel. I really just want to write down a few details so I can personally remember every thing we did while we were there. It's a selfish reason really, so bear with me.

Here's a little breakdown of our trip:
We were in Europe for exactly 2 weeks, starting in Rome, where we spent 2 1/2 days. The rest of the time we cruised around the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, stopping in places in Greece and Turkey, but I'll get to that later.   

I think I loved Rome the most , simply because we spent the most time in that city, and there's so much to see. Every corner you take there's something else that takes your breath away, and it just added to the romanticism and grandeur of the city. Plus, I ate way too much gelato, which is never a bad thing.
When we arrived in Rome, I felt like I had gotten hit by a bus. Our flight was overnight, so I took a sleeping pill to help me sleep on the plane, meaning that I was a complete mess post-flight. It's important to not sleep after arriving in Europe though, in order to ward off jet lag, so we arrived at our hotel and rested for about 30 minutes, took showers, and then headed out to explore. 
That first day was honestly a blur. We spent the afternoon and evening exploring Rome. We saw everything from the Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain to the Piazza Navona to the Pantheon. We ate an early dinner (and by early I mean 8 p.m. since every one in Europe tends to dine around 9 or 10) at Hostaria Bruno, a restaurant our concierge had recommended that was only two blocks from our hotel.
I was so tired I don't even remember brushing my teeth or washing my face that night, and somehow magically landed in my bed.

The next day, a Thursday I think, we spent the morning exploring the Forum and the Colosseum, and seeing all that they had to offer. And let me just say, the Colosseum is a place that you have to see in person to believe. You see pictures and I could tell you all about it, but nothing really does it justice. The fact that it's still standing, with all it's columns and stairs and tunnels and stone, is a miracle in itself. Besides the fact that I don't agree with the original purpose of the building, it was incredible. 
Later that afternoon we headed to Vatican City, which is also a marvel. I didn't really know what to expect going there, I thought we would just look at the building itself, maybe take a walk around, and call it a day. What I didn't know that the Vatican is filled with miles and miles of museum, filled with ancient artifacts that I learned about in my Humanities class. Busts and statues lined the walls, and real mummies stared at us through panes of glass. Raphael's School of Athens and the Sistine Chapel shined down on us and had my neck craned for a good hour, not that I minded. It was amazing to see these works of art that I had only read about in textbooks and seen on powerpoint slides. 
We ended the day with gelato from Giolitti, a famous gelateria that several people had recommended to me (thanks all!). Audrey Hepburn picks up a cone from there in Roman Holiday, and it was one of my favorite stops on the trip. We had a late dinner at Ristorante Lagana (thanks Kir for the recommendation!), which ended up being a perfect way to spend the night. We were the only Americans in the restaurant, and I felt like I wasn't so much of a tourist, even if just for a few hours. It was one of the best meals of the trip.
Our last half day in Rome was spent shopping and traveling to Civitavecchia to catch our ship for the cruise. It's easy for me to say that I fell in love with Rome, and I can't wait to go back someday.

mopeds lined the streets everywhere we went

pistachio gelato from Gelateria Trevi

the Colosseum

St. Peter's Basilica

strawberry, white chocolate, & peach from Giolitti, my favorite of the trip

Ristorante Lagana

On an evening in Roma...

The Vatican

the Trevi Fountain

Up next, adventures in Sicily!


Elisabeth @ La Vita e Bella said...

love it hayley - you make me want to move back to italy so so so bad. these pictures are gorgeous

The Bradley's said...

Hayley, you must hurry and finish your trip postings! I've been dying for you to return so I can live vicariously through you for the moment. all kidding aside, I adore reading your blog.

brooke: said...

I really like how much ice cream you ate on this trip.

Kaylee and Clark said...

Did you go on an actual cruise or did you guys travel on your own?

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

Oh this brought back memories! haha Now I am craving the food... oh the food!

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

p.s. when me and my mom were there, she made us stop at every single gelato place we saw hahaha