Reading to Rome

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Hannah, Me, Emma, John, Julia, e Gabby a Città del Vaticano

At the beginning of April, I got the opportunity to spend a few days in the city of Rome with some of my friends I’ve made while being on study abroad. As someone studying Italian, this opportunity was one I couldn’t pass up, and I’m so incredibly happy that I decided to go.

We set off  at around 6 in the morning from Emma’s house in Isola Vicentina, taking the three hour train south to Rome. The countryside in the morning was absolutely breathtaking, with Italian style houses, and mountains being the dominant features.

Once we exited the train we set about to find our Airbnb, which was a short ride on the metro, and then a 20 minute walk from the metro station. We got to Rome early enough that we decided to do some exploring with the famous last words of, “let’s just wander around this area a bit and see what we find!”

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Three hours, Vatican City, Altare della Patria, and the Coliseum later, and we wound up on the complete opposite side of Rome from where we were staying! None of us were complaining though because it was a beautifully sunny day, and we ate pizza and gelato until we could barely walk.

On our walks around the city I noticed something that I’d never seen before, and which quickly became my favorite part, which were the insane amount of ancient ruins that are scattered about the city. One moment you’d be looking into stores selling leather shoes, and the next you’d be staring at an altar dedicated to one of the various Roman gods or goddesses (like the one pictured below that we of course had to take a group selfie in front of to commemorate the moment).

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Exhausted, we all headed back to the hostel where we made caprese salad and ate chicken for dinner before heading to bed, excited to see where the next day would take us. Luckily for us, the next day took us to the Trevi Fountain, aka one of the most beautiful works of art I have ever seen in person. We loved the fountain so much, that we went back the next two days as well!

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We wandered through the city a bit more that day, just taking in the sights and not pressuring ourselves to go anywhere, which is how I wound up in a jazz bar later that night with Hannah, and our friend Xhilda, who had joined us that morning. The jazz bar was so much fun, but the walk back to our Airbnb was even more fun. We wound up seeing the Coliseum at night, as well as some more ruins, and I’m here to tell you first hand, that if you have the opportunity to see the Coliseum at night, do it. It’s breathtaking when there’s no one else around and you can just admire it for as long as you’d like.

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The next day, and our last full day in the city, we went back to the Coliseum (and the Trevi of course) to take pictures when we weren’t sleep deprived and in travel clothes, leaving for an extensive photoshoot session in which I brought out the ABBA sleeves again, like I did at Versailles (lots of the Mama Mia! soundtrack was sung on this trip).

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From the Coliseum, we wound up walking to the Spanish Steps, a staircase that boasts an incredible, and exhausting 135 steps. The view from the top was absolutely incredible, and gave us a head start on our trek to the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art.

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Going to a modern art museum as an American, I expected to see pieces from just the 20th and 21st centuries, you know, since our country has only been here since 1776, but seeing as how Rome has been around since, according to legend, 753 B.C., they have a bit of a different idea of what constitutes as “modern”. Imagine my surprise then when I saw a piece by Monet next to a display that was produced in the 2000’s. It was a very interesting museum, and if you’re a fan of modern art, or even art that’s not so modern, I’d highly recommend it (and even if you’re not that big of a fan, the metal lions out front are enough for me to encourage you to go.

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To say I fell in love with Rome would be a gross understatement. The city welcomed us with open arms, and we embraced it as only young vagabonds could. I’ll definitely be going to Rome again in the future because it’s a city that never leaves your heart.

Until next time,
Bee Xx

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