Mittwoch, 21. Mai 2014

Interrail - Day 17, 18: Rome

We arrived in the evening (30th of March) in Rome and met up with Sunshine and Nita for a drink. Since they took a flight from Barcelona, they had already checked out the city while we were still in Nice and Milan. But they were so nice to share their wisdom with us: Best icecream near the Spanish steps. Two walking tours starting from the Spanish steps with a very nice and funny guide (one with destination of the vatican state and the other with destination of the collosseum). Furthermore they warned us about the metro. Sneaky thiefs everywhere. They stole money out of their backpack. So we were warned and continued our journey carefully.
The next day Sunshine and Nita would continue their way to Pisa while we just started our adventure in Rome. (But don't worry we would meet again soon )

The next day (31st of March) we walked to the Spanish steps and did the first walking tour. The woman who guided us, seemed totally bored with the stories she told, because she had to tell them everyday and she kind of hated tourists... So just the right gal for the right job! (Didn't seem to be the same guide Sunshine and Nita were talking about...)

Piazza Navona
She did show us the right places (for example Piazza Navona where everything can happen...where simply life happens, sounds silly I know, but that's what it is). But the way she talked was tiring and made it impossible to listen to her for long. 

But nonetheless Rome is a city full of wonders, a city that develops another historic layer every day. And is in itself a history book. In Rome they have exactly two metro lines. The citizens want to expand the underground network, but they can't build more metrostations because they would hurt otherwise ancient roman ruins that lie under the ground.
But the old brings also advantages: The old aqueduct brings fresh drinkable water to every little waterfountain in the city (Dear Backpacker, refill your bottles everywhere for free!).

The tour lead us to the Vatican State. There the first tour ended and we entered the St. Peter's Basilica (the entry is by the way free.) We were overwhelmed by such extravangance of  marble, gold and ivory (wasted on a Church). People don't pray better only because everything's made of gold. The purpose of it is to reflect the power of the Catholic Church being able to afford to live in such luxury. I just hope with the new Pope, things change a little. A little less wealth for the Church and a little more help for the poor. (Believe me, if you would sell all this gold, it could probably feed a whole nation for at least a year...)

 After our tour through the basilica we went to eat real Italian Pizza for lunch and walked a little on our own through the city up to the Villa Medici and looked over this picturesque city for a while. We then lay down in the parks around Villa Medici and enjoyed the sun. 

We returned to the Spanish steps and got ourselves the best icecream ever made. (I loved it so much I now hate the ice cream they sell here...). Sunshine and Nita had told us about it and had mentioned that it's pretty expensive, but  (and I quote) "totally worth it" (2,50 € for 1 scoop of ice cream). We wanted to order, but we realised that it said 2,50€ per ice cream cone on the menu. So Johanna asked in Italian how many scoops of ice cream you get in one cone. The guy was so amazed by how fluently Johanna spoke that he explained with a bright smile that normally you'd only get one scoop of ice cream for 2,50€, but since we asked in Italian we'd get 2 scoops for the same price. So remember people: Ask in the official language of a country and people will be so much nicer to you.

We then participated in the second walking tour and we so hoped for a different guide, but again our lovely lady took the lead and we almost died of boredom. Passing Fontana di Trevi and a building the Italians call the "wedding cake" we reached finally the Collosseum and after an eternity of blablabla the tour ended. We then went shopping for souvenirs and found a jewellery maker who made little name bracelets working on the streets. We watched him crafting a while until we decided to get two pieces of jewellery (a necklace and a bracelet). While making Johanna's bracelet, he totally flirted with her. Johanna was magnet of Italian guys anyway. I wonder what I'm doing wrong...(just kidding, it didn't really bother me :) ha ha).

The next day (1st of April) we went out to get into the Collosseum (the arena for gladiators) and the Forum Romanum (originally the Roman marketplace). It is such an amazing feeling to walk around a place where so many generations before you have walked the earth, where you can imagine what it must have been like, where now so much culture is lost and only the stone tells the stories. And where the grass tries to hide what remains.

In the late afternoon we took a train to our next destination: Pisa.


  1. Oh, it reminded me of school trip to Rome (no idea how long ago it was, I was young and now I'm old!). I love all the details, e.g. I had totally forgotten they call this building "the wedding cake"!
    The tip about the language is very true as well! Photos are small, but all so beautiful :)

    1. I'm glad you liked it :)
      You can click the pictures to enlarge them :) if you like one in particular, you know you can reach me if you want to :)