Thursday, October 7

{ Italia: Rome }

Ciao to friends and family faithfully checking Spidatter by the hour (...Mom & Dad ;) in hopes of an Italian update! We are safe. We are sound. We are also going to be broke soon. But we are in Italy!
More specifically, Florence now, but I'll back track a but to catch you up to speed on the last week's adventures...

The maddening chaos of Rome is frightening in and of itself, UNLESS you decide before landing in Fiumicino Airport that you are going to tackle it. And win.
Being the fearless gladiators that we are, allow us to borrow an old phrase that I'm sure no one has ever used in a blog post about Rome before: Veni, vidi, vici! ("I came, I saw, I conquered!"...for those who never had the joy of being in one of Dr. O's unrivaled Latin classes)...
Did my magic Italian cell phone (which my friend's mom had graciously loaned me) disappear THE SECOND I stepped out of our taxi from the airport? Why yes...yes it did.

Our hostel in Rome was called 'Alice in Wonderland.' Cute, eh? But don't idealize it in your mind too much...if you Google it, just know that I have nooooo clue where they took those pictures of the rooms, but they are NOT from our hostel.
That experience can best be summed up by noting that during our three-night stay, three different individuals showed up WITH reservations, only to be told, "Sorry, no rooms" an apologetic, but still oddly chipper owner.
Boy did we luck out...and by luck out, I mean we got a bed...and a croissant one of the mornings.

And whoever said Rome couldn't be conquered in a day was took two. Thanks to Julie Sharer for loaning me hands down the best guide book on the planet (Rick Steves'!)...Rick helped us navigate Ancient Rome (the Colosseum, Forum, Palatine Hill, Capitoline Hill, Pantheon, a dozen gorgeous domed churches...) as well as Vatican City, where even my second time around the Sistine Chapel took my breath away. As did St. Peter's Basillica...that place is crazy big.
Weather was fantastico...70s with scattered clouds...huge blessing, seeing how hot weather can really make or break a place like Rome for me.

We followed Rick's suggestions for lunch and I had the best Muscat I've ever had...then we failed to follow him for dinner the same night, wherein we had the worst wine I've ever tasted. You get what you pay for.

Truly all natural Gelato is a treat. We found a winner with softer colors, so less dyes and sugar...I had apple and pear for my first Gelato combo in Italy and there is no turning back for me now.

We've been asked more often than not if we are Spanish. Helps that Erica speaks a little Espanol...and I'm a speed demon with my pocket dictionary now (thanks Leah!)...

The "Ciao, bellas!" seem to be either we're getting uglier, or just beginning to ignore the unwanted cat calls. And note to Mom and Dad: We have both been steadfast with our "mean faces" and are excellent at avoiding eye contact with unwanted admirers. We both have black leather jackets which we wear nightly, and I like to think they help with our badass "dont mess with us" image.

We are in Florence week into our culinary and wine course. To die for. But that is all for another time.
We are off to the heavenly Cinque Terre beach towns by early train tomorrow morning! I could not be more excited.
Grazi for all of your prayers, thoughts, and emails/Facebook messages. It means so much.
Ciao ciao!

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Ahn said...

so happy that you are happy and having a wonderful time. the worst thing to worry about (i know this sounds stupid) is money when you are abroad. it can make your time there a drag... i mean, don't go into debt, but you wouldn't be on this adventure if that were a possibility. all that to say enjoy yourself, which is sounds like you are having no trouble doing. miss you!!!

Allie said...

I was soooo overwhelmed when I was in Rome. Such a crazy hectic place. So I'm glad you "conquered" it :)

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