ahhhhhh, Rome! I’ve been dreaming of it. Waterfalls, shouts in Italian across the piazza, street musicians and performers, ancient beautiful structures, coffee as everyone is scurrying about starting the day, people buzzing around on scooters on cobblestone streets, heat rising from the sidewalks and waterfalls around every corner, the smell of baking bread and the grime of summer, cool gelato beckoning you in from the windows, fresh hand made pasta at night, couples strolling under the lights, the silhouette of the colosseum swelling into the night sky, vibrant and heartfelt music floating across the balmy air and the jingle of coins being tossed into it’s makers basket! In Rome we stayed at an ancient Inn that backed up to the crumbles of what was once the metropolis of Rome; we could look out our upstairs window across white sheets and see the very old stones that had once held a colorful and thriving center of the city, one we could only imagine. The Inn was just a beautiful wall on the outside, but once you rang in and they opened the gate, there was a luscious courtyard full of palms and old statues and little waterfalls. Off of  the piazza were the doorways that lead to big, old, rooms full of paintings, sculptures, elegant carved furniture, strange chandeliers, and all kinds of lovely art, I sort of wanted to just creep around staying cool and taking it all in, for hours. When the attendant let me in to a secret room to use the restroom there I took a very long time making my way back in oder to take in all of this hidden beauty. To my embarrassment he was still waiting there politely, so that he could lock it back up. I apologized uncomfortably in English and he said it was ok in Italian along with hand motions. We had taken a night train to get to Rome, as we sort of squeezed this destination in and only had a day and a half in the city. We were very tired when we arrived, so we found a little cafe and met some new friends from Australia. Then we headed back to our hotel for a good nap, where a flat bed seemed like the best luxury of all! Once we felt rested enough we got dressed and set out to see the city!

Wow. Can you believe that? There it all is! I couldn’t have imagined it! There is something extra magical about seeing images of a place a million times your entire life and thinking of it as a tourist trap and a bit cheesy, but when you walk around the corner of the avenue and see it, in real life, in all it’s glory, you are suddenly taken aback and over whelmed by its beauty and realness! Can you believe that this is all real, that people really lived here, that so much history has happened here? Those thoughts seemed to be running circles in my mind. It all seemed so normal, but so surreal, these signs of people walking this earth just like us, thousands of years ago! It was a close call of nearly not making it in, the lady at the entrance shook her head apologetically trying to explain a detail with the ticket we had seemingly missed and signaling that it was nearly closing time, which we hadn’t realized, but we let out a breath of relief when another lady had mercy on us and said come on through! And we walked through these old streets and past beautiful remnants as the sun was low in the sky and just took it all in!

Late night fresh made pasta, a little bottle of vino, and a view!

Trevi fountain was maybe my very favorite place of all in Rome, because of the sheer beauty of the lovely water in the hot, ruddy toned square. The water running over the marble and reflecting up on the faces of the statues, just drew you in and made you want to stay. A travel tip that I would certainly do for next time, is to get up early and see this first thing in the day. There is an insane hot, sweaty mass of people pushing their way to the edge of the pool and the constant shrill whistles of police when tourists try anything too crazy that might harm the fountain which is actually quite entertaining to watch –  police whistling and waving there arms about, totally oblivious tourist, more whistling and waving, confused tourist looking all around, with the look across their face “are they talking to me?” So the best strategy here for a more serene experience would be to beat the crowds, since it is a public landmark!

I was just in love with the colors of Rome! The color palette is just inspiring and made me happy. It matched all the gelato I ate there. I stopped to take pictures of the colors and textures of the walls and an fellow tourist, and older Asian man, saw me and he looked so bewildered, like, is that girl crazy? Is that a special wall? Maybe it’s significant? Maybe I should I be taking a photo too?  Haha, nope, I just love the colors!

We were meeting my friend Katie while we were there, but we thought we’d quickly walk over to the Vatican which was a few miles away and didn’t seem like to far. We followed our directions on apple maps down little colorful allies and we saw the most tempting gelato place where they were hand making gelato from fresh fruit and hunks of chocolate bigger than your face and fresh lavender flowers. We determined we’d get some on the way back if there was time, but we lost our way on the way back, and just as we were about to give upon it we looked up and there it was! The best gelato of my life, I wish I’d had four!

Ok, the Pantheon was just sooo cool.  You have to read about the construction to truly appreciate how amazing it is. They haven’t built anything quite like it since, and it’s over 2000 years old! There is a skylight in the top, which is open air, and there is an amazing drainage system for when it rains, the rain comes right in on the marble floors and drains out! Look at all those hands reaching up to take a photo. Ha, tourists are crazy animals. Of course, my hands were among them!

Blurry photos of me and my honey by the colosseum! I’ll forever treasure these!

Afternoon treat! I have no idea what as in this drink, but I think it may have been the best coffee of my whole life. In Italy they use icee machines to make this creamy coffee drink and it is heavenly! I wish we could have that in America!

Good bye Rome! We had a good time in you. May we meet again one day!