Thursday, April 7, 2011

Part the XXIII: Le Dolce Vita or: Where Nick goes to Rome, sees great works of art, eats real Italian pizza, and visits his girlfriend.

If someone told me a few years ago that I would be visiting Rome in order to visit my girlfriend while studying abroad, I would have thought they were having a laugh.  Nevertheless, here I was.  I traveled via Bath Spa for London Gatwick using the train to Paddington.  From Paddington, I took the Tube to London Victoria.  Then from there I took the Gatwick Express so I could get to the airport.  From there I took the easyJet service to Rome.  I have to say that easyJet was actually a very pleasant experience.  Cheap, fast (we got 20 minutes early) and very personable.  Upon arrival at Da Vinci Airport, I realized something important, I didn't know any Italian.  Luckily, I did know Spanish which was close enough.  I finally found the train to center-city where I was to meet Sarah, my girlfriend.
Yeah, there it is...a locomotive from 1963.  There isn't even a third rail, just a loud squeal as the rusty pantograph reaches feebly for the wire.

So I arrive at termini and finally meet up with my girlfriend.  What follows is a whirlwind trip through Termini, down to the metro and up to street level to get to the Bed and Breakfast I would be staying at.  Thats when I met Mrs. Ricci, the owner of Le Terrazze B&B.  
She was basically like your Italian grandmother.  Always wanting to hear about your day and helping you find places to eat and see throughout town.  But if you ever, ever forget to eat at least two biscuits in the morning, she will worry you are sick and make sure you eat more.  I loved staying with her!
Plus to get to your room you get to use an awesome, old fashioned lift from 1935.

My room was actually very nice and I enjoyed returning to it after a long day of touring.

So I leave the room and Sarah shows me around much of the City in order to see the sights at night.  
The Vatican at nightfall.

The Wedding Cake, it has another name but I like this one better.

The Colosseum at night.
So the next day dawns and after breakfast at the B&B, I meet Sarah at 8:30 and we head down to the Colosseum and archeological dig site of the House of Vestal Virgins and Roman Forum.
There are so many cats living in the ruins of Rome.

Sarah and I at the Colosseum.

See what I mean.

The forum.
Me at the Trevi Fountain where I threw in coin to ensure I can return to Italy someday.

The Spanish Steps.
The next day, we visited other sites in the city.  We went to the Pantheon .

The Castle of St. Angelo and its awesome weapons collection.
And the horrible translations of its signs.  Tortoises???
Then came Sunday.  We traveled a little after eleven to the Vatican to see the Pope give his Sunday blessing to the people:
Greatest. Uniform. Ever!

The Pope giving Sunday Benediction.
On Monday, Sarah had class so I had the day to myself.  I decided to visit the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica.  

The pope-mobiles through the ages exhibit.  This was awesome.  This is an exhibit I would love to become the curator of.

Sistine Chapel Ceiling.

The Pieta at St. Peter's.
Thus ended my Spring Break trip to Rome.  I really want to thank Mrs. Ricci for providing me with a great place to stay during my trip.  Most importantly, I want to thank Sarah for all of her guidance, assistance, and, most importantly, patience and ability to put up with anything I threw at her during this trip.  It truly was one to remember.  

So where does that leave me?  Well, upon returning home to Bath, I am the only one at the house.  Well, reckon I could tour Southern England and Wales by train then...

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