We arrived in Rome last night. After checking in we embarked on a night walking tour of the city center. I would’ve preferred to see the sites during the day. I really feel like we were robbed by not getting to Rome earlier. TheTrevi Fountain was closed for reconstruction so I can’t even guarantee coming back to Rome by throwing a coin in the fountain’s waters! #fail
On our rainy walking tour we passed the Spanish Steps, the Piazza Navona and ventured inside the Pantheon.
This morning we explored the Vatican City! It was pretty neat exploring the smallest country in the world! I really hoped we would get to see the Pope but apparently he wasn’t home. Our hysterical guide Peter helped us skip the line and gave an in-depth look at the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. These masterpieces of architecture are a site to be seen for sure. I could stare at the ceilings all day. Every inch is decorated and everything is so vibrant!
Afterwards we all ate our weight in Pizza at this “by the slice” shop. You pay depending on how much your slices weigh! Ingenious. I ate about four slices and they were all delectable. After stuffing ourselves we took our coach to the Roman Forum and Colosseum.
Peter led us on a very factual tour of the Roman Forum. I would’ve liked to do more walking and exploring and less talking. I think most people would agree that the history is great to know, but we really didn’t see much of the vast ruins. Then we headed to the highlight of our tour, the Colosseum.
It was okay…
I know a lot of my fellow travelers would disagree with me. Yes, its impressive. Yes, its beautiful. Blah blah blah. But there’s nothing really there. You can walk in a circle and up a few flights of stairs. That’s it.
I think its hard for any ancient ruins to top Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
I only wish a hot man name Paulo would’ve whisked me around the Colosseum on a Vespa. If that had happened I think the Colosseum might have been something to write home about.
For dinner our group went to an amazing dinner theater where our waiters sang opera to us! We had bottomless wine and great pasta. It was a super fun musical party!
Then we continued the party by pub crawling. We went to a little tiny bar where we paid twenty euros to have “open bar” for an hour. That meant drink as much as possible before time runs out. I think I had 5 cocktails? After number 3 things got a little fuzzy.
The plan for the night was to get as drunk as possible and then sober up by 130AM to be able to catch my 3AM shuttle to the airport. My tour mate Howard and I made a pact to make sure one another got to the airport. I also commissioned my friend Russel to assure my departure as well (see as he owed me a favor from our last club night). Well I think things got a little out of hand. I pretty much don’t remember how I got from the night club to the airport. So thanks to whoever put Howard and I in a cab!
Going through Roma airport at 3AM drunk was an adventure. Being drunk on bumpy flights was terrible. I had a massive hang over for the duration of my 10 hour trip. Bad weather and flight delays didn’t help with how awful I felt either. But you live and learn. As Contiki says #noregrets.
After a grueling day waiting and waiting and waiting I finally left for the airport and my 4pm flight. I would’ve rather left at six am then sit around all day dreaming about being in Rome! On the flight from JFK to Rome I sat next a charming old man named Pellegrino. He is a professor of cinema and italian studies at Columbia. So he and I talked all about working in the movies. He was very impressed with my “success” at such a young age. I told him it was a lot of hard work, luck and networking. But that I was still young and working towards better positions. He gave me lots of suggestions for Italian movies to watch and also places to visit. After a long conversation we settled in and I slept for the remainder of the flight. I woke up and was greeted by the sun and the Swiss Mountains!
I had made plans to meet some of my tour mates at the hotel a noon because my flight was supposed to get in at 10AM. However we were very delayed and then it took forever for the Contiki Shuttle to pick me up. So ended up missing the meeting and not getting to the hotel until 2PM. I was pretty bummed because I basically lost a whole day in Rome. I also wanted to meet some of my tour mates early so that it wouldn’t be so awkward at our first group dinner. But that’s life!
I checked into my hotel, showered and took a short nap before meeting my room mates around 3PM.
Where did I stay? Hotel Santa Costanza
I’m in a triple share room which is the cheapest option for Contiki. My roommates are Mollie and Stephanie. I think we hit it off very well. We all have a good dry sense of humor. We were laughing the whole night at dinner.