I was really only in Rome for a week but it felt like much longer since it was spread out over three weeks. After London, I think Rome and Reykjavik are the two European cities that I know best due to the copious amounts of time I've spent wandering around the city's streets.
There are a ton of obvious tourist attractions in Rome so I of course visited the Colloseum, Roman Forum (where I spent five and a half hours), and St. Peter's Basilica. Here are some photos:
The Coloseum was quite busy when I arrived. I booked a ticket online which saved me from waiting in the massive queue. I overheard an American ask if the Olympic Games started in the Coloseum. I also overheard one ask if gelato was just the Italian word for ice cream. And one ask what Mount Vesuvius was. And another complaining about how boring old buildings are. I'll refrain from comment!
The Roman Forum was once the center of ancient Roman civilization. I spent ages walking through the ruins, gardens, and museums. I also spent a half hour standing by the plug in a museum so I could charge my phone.
About halfway through my trip, my foot started swelling and I started limping. I found out much later that I tore some ligaments, but at the time climping 500 some starts to get to the top of St. Peter's Basilica seemed like a good idea!
Without planning it, I left the basilica right as the changing of guards was happening. I've seen the changing of the guards in Prague and the Vatican, but still not in London!
I think I stayed in Italy long enough that I can mention three absolutely annoying aspects of the country. 1) Everyone smokes. Everywhere is smoker friendly. They even have little smoking pods by the gates at the Rome airport! 2) The hagglers. Walking down the streets in Rome, Florence, or Pisa (but not Torino or Capri) and someone will hold out a selfie stick and say, "selfie?" And practically shove it in your face. When it rains, they suddenly switch to umbrellas and follow you with umbrellas. They must have a storehouse underground or something. Similarly, it is impossible to walk past a restaurant without someone shouting, "Lunch? Dinner? We have pizza, pasta." Yes, everyone knows you have pizza and pasta, this is Italy. 3) No one knows how to drive or minds pedestrians. Just because the light is green saying you can cross, it doesn't mean that a car will stop to let you cross. Highly annoying and dangerous!
Rome has some sort of magic to it that I've only noticed in London (obviously), Venice, Reykjavik, Oxford, and Interlaken (or maybe I just really like these places). The saying goes, "Roma, non basta una vita" (Rome, a lifetime is not enough). The eternal city has so much to see!
The bedspreads at the hostel were both British and American, so I felt very much at home in my Rome home. If you're ever in Rome, I recommend Freedom Traveller. I had a great time making this hostel my temporary home, met dozens of Travellers from all over the world (pastry chefs from Australia, a family from Holland, a family from India, solo travellers from Poland, New Zealand, France, and America.)
Despite how much I like visiting Italy, England is still my favourite! I need to work on my British citizenship goal.
Hi, I’m Crystal! Just like you, I love to travel. You’ll get all the best tips and insights from my experiences as a former ice-skating coach in Iceland and former study abroad student. Of the 24 countries I have visited, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis has been the strangest land yet. Type 1 has not slowed down my travels and you'll learn how to take type 1 with you on the road! You can connect with me further on Instagram @CrystalChilcott, or send me ideas of where I should travel next via email: email@example.comHappy Travels, Crystal
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