16 November 2011

Magical Rome

Ah, Italia!  ("Bongiorno" as our tour guide, Emile told us every morning while in Italy). I was so excited to visit Rome while on my European tour - and it was completely different than I imagined. The traffic was insane! (I don't think there actually were any traffic laws that were abided by...but, actually, now that I think about it, Cairo was worse.) It was nearly impossible to navigate the streets, even just outside of Rome. But once inside the city of Rome, proper - it was like stepping back in time. When in Rome, it's impossible not to imagine the city as it was centuries ago (some of these buildings still having been there). Buildings such as the Pantheon and the Colosseum have a certain power over you, not only because you've grown up seeing photos of these landmarks, but also because of the history and what took place there. It was fascinating. Rome is such a large city as well - there's so much history to see and explore...you could spend years here and not see it all.

                                                                      Rome's Pantheon                            ©CM

Inside the Pantheon - the ceiling was gorgeous!

Piazza Navona


Arch of Constantine - near Colosseum

Actually seeing the Colosseum with your own eyes is an experience like no other. Well, actually, it's like seeing any of the most famous landmarks in the world (Eiffel Tower, Pyramids, etc.), although each one is special in and of themselves. The day I spent there was lovely. Me and Christy didn't actually have time to go inside the Colosseum (I know! - one day...), but I so enjoyed the time I spent here, walking amongst the surrounding ruins. I loved seeing the fields where chariot races took places, the claustrophobic catacombs and the madness and chaos of tourists that comes with them.

Of course, the Colosseum

                                                                   ©CM                                        Trevi Fountain, by night

On one of the two nights that we spent in Rome, Christy and I had the most amazing Italian meal ever. After walking around Piazza Navona, we were treated to an event of a meal - complete with countless courses! It all started with the bruschetta...I still rave about this bruschetta. The most tart tomatoes that practically tasted like marinara, on the toastiest bread...oh man. It was heaven. We had red sauce pasta, chicken, white sauce pasta (only after I was embarrassed by being given a little kiss and a special golden plate by the waiter. Oh the horror! The waiters made a production of it, doing the same to one at every table...somehow I knew it would be me...). The night ended with dessert and a visit to the Trevi Fountain to toss our coins in, ensuring our return. Man, I hope the coin works and that I do go back to Rome! It was a city full of delicious food, friendly people and beautiful art. Quite enchanting!

                                                                       Piazza Navona                ©CM

               Christy enjoying the Colosseum                    Me, enjoying my pasta (on my special plate!)  ©CM

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