First day in Rome

19 Apr

First day in Rome My brain has been buzzing all night. Can’t put into words all the emotions and satisfaction being in this country has given me just today. After crashing and burning last night we headed down for coffee and for our troubles the 4 of us were rewarded with a free breakfast. Let me say this once. “coffee in the hotel is crap.” Frak me, I tried at least three different styles, American, cappuccino & espresso from the machine. English breakfast tea tomorrow, no doubt about it. We decided to have a little look around Rome while we have most of the day free until the tour starts officially. Directions obtained, bus stop found for the tube. Tickets are good for only 75 minutes would you believe? For 1 euro it was actually great value. English speaking gentleman gave us a few tips on where to get off and also watch your belongings at all times. There’s lots of pick pockets apparently in Rome. There is only a small railway network due to the fact the Romans are now still discovering many old buildings and ruins below surfaces and modern buildings. The common theme seemed to be, “We no longer use that, rip the marble off it, destroy what’s left or bury it for future generations to spend time excavating whilst asking why did we do that?” The mind truly boggles when you see the repercussions of these decisions. The Italian government say’s they’ve run out of money for future preservation & excavation. Maybe they need a better system, who am I to say? Stepped off at the station Terminus and started walking. First on the agenda is real coffee. The tip is to drink your espresso standing at the bar, its much cheaper, if you sit down you pay through the nose. We sat. It’s been raining on & off all morning so we find a spot in the square of the Basilica Saint Mary degli Angeli e dei martiri. It has a beautiful fountain in the middle of the square. Coffee finally. We went for a look in the Basilica, it’s quite beautiful inside with sculptures and frescos. I didn’t know where to look first, totally breathtaking. After an hour we went looking for the famous Trevi fountain.
Following the map it was eventually located, the streets are so narrow it has to be seen to be believed. Set in a little sort of crossroads. When it’s raining as it was for us, it’s a bugger to get a decent photo without a single umbrella. The story goes if you want to come back to Rome throw a coin in, if you want to fall in love 2 coins & for a third you will be divorced. I thought why not toss a coin in and get it on video via the iPhone? Much hilarity later as video will attest I threw in 2 coins. I will return. Fortunately I’m already married. I will not throw a third in as I don’t wish to be divorced. Plenty of souvenir shops nearby, if you are going to buy don’t compare after you have done so. Just be smart, it’s not that dear.Followed another street with rest of the crowd and ended up at the start of the ancient forum and the palatine hill. Oh my god! This is what I’m here for!I’ve had the pleasure of reading many different pieces of fiction over the years from the likes of Colleen McCullough’s masters of Rome series, to Steven Saylor’s Gordianus the finder & Lindsey Davis’ Falco. Nearly all different time periods that gave me an informed ideas where everything was and how it looked. The first thing I recognised was Trajan’s column depicting his many battles and victories. What was amazing is the level of modern day Rome to ancient Rome, there is at least 3-4 meters from the top of the pathway for viewing to the bottom where the columns stand on the old level. Along the road to the colosseum there are various statues of the different caesars. My favourite was Augustus, it’s said he found a city of brick and timber and left it marble. Sadly most of the marble now ordains floors and walls of Saint Peters Basilica. Being careful to keep an eye on the time we headed down to the colosseum for a quick look and into the train station so that we don’t miss the orientation for the tour. For this part of the trip we chose trafalgar tours, it seems very well organised and our tour director Giuseppe who we met earlier in the day is quite efficient. There are many things on the tour with optional extra things included eg a typical Italian meal which has set the tone of the tour, fantastic. Much food and wine later we are once again about to crash and burn. I’m having a few troubles attaching photos but some will be uploaded as we go, to see them go to look up thewombatjedi on Facebook, I will also tweet the best ones.

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One Response to “First day in Rome”

  1. Linda April 19, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    Great to hear about your travels. We have been very excited to hear how you guys are getting along. I new you would love it Shane. The plane trip over is never great. Give our love to all and keep us posted with your exciting and detailed recounts.

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