Thursday, December 16

it began and ended in rome

Once upon a time (July 29, 2010) I quit my job of three years...and then flew to Italy for a month (October, 2010). The plan was to take several culinary and wine courses in Florence (Firenze, for you locals) and travel out from there on the weekends. In theory, we essentially accomplished that. In practice, there were a few more adventures hidden for us to find along the way.
Yes, I realize it's mid-December, and I'm just now getting to this whole Italy thing on the blog. I think I've been in denial that I'm back in the States. That...and I'm the slowest processor this side of the Atlantic. So much to mentally sort out! Where do I even start?
Let's began and ended in Rome...

Actually it began with us waiting half an hour until 11pm at the Fiumincino Airport just outside of Rome for our hostel owner to "shuttle" us over as promised. Rome's Broken Promise numero uno. We took a taxi. 
I turned on my borrowed Italian cell phone for the first time in the cab, paid the driver, stepped out onto the curb, and realized as that taxi drove off that I no longer had the cell phone. Insert minor conniption fit here. 

Good thing we only had to take this elevator up five stories with our body-sized suitcases.

Erica for size comparison
And really good thing the Alice in Wonderland Hostel actually had the room we reserved waiting for us. During our three-night stay, three different individuals showed up WITH reservations, only to be told by the owner, "Sorry, we don't have a room for you right now." One young girl ended up staying on a spare mattress in the corner of the community kitchen, with a large painted canvas blocking her in for some privacy (seen below, right). And the only thing to greet us in the kitchen was an empty bottle of Acqua Di Gio and a half a bottle of Scotch Whiskey. Yes, we here at Spidatter like to travel classy

And whoever said Rome could not be conquered in a day was absolutely took two. We had three nights planned in Rome, and then a pre-booked train ride to Florence, where we would be staying for the majority of three weeks.

I think now would be an appropriate time to give Rick Steves a shout out. YOU DA MAN, RICK! He faithfully lead us...everywhere. Including the Plaza named after me :)

Excerpt from an email to Mom on Day #2:
"Made it back at the hostel. 
Finally saw the owner who said we get a discount because "breakfast included" ended up being a lie. [Rome's Broken Promise numero due!]
Still a late start but saw Vatican City, St. Peter's Basillica and the Sistine Chapel. Felt nauseous all day, but Erica talked me into a Coca-Cola Light (sounds classier than Diet, right?), and it helped enough that we stayed out the rest of the day! During lunch, some guys at a nearby table turned out to be tour guides who spoke phenomenal English and overheard us trying to plan out our afternoon. They gave us a few suggestions..."

Google Borghese Gardens. Hopefully someone on the Interweb was able to take better pictures of it than I was. I was busy watching the sun set over Rome...with close to 50 teenage couples making out around us. Awesome.

We then walked down Via del Corso and Via Condotti which are kind of like mini Italian Rodeo Drives (Prada, Gucci, and other things no one should afford). 

Completely missed out on this historic current event (oxymoron...?).

And I think it's safe to say that the Roman emperor's club motto was, "Go big or go home": 

Pretty sure they were overcompensating for something. 

Rome is a hot, chaotic mess of a city. I promise you the pictures in the remaining Italian posts are SO MUCH more fun to look at.
Stay tuned for more from the Italian diaries...Cinque Terre, Florence, Lucca, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi...


Bridget said...

ohhhhhhhhh i cant wait for more. though i might cry a little.

Justine said...

finally. love this, you write so well my dear

Allie said...

Aw, the Borghese Gardens! So fun. I miss the craziness of Rome. Freaking crazy city.

Lynn said...

gosh i love Italy, favorite place i've ever been for sure. i totally understand the hold off on posting, it's daunting when you want to pay respects to something that means so much, but how do you pull it off without taking the people by the hand there to see for themselves. you did a bang up job on this post & i look forward to seeing the follow-ups too.

girl, have to say, that elevator pic is super funny! and super cute! ♥

pea ess: happy to see you entered the giveaway, i'm excited to be able to do my 1st one and to show appreciation for wonderful readers/like-minded girls (like YOU!) xo

Elle said...

I 100% depended on Rick Steves too! He is the MAN.

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