Unfortunately, Rome was a disaster for us. I guess not every place is our place, and it was a mess from the beginning. Here are some confessions:
- We chose a place 20 min outside the city. The bigger the city is, the closer you have to stay! Rome is huge, and we like to take small breaks to recuperate, which wasn’t possible here. The apartment was also located in the Olympic Village, which had no atmosphere and was dirty, like a garden of cement. However, the apartment was big enough inside and was quirky.
- On the first day we got out too late: we left the house at 10 o’clock! The transportation in Rome works pretty well… if you can find the bus stops. We walked around the city, to the numerous piazzas and little streets.Unlike Venice, we had a lot of trouble navigating the city, and we were tired quickly from the previous 5 days of intense traveling. We saved the sites, like the Forum and Colosseum for a tour we were going to take tomorrow. We booked a tour, specifically for children and families, that was going to be private for us and what we wanted to see. It was expensive, but we thought it would be worth it for us to understand what all of the ruins were about. Therefore, we walked to the Borghese gardens, which cover 148 acres of land!
- In the middle of the night, Josephine had a fever and so the next morning Papa stayed home… She is better now!
- We were supposed to meet the tour guide at the Trajan column. We spent an hour there, and the tour guide did not show up! My mom was mad and so were we, but there was nothing we could do about it. So much for the sites… Rome is so big we walked and walked and walked and at one point we just gave up, and got on one of those hop-on-hop-off buses where we saw the city on the top deck, with classical music and commentary. Finally something that worked out! We got out at the Colosseum and it’s incredible. When you think about who touched the piece of rock you are also touching, it gives you a whole new perspective. Gladiators, people in togas, ancient royalty, people you only see in history books probably were right where you were, a thousand years ago! And who knows who will stand there, a thousand years from now!
- At the Circus Maximus, the ancient chariot riding arena, we waited for the bus at this stop. With our luck, we chose the company with probably only 2 or 3 buses and we watched in the glaring sun as tour bus after tour bus came that wasn’t our bus. So we stood there for a half an hour, but we got back on at last, and saw the President’s house, like the White House, Vatican city, and more. We stumbled home.
- After dinner my dad and I went out again to do Rick Steves’ night walk through Rome. My dad was home all day and we were all tired, but I went along anyway. We walked by the Campo de Fiori, the Pantheon (which is just as amazing as the Colosseum, Trevi fountain and ended by the Spanish steps.
- To top off our mess, we almost had a train-missing incident. My mom and I went to buy postcards, but everyone else was on the wrong platform, since our train’s platform wasn’t shown yet. It got closer and closer to 1 o’clock and we were worried that we didn’t see them on platform 2, where the train was. We ran down the platform we left them at (probably the wrong one), didn’t see them, and so we hurried back to 2. My mom ran off to look for them at about 7 min to 1. They weren’t in the train and we finally found them as the train was about to leave: a perfect ending to our mess!
Rome is actually very cool, but a little gritty and we were woefully unprepared. Better luck next time!