Spontaneity. I think that has been the theme of my trip for the last two weeks. The most recent example: I am supposed to be in Croatia right now, but, on my way there, I spontaneously decided to join four Australian guys to Rome for “the time of my life” instead. Now, sometimes spontaneity can be bad, like the last time I popped up in Rome with no hostel reservations and ended up sleeping in the airport. Other times, spontaneity can be good.
I met Simon, William, Tommy and Harry on my way to Bologna, where I was planning on staying the night before catching a ferry to Split the next day. We first met during a two-hour layover in Chambéry at 5 in the morning, and then again during a four-hour layover in Modane, in the French Alpes. There, in a cafe, I booked my ferry reservation and hostel for Bologna. It was also there, two hours later, where the guys asked me to come to Rome with them. In a matter of four hours, I had booked and unbooked my trip to Croatia and had invested all my money and wit into going to Rome with these four Aussies.
A few hours later, I met the guys in Rome. At the hotel, we met up with Ed, another Aussie. Ed doesn’t have a Eurail pass, so he bought a ticket direct from Paris to Rome, while the rest of us took at least four trains in 22 hours to get there. FYI: Rome is far more accessible and affordable when traveling there in a group, not solo.
We arrived in Rome at around 7PM on our first day, so we didn’t do much. Instead, we had some showers, bought some food and drinks, and chilled out for a bit. Later that night, a little tipsy and extremely tired, we met up with Tara, Harry’s mother, who was also on a little Eurotrip of her own with her boyfriend Jeff. We all went for dinner and drinks near the Spanish Steps.
Part of the gang. From left: Tara, Jeff, Tommy, Simon and me.
The next morning, we got up a little late… say 14h30. We wrote it off considering we had spent the day before in trains and had gone to bed at maybe 4AM the night before. We hit up a little restaurant near the hotel and got some pasta. Pasta and pizza in Rome are amazing: they’re delicious and cheap. You really can’t go wrong. After, we caught a bus and went to Collosseo.
The Collosseo. What I find most impressive about the Collosseo is its size, but I think that’s a given. It’s also kind of interesting because you need to piece the place together in your mind. It obviously wasn’t meant to look like this when it was built. It’s almost intimidating. Thousands of people came here to watch other fight to the death.
In the Collosseo. From left: William, Tommy, Ed, me and Simon.
After the Collosseo, we went back to the hotel and booked another few nights. We met Tara and Jeff again, this time for gelato. We all went down to the Trevi Fountain.
The Trevi Fountain.
At the Trevi Fountain, we said goodbye to Tara and Jeff, who were heading back to Australia the next day. After, we hit up a local hole-in-the-wall bar. It was pretty neat. I also had the chance to practice my Italian! Also: do not try the Absinthe shot. It burns. Like non other.
Today, we hit up the Vatican. We got there too late to see the Pope, but we did see the Sixtene Chapel and St-Peter’s Square and St-Peter’s Basilica.
A hallway inside the Vatican, on our way to the Sistene Chapel. It is insane the amount of effort they put into every little detail. Not one part of the ceiling is just plain white. Each painting has a story to tell.
In the courtyard. The boys wanted an A&F ad picture.
The dome in St-Peter’s Basilica. Again, the details are nuts!
Inside St-Peter’s Basilica.
St-Peter’s Square. This is where the Pope does Mass.
In St-Peter’s Square. I think we took ten pictures. This is the best.
I’m not a religious person, but I love visiting churches and cathedrals. I’m not sure what we’re doing tomorrow… We may go to Pompei and visit the ruins, or go to Pisa and check out the Tower. We may just stay in Rome. Who knows!
Until next time,