6.01.2011

From Paris to Rome.

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We stayed in a Bed and Breakfast in Rome, behind this big beautiful door:
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The best thing about where we stayed was this:
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Right next door was this basement bakery, open 24 hours. So we'd get something on the way to the metro in the morning, and stop on the way home 16 hours later. Those were long days. Our bedroom window opened up into the courtyard of this building, and the smells from the bakery would fill our room while we were gone all day. I fell asleep to patries. Now cake smells like Rome.
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There are springs all over Rome, so they have these drinking fountains everywhere. You just put your finger at the end of the spout, and it shoots up for you to get a drink. So cool.

Rome definitely had a different feel than Paris. Much more relaxed, and "grungy", if that's an appropriate word. Not dirty or rough, just more edgy. More grit. Just different.

After we dropped our stuff off, we headed to the Coloseum.
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The Coloseum was amazing. It was completed in 80 AD, which makes it 1,931 years old. It was called the Flavian Amphitheater but later got the "nickname" Coloseum from the gigantic statue Emperor Nero made of himself, named the Colossus (because it was HUGE). Nero had the statue moved from Palatine Hill in front of the Amphitheater during his reign.

The Colossus remained there for years, being remodeled into the Sun God Helios, and then with the heads of different Emperors. It was believed to be magic. Hence the 8th century prophecy, "As long as the Colossus stands, so shall Rome; when the Colossus falls, Rome shall fall; when Rome falls, so shall the world."

The statue was brought down during the medieval era to recycle the bronze it was made from. They also recycled all the marble from the Colosseum, leaving only the concrete brick skeleton.
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The arena was covered with wood and canvas, and a layer of sand to soak up all the blood. In fact, the word "arena" derives from the Latin word for sand. The numbers our guide gave us for how many animals and people were killed here was astonishing. During the opening festival, which lasted 100 days, over 5000 wild animals were killed. And I don't know how many gladiators. It was sobering.
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{I caught Seth, the paparazzi man, trying to sneak a picture of me acting natural}

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Okay, here's my big Rome tip, for anyone who plans on visiting the city some time in their lifetime: Don't get the sandwiches from the carts. Those tomatoes were sliced in half and slid all the way to the front of the sandwich to join the tiny slivers of cheese and the one half sprig of lettuce. lame. Those Italian cart guys are sneaky smart. taking advantage of us poor, ignorant tourists. shame.

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{Circus Maximus. Think Ben Hur.}

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Walking the streets of Rome was amazing. You'd be passing an apartment building, and then this. Ancient ruins, molded into every crack of the city. Actually, a modern city molded into each crevice of these thousand year old ruins. The whole place was fascinating. There aren't many subway lines in Rome, because they keep running the tunnels into ancient artifacts and discoveries under the city. It truly is amazing.

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{Trevi Fountain at night.}
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{holy cannoli}

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{Spanish Steps. Seth took this picture; I love it.}

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{metro home to my bakery smellin' bed}

9 comments:

Gingercake said...

ohhh. how much i loved reading this post. I went to Rome while I was doing a semester in Florence. It is an amazing city. I totally get what you mean about the "gritty". It is just cool. Your pictures were beautiful. I would love to go back now as a grown up who would actually listen to the talks about all the mazing places we saw! Glad you got to experience the Bella Roma. So fun!

ShEiLa said...

Awesome! I love that you highlight all of the food too.

ToOdLeS.

Yo Mamma said...

ohhh sooo jealous.

Jennifer Dawn said...

I am so envious of you European adventure. I went to Spain years ago and have wanted to see more of Europe ever since. :)

wendy said...

I have been in Utah....so I had to go back and look at these photos and stories of this incredible trip.
I probably will only enjoy it vicariously in my lifetime.
I would love Rome best I think cause I love history

Crystal Copeland said...

Hahahha. All the pics are gorgeous! I am going to Rome next week. The funniest thing is the picture at the very bottom!! I laughed out lout for a couple minutes about that one. Whoever came up with the bubbles, look to have truely caught the thoughts and expressions being made....great.

Becky said...

I'm so excited you went to Rome as well. I will dream about the cannoli tonight...

joolee said...

oh that last photo is hilarious. i love it. thanks for sharing all your pics! brings me back to my study abroad days. rome was a favorite spot - trevi fountain, spanish steps, all of it. BUT i did get to see a Paul McCartney concert LIVE in the streets right outside the Colosseum!!! it was amazing. beat that. :)

Shannon said...

"Holy cannoli!" That's what I said when I saw your picture and then I read your caption. :) Too funny. I love your pictures and the chance to see Europe vicariously. What a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing.