Going to Italy I feel was where I felt the most like a tourist, just because everywhere I went I was amazed by the sights. Once I got into Italy, I immediately went out and did some touring, mainly because Ellie wouldn’t be in her apartment after classes and why waste a morning right? So I headed first to the Trevi Fountain and then to the Spanish Steps. I had some gelato by the Trevi Fountain which was AMAZING but not as amazing as my second gelato which was Banana, Strawberry and Oreo flavored. Having a Russian phone in Italy made nothing easier, I could receive texts but couldn’t call or text back because I had run out of money and I’m pretty sure there were no MTC kiosks randomly around Rome like in Russia. I tried calling from a payphone but that really didn’t help me out so I went to Ellie’s and sat at a park until she came home which I didn’t mind since I was able to sit and relax. That night I got to see the Piazza Navona and the place were Julius Caesar was stabbed which is currently taken over by abandoned street cats.
|Fontana di Trevi|
The next day made me feel even more like a tourist; I got up early and headed over to the Roman Colosseum which Jesus Christ is so old! (I didn’t know this but originally it was the Flavian Amphitheater… whatever that means.) I’m glad I got my tickets online because I was able to avoid the line and go straight in. With the ticket, I was able to see the Colosseum, the Palatine and the Roman Forum which pretty much took up all of the morning and afternoon. After everything I sat in front of the Colosseum waiting to meet with Ellie and the most interesting part of the day. Not only because I got to see the fake gladiators essentially force and guilt tourist to take pictures with them but also I was able to help out other tourists. I called upon all four languages to help tourists, French really was just an exchange of Merci and De rien which left the couple kind of shocked as I handed them their camera (but this was inside the Colosseum).
I helped a family take a picture in Spanish, as they explained to me that their camera broke so they had to buy disposable cameras. And even better I got to help a Russian couple, which probably was the most interesting exchange. They walked by and I heard them speaking Russian as they took pictures of the Colosseum, and then the woman approached me obviously going to ask if I can take a picture but instead of English or Russian coming out her mouth she asked me in Italian and I responded with “Да” (Yes) which left her confused (I assumed she’d ask me in Russian). I then said “I can take the picture if you want” which confused her more since she didn’t speak English so she turned to her boyfriend and said in Russian “Tell him in English if he could take our picture” which I then responded to with “I speak Russian, yes I can take the picture” which finally brought all the pieces together and left her with an exclamation of “oh” as she and her boyfriend posed for the camera. Also there was another couple getting a tour by a Russian speaking tour guide which was kind of creepy because I felt like I was being given a tour as well since I understood her. In part this helped me understand most of the things I saw since I able to pick up English, Spanish and even Russian explanations along the way, guess it pays off to be multilingual.
|Tempio di Saturno|
My last day of the trip I got up super early and headed over to Vatican City, in order to see the museum and luckily attend mass with the pope himself. I made my way around the museum which was deserted except for the last exhibit, the Sistine Chapel. I was amazed by how the room was so detailed and of course the ceiling where God and man touched fingers; but unfortunately you couldn’t take pictures in the room. I then made my way to where St. Peter’s Basilica is and got to attend an about 3 hr mass which consisted of Latin, Spanish, French, Portuguese, English, Polish and one more language I’m forgetting. I was amazed by the mass and Pope Benedict XVI passed by in his pope-mobile really close and so I got a good close picture of him. After mass, I got some souvenirs and then headed to the San Giovanni church which would be my last stop while in Rome. The church was really pretty and the way the sun shined in made it seem so much more majestic.
|Pope Benedict XVI|
I’m definitely going to have to come back to Rome again, hope that coin in the Trevi Fountain brings me back!
|Inside the San Giovanni church, my favorite picture from Italy b/c of the intensity|