Friday, July 24, 2009

The Honeymoon Part 1, Rome

For our honeymoon we planned the trip of a lifetime. Two and a half weeks in Italy covering 4 cities. I used the website to find apartments in each city. I figured it would be cheaper than a hotel and also give us a chance to stay somewhere more authentic and not in high-tourist areas. The first city we visted was Rome for 4 days.

We landed early in the morning and splurged 45 euros on a cheuffeured car to drive us to our apartment and it was worth it! We were so tired and had no energy or brain power to navigate our way around. When we got to our apartment and carried MY oversized suitcase up four or five flights of stairs to our studio apartment where we met Hanne, our landlady. Hanne is originally from Norway but has been living in Italy for over 30 years. She was very sweet and showed all around the apartment and the rooftop terrace which was absolutely beautiful. She was very chatty and unfortunately my head felt like it was going to explode from lack of sleep/food/and all other life comforts so I wasn't up for small talk. The apartment was tiny but clean and had these awesome keys. It seemed like everything in the apartment had to be done four times. To lock the door, four times, flush the toilet, four times.

Our apartment is on the top right with the pink flowers.

We slept for a few hours and awoke starving so we ventured out for food. We stayed in a part of Rome that was more suburban but we walked and got some pizza, some groceries, and ate the best gelato we'd had to date. That was until we had gelato everyday all over the entire country of Italy, all amazing by the way.

By then it was dark and we weren't sure what we had time to do. I decided, screw it, we're in Rome let's take the 20 minute bus ride to the city center and have dinner and see the Trevi fountain at night. If the buses stop running because it's too late we would just suck it up and pay the cab fair back. So we went into town and it was wonderful. Around every corner was an amazing looking building, cobblestone streets, everything was illuminated and we were in love. It was the perfect way to see Rome for the first time.

The next day we just wandered. Wandered to the Spanish Steps, the beautiful palazzos, and I did some shopping. We loved how all the cafes had outdoor seating and we could just sit and people watch. And since we don't eat meat, dining out was relatively inexpensive, we spent about 20 euros on each meal. Not too bad I guess.

The next day we made what turned out to be a long but worthwhile journey to see some catacombs that my brother suggested. The catacombs are located on a working monastery and the walk there (once off the two or three buses) was amazing. The picturesque Italian countryside...

Afterwards we had a tour around the Ancient Roman Forum and Collosium to get to. Our tour guide was quite informative and he loved to close his eyes while wafting back his hair and over-pronunciating words. I stopped listening after a while. The stories about Julius Cesaer and how life was in ancient Rome were quite interesting. The Colosseum was wonderful, tiny for a sports arena by today's standards. I wish we knew more about how all the contraptions they used to raise and lower gladiators and animals worked. Fascinating what their culture could create.

The next day we went to the Pantheon. I covertly mooched information of a nearby tour and found out that the only reason it has stood for so long and through so many earthquakes is of course it's innovative structure. Built in a dome shape the the thickness of it's walls gradually increases and you move further down the dome.

We also went to a flea market where I thought there would be cool Italian antiques but it was this... we left.

We wandered around finding our way by the most impressive city hall I've ever seen.

Then stumbled upon this garden of every species of roses imaginable. It was beautiful!

We eventually made our way to The Vatican. However, it was late and it was closed for tours so we didn't get to see the inside, oh well.

The next day we woke up early to catch the train to the Amalfi coast. To be continued!

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