Posted by: Flannery | April 17, 2011

Spring Break in Rome!!!

Hello faithful readers, I’m so sorry for leaving you in the dark for over a month! Our life here is totally settled now, so there are less and less interesting events to blog about, unless you want to hear about what we make for dinner haha. Here’s an update about Brad’s and my spring break trip to Rome. Throughout the week I kept a running Word document where I jotted down what we did each day so that I wouldn’t forget…and now I’m just copying and pasting that onto this blog. Forgive my laziness, but hopefully this gives you a feel for how the week was!

Day 1, Friday:

We got up at 4 in the morning, left the apartment at 5, made it to the airport for our flight at 7, landed in Rome at 9, and got into the center of Rome by 10:30. We ate McDonald’s for lunch at the train station, walked to our B&B which is appropriately called “Mr. Frills”, dropped our bags, left and went to Santa Maria Maggiore church. Then we moseyed to the Piazza della Repubblica, came back around and had gelato, came back and officially checked into our room, went to dinner at a little place near our B&B, I had a “typical Roman pasta” and Brad had a pasta with lobster! Yum.

Day 2, Saturday:

Today was our day for the Pantheon neighborhood. Trevi fountain, St. Ignazio di Loyola, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Ponte Umberto I, shopping streets Via del Corso and Via Condotti, Spanish Steps (didn’t even realize what they were at first, walked right past and got gelato, THEN were like “oh I bet those were the Spanish Steps”….good), little more window shopping, home to relax for a second, out to dinner to a place called Angelino which felt like this woman’s kitchen instead of an actual restaurant. I had ravioli, Brad got spaghetti that was sort of spicy, we accidentally ordered a side of greens that was like vinegary collard greens and we choked them down so that we wouldn’t offend the lady haha. We thought it was going to be like cheesy broccoli! Oh well.

Day 3, Sunday:

Got up and went to the National Museum of Rome, which had a bunch of old statues and was basically a collection of specifically Roman art. Gorgeous! Then the top floor had frescoes and mosaics, and the basement had some collections of old types of money, jewelry that belonged to wealthy Roman families, and then randomly a mummified 8-year old girl?? Weird. Anyway, cool museum. Then we wanted to go to the Baths of Diocletian, but they were closed today for some reason. We walked one block over to whatever that church was, and then we walked back around and ate lunch at this little place near the Piazza della Repubblica. Brad got pasta and I got pizza, delicious! Then we headed back to the apartment to sort of recoup and then plan out the rest of the day. We decided to head over to the Ancient Rome neighborhood and see the Colosseum. Then we got pizza to go for dinner and brought it back to the B&B and skyped with our parentals!

Day 4, Monday:

Vatican City. We saw the Vatican museum, which culminated in the Sistine Chapel. This sounds terrible, but I was a little let down!!! Everyone makes such a huge deal about it, and it is impressive when you look at it and think “Wow, ONE guy painted all this!” But past that, it’s pretty much just a boxy little room with painting on all the walls and ceiling! It didn’t even feel like a chapel, because there weren’t seats or anything in there for worship—just hundreds of museum-goers being shuffled through, all trying to take discreet pictures that aren’t technically allowed. (Of course, I snapped a quick pic of the part of the ceiling that has the Divine Spark!) Anyway, after seeing the majesty of most of the churches in Rome, the Sistine Chapel didn’t look like a whole lot. No marble, no statues, no mosaics! But hey. It’s a must-see anyway. After the museum, we tried to go to St. Peter’s Basilica but we got turned away due to my apparently-way-too-revealing-dress (it was like 3 inches above my knees) (AND I WASN’T EVEN WEARING HEELS)(….I looked great). Anyway, I was quite peeved, so we just went home on our huffmobile. We happened upon a new restaurant that night, which was wonderful! Brad got gnocchi and I got spaghetti alla carbonara. Yum!

Day 5, Tuesday:

Went back to St. Pete’s Basilica. GORGEOUS, loved it. It was worth it getting turned away the day before, because this way we had tons of time to see the church, and I was so glad! We toured all around inside the church, which is absolutely massive and has a really beautiful Michelangelo statue in there called Pieta, then we climbed the dome, then we swung back around and walked through where all the popes are buried. Said hey to JP2! Then on our way back home we went back to the Baths of Diocletion, since they were closed the first time we went. Sadly, after walking around in there, we realized that the “Baths” are really just a church where the baths USED to be. So that took some imagination, but the church was beautiful! For dinner that night we went back to the place we went the first night. The waiter there sort of looks like Stanley Tucci, he called me “bella” and referred to Brad as “boss,” and they had a really fantastic house wine. So we went back for round two!

Day 6, Wednesday:

Roman Forum—the area of ruins right past the Colosseum. Saw all around those ruins and then walked through Palatine Hill and got a good view of the Colosseum. Climbed up to Capitol Hill square, and then realized we were right at the Vittorio Emanuele monument! So we got a little snicky snack and then climbed up the monument, and then we took the elevator to the top and had a gorgeous view of Rome!

Day 7, Thursday:

Ostia Antica. Took what is basically the Roman RER a few stops outside the city to a little town called Ostia Antica, which we discovered when we got there was basically just more ruins and a museum. This one was cool though because it had an old Roman amphitheater, which is still used for concerts today, and around it there were tons of beautiful umbrella pines (which Brad is convinced are just normal trees that have been pruned haha). Overall it was a cool little excursion. We had lunch at the museum’s little cafeteria, and then got gelato and ate it in the theater! Then we headed back into Rome, stopping at the Pyramide metro stop to see a pyramid and to go visit the Protestant graveyard in the area. Keats and Shelley are buried there! It was a beautiful cemetery, with lots of gorgeous landscaping and lovely statues, and also quite a few random cats! There’s a group of volunteers that cares for the stray cats in the area, and so now they’re sort of informally part of the graveyard/pyramid site.

Day 8, Friday: Came back home to Paris! Discovered on the flight that young teenagers act like young teenagers in spite of any cultural differences you might expect. You would think French teenagers would be sort of quieter, more aloof, maybe even more mature than American youth, right? Dream on…we were sitting right in the midst of a group of young Frenchies who insisted on walking around the plane to talk to each other, opening the overhead compartments to rustle around in their bags, playing music OUT LOUD, and just generally shouting across the plane to each other and being obnoxious. Funnily enough, we were sitting in front of a different school group on our way THERE, and discovered the same phenomenon! I think it’s pretty safe to say that pre-teens and tweens are the same all over the world! Anyway, despite a fairly noisy plane ride, we had a safe trip back to Paris and a conclusion to a lovely spring break 🙂

So that was our trip!! We took something like 600 pictures, which would take about a hundred years to post on this blog, so feel free to go to Facebook and look at Brad’s albums “Roma, Italia” and “Rome, part DUO” to see our pictures. Thanks for reading!

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Responses

  1. 1 – “Typical Roman Pasta” sounds so fancy 🙂
    2 – I don’t think you ate enough pasta or gelato.
    3 – Stop wearing such scandalous clothes to church. You clearly should have chosen some sort of floor length floral number paired with an espirit sandal. Have you learned nothing from high school?
    4 – Stupid tweens.


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