Day 21 - Rome

I had only 1 day in Rome but it really couldn't have worked out better. I had a bit of a sleep in and had breakfast with my roommate Alina from Romania. She was telling me about communist life in Romania and it struck me how much each country really does affect the others around them. She had interesting stories about 2 hours of tv a day and 5 years wait to buy a car, pretty interesting. She had moved to Vienna to work and had no plans to back home as the quality of life is so much better. I left the hostel at around 12 and had a big day ahead of me. My plan was to do the Colloseum, Roman Forum and St Peter's and anything else I saw would be a bonus.

I got the metro to Colloseo and got a Colloseum tour straight away which was okay, but also meant I skipped the line to buy tickets. The place is amazing, the fact that half of it is still standing is equally amazing. Heard some Americans commenting that it was smaller than they expected because they're used to 100,000 seat stadiums. Fucking idiots. The Colloseum was definitely a highlight and it's pretty easy to imagine the place done up in marble (all of which is gone now) packed with people. Or maybe that's because I've seen Gladiator. I spent about 2 hours in there and then got the next half of my tour into the Roman Forum. It was interesting and evrything was obviously old, but didn't really blow my mind. That was until I saw the 'via Sacura' (Sacred Way). It's an old street filled with old parliamentary buildings and gardens, massive columns and other residences. The Romans really would have had the best lifestyle and all this fully standing would have been so intimidating to anyone from outside of Rome back in the day. There are running fountains/taps all the way through Rome and I took my fair share of water, it was about 30-33 degrees.

I grabbed some pizza and a beer over near Ottoviano and chased it with a Panna Ciocollato (choc mint?) and Profiterole flavoured gelato for lunch.

I was ready for disappointment and queues heading St Peters Basilica as I was really only going there because it's what you do in Rome. I didn't get either and was in the church within about 5-10 minutes of getting there. To boot I got amazing light coming through from the dropping sun. Big shafts of light were streaming through the whole church and I went ballistic with the photos (maybe 100?). I didn't really even look at anything in there apart from the building itself. It is an impressive building no matter what you believe. I spent about 45 minutes in there and then headed off to Spagna to see what was so impressive about the Spanish Steps.

The answer is nothing, but I walked around that area past all the big Italian designer stores. People were lining up to get into Louis Vutton? Saw a Bvlgari handbag for about $7000aud...wtf The light was really nice so I took more photos around the streets and I heard some shouting down the street.

Turns out it was the Lazio football fans getting a Police escort through the street and they were shouting and chanting, jumping up and down, lighting flares...the whole bit. I don't even know if they played or if they were on their way to the game, it's preseason at the moment so I hear. Was really good to see though...normal Rome life.

Continued walking and as I was close I checked out the Trevi Fountain. It's a pretty fancy fountain, but I couldn't help but wonder if it's lost to the locals now. The piazza around it was completely packed with not much room for anyone to move, and no seating space at all.

I kept walking through and headed to the metro, getting myself a blood orange fanta in the process. I was happy with how the day turned out and only spent about 15-20 minutes in queues all day which was a bonus. Rome is a nice place, definitely has character in the streets which is what I usually like in a city.

Packed my bag early as Dave was getting in to Rome about 7:30am the next morning. Headed to the bar wanting an early night but met 2 aussies who were cool, turns out they were coasties even. But they were much better company than the Americans at the bar.

Got to bed at 2:30am.