This weekend was one full of adventures and surprises as my roommates and I headed out for our first weekend trip in none other than the Italian capital, Rome! With our train tickets booked and suitcases in hand, we grabbed a quick pastry (chocolate croissant, of course) and made our way to Roma!
The train was pristine and quiet which made for the perfect opportunity to nap… Not sure why we Americans don’t utilize train systems more often, it was truly a wonderful experience! We arrived safely and headed out to find our hostel which was where the adventure really began. I take full blame in finding the “Hostel Beautiful” which was located in Chinatown (yes those do exist in Italy as well) surrounded by Chinese street signs and creepy stores selling cheap objects. Like I’ve always been told, don’t trust everything you read and see on the internet… Definitely misleading! We told the woman at the check-in desk that we would be back but really we scurried down the dirty stairs and set out to find the Colosseum to meet up with a familiar face (Jennie’s good friend, Stephen).
A 20 minute walk quickly turned into an hour walk as we got lost and asked a policeman (who laughed at our suitcases and diva hats) for directions. We finally found a park that led us to the Colosseum and we were in awe by the incredible view. Although we didn’t know where we would be staying for the weekend, we were surrounded by sunny skies (finally!) and the city that I had always dreamed of visiting. After a wonderful lunch and my first Italian plate of yummy spaghetti, we decided to freak out our parents by calling home to ask if they could help us not be homeless for the weekend.
After traveling across town to a hotel that was way out of our price range, the panic truly started to set in. Luckily there was a bar with WiFi right down the road. The bar was Anima Mundi and I completely recommend it to anyone looking for a quaint place with a cheap drinks and great food, their aperitivo buffet was fabulous! The owner was a very nice Italian man who showed us which areas were safe to stay and let us use his WiFi until we found an apartment. Another company, Apartments Apart, was a great option that led us to an apartment right across from the Colosseum with hot water (which is rare in our Florentine apartment), clean linens and towels. We took a breather and finally let our suitcase wheels take a break from the cobblestone then headed out to catch the last bit of daylight.
Stephen, our wonderful tour guide and new best friend, walked us to dinner by way of the Trevi Fountain, Vittorio Emanuele and finally the Pantheon where we stayed awhile to eat dinner overlooking the beautiful Roman attraction. Little did we know that there was another gorgeous Roman attraction coming our way. The waiter who sauntered over to our table was perhaps the most beautiful person I have ever encountered. Black hair, a little scruff, all black attire and a bow tie… We were swooning, mamma mia! While trying to keep my cool in the presence of this handsome man, I enjoyed the gnocchi with brie and walnuts which was incredible, then we set out to find a pub. Abbey Pub was a quiet place with a mixture of foreigners so we bought a beer and watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics! Our night ended early and we crashed before 11pm.
It was a day full of adventure and although we realized that travel plans can change in an instant, we made the most of it and enjoyed bonding over a day full of surprises. We had made it to the Roman city and we woke up on Saturday to truly experience Rome in just one day. My next post will show you how!
Until next time…