Monday, September 3, 2012

week one in roma

before heading to siena, our group is spending two weeks in rome going to museums and seeing the sights. i feel like i've been here for so long already because we have been doing so much!!

wednesday: our first real day in italy. we ate breakfast at our hotel then headed out for what was about to be a very long day in rome. we started our day at the museo della civiltá romana, or the museum of roman civilization. after the museum, me, rachael, our other roommates chelsea and mckenna, rita, and stacie grabbed some lunch and gelato! our waiter told us where the best place around was and boy was he right! lunch was so fun ans our waiter would reply "ohhhhhhhh yes!" to everything we said.  after gelato, we headed over to the colosseum and the forum! i'd be to the colosseum before but it was even more amazing than I remembered! i'd never been to the forum but it was really cool!! we did a lot of walking that day - basically from one side of the city to the other. somehow i've been being eaten alive by bugs or spiders. i have the biggest bug bites and they just keep growing in size and numbers! hopefully it's not a big problem in siena too!

so don't mind the hairy legs, but this is the biggest bug bite after like 3-4 days (i took this picture sunday). it's still pretty big and totally bruised!! i've never had a bug bite like this!

thursday: our day started the same. breakfast at the hotel then off to the metro. we started at the capitoline museum then we grabbed lunch with our roommates at the top of a building that overlooked the entire city. we had the most beautiful view of everything! after lunch, we grabbed some more gelato then met up with the group at the pantheon. we walked through the pantheon then headed to the baths of caracalla. there wasn't much left there but it was cool to see! we went back to the hotel for dinner then went to the spanish steps at night. we wandered around the abandoned streets then went back to the hotel and went to bed.

friday: breakfast at the hotel again then off to the metro! our first stop was at st. peters basilica. I'd never been here before but heard so much about it and how beautiful it was! i've truly never seen a basilica as incredible as st. peters. it was huge and everything was made out of the finest materials and everything was perfect down to the final details. we grabbed lunch with our roommates, rita, and maddie at a restaurant up the street and i had the most delicious pizza i've ever had in my whole life. what i would give to eat that again right now. after lunch, we met the group at the vatican. we went through the museum and sat in the sistine chapel analyzing all the art and finding ways to compare it to the story of adam and eve. we bought lots of really cool postcards and sat out in the garden writing them and sent them from the official vatican post office! we headed back to the hotel for dinner then went out to the trevi fountain! it's so much prettier at night than during the day! we made wishes and threw our coins in the fountain then went out for some gelato then it was back to the hotel and off to bed!

saturday: we got up early and caught a train to tivoli. we wandered around the little town and found a small, family-owned restaurant where we ate lunch with our roommates! it was so fresh and authentic! we met the group at the villa d'este and looked around the beautiful villa and the gardens below. I haven't seen anything that beautiful in a long time. there were waterfalls and fountains and we just sat there and took in all the beauty! we were asked to relate what we found in the garden to the gospel so it was interesting to compare the two!  on our way back, to rome, chelsea and I made a quick pit stop at mcdonalds. we know, we know. we're in rome, we shouldn't be at mcdonalds. but we were desperate for a carbonated drink with ice. no diet coke but at that point any carbonation was better than none. we went back for dinner at the hotel then went out for gelato at the most delicious place ever near the piazza navona. we had merengue gelato and seriously i thought i was eating a cloud. it was so amazing!! we tried to get to the spanish steps again but got super turned around and somehow ended up at the colosseum. our feet killed by this point and we were so tired but we finally made it back to the metro and got to see the colosseum at night along the way! we got back to the hotel and went right to bed!

sunday: today we went to church in rome. we didn't understand a word of what was being said, but it was cool to have the experience of going to church somewhere else! other than that we are just going to be relaxing at the hotel and having a day off.

i've loved rome but i am so ready to just be in siena. the days here have been packed full of museums and sightseeing and lots and lots of walking. we've been going to bed at about 930 every night and by the time dinner rolls around at 7, we are all so exhausted. we've learned a lot and seen a lot though so i feel blessed for the experience even though it's left me tired! i thought i'd be coming home far - well i don't really see how that's possible anymore with how little we've been eating and how much we've been walking!! i'm hoping for better food than we've been fed at the hotel in siena! one more week in rome then the real fun starts in siena!

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