Thursday, 6 August 2015

Day 1 - Getting lost in Rome

So I started my trip by landing in Rome at 6.30 in the morning. I'm still amazed that I was smart enough to spoil myself with two weeks in Italy to begin my adventures. I'd forgotten how much I like this city, and this country. Rome is one of my favourite places to be - not one of my favourite cities, one of that handful of special places that I fell in love with - but one of my favourite places to visit. I could quite happily spend the rest of my life dropping by Rome - never actually spending so much as a whole week here and seeing all the sites, but simply taking a day or two here and there and just wandering through the streets. Rome is beautiful like that.

I checked into my hostel and changed into shorts first thing. It's 30-something degrees and very sunny here in Rome, almost unbearably hot for being outdoors. I headed out again to go to the bank and electronics shop - neither my European bank card nor my camera are working, so all photos in today's post are courtesy of my smartphone (until I get everything working again).

Even though I ate on the plane, I love Italian food, so I stopped into a cafe for a proper Italian breakfast. A cornetto a la crema is like a croissant filled with lemon cream, and with a top-notch small cappucino and some fresh pulpy orange juice, it's only €3,50. From there I caught the metro north from Roma Termini station up to Piazza Espagna, where the Spanish Steps are. There's a fountain in front of the steps, and turns out you can drink from it, so I queued up to have a mouthful of fresh, clear Italian water.

Spanish Steps
The fountain
Drinking from it
From there I meanderingly zig-zagged my way south, stopping at churches, palaces, obelisks, and a 50% off bikini sale (hey, if you were this hard to fit into undergarments then you'd be excited about cute new bathers too). Eventually I ended up at the Pantheon again, where I bought water and mint gelato for lunch.

The Pantheon exterior
From the Pantheon I wended a slow way back towards the hostel to walk off the gelato, since it was much hotter than my body was used to and I hadn't had much sleep since leaving Australia, so I was probably more tired than I felt. The girls in my hostel room have all been great - me, an Argentinian, a Brazilian and a Russian - so we all decided to stay in to chat and have an early night. I completely conked out around 11, so I think it's safe to say the jet lag hit!

One of the streets off Via del Corso
I see this everywhere and I love it - 'SPQR' is an acronym for the Latin 'Senatus populusque romani' - the senate and people of Rome.

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