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Janet’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 25 Jul 2006

Location: ROME (last night), Italy

MapWell these last 4 days have gone by in a blur of history and culture! Mel and I have learnt so much whilst staying in Rome its been amazing and a real eye opener!

So our first afternoon here we walked through the Roman Forum- the same place where the body of Julius Ceasar was burnt and where millions of millions of people have walked through for over 200 centuries and now we were standing in the same spot!!! And of course we checked out the Colosseum. Then we walked up to some building that Michellangelo designed and is now a museum before walking down to the amazing Monument of Victory. Then it was a quick stop at a supermarket and yet ANOTHER pizza for dinner! I cant stand the sight of pizza anymore!!!

The second day we walked ALL ALL around Rome! We started off with St Peters at 7am! It was great because we could get photos without crowds in them! Then we walked down to Castel St. Angelo and across the bridge to Piazza Navona with its lovely fountains. Then it was across to the amazing Pantheon where we stopped again for gelato this time! Then it was across to Palazza Montecitorio and into a shopping center to escape the heat!! We stayed here quite a bit before getting dinner which was of course PIZZA (this was the last time for Rome thank goodness!) By then we'd run out of steam so went back to the hostel but later on that night we went to the Colosseum to check it out at night which was really cool of course and a lot of other people were doing the same too! It was whilst we were going back to our hostel that we dicovered how dirty and foul Rome actually is with rubbish dumped absolutely EVERYWHERE and lots and lots of drunks, beggars and bums everywhere as well. Me and Mel were REALLY glad to get back to the hostel after that!

Yesterday we went back to the Vatican city to go to the Vatican museum but when we got to the museum the line was MASSIVE, absolutely crazy so we decided not to do that and ended up tagging along with a free guide around St Peters again. This time we got SO much more information and insight into what everything was and was it represented and why it was where it was and the history behind it and who made it. Everything suddenly had meaning and we apppreciated about 200 times more!!! It was like reading a Dan Brown book and discovering all the secret meanings and symbols and codes!!! Because the tour was so good we decided to go with the same guide on a tour of the Sistine Chapel which was amazing. I now know A LOT more about the history of Rome, the artists at the time, the styles and techniques and the life stories of the artists- so well worth it! That took a whole day so we just trecked back to the hostel full of information!

Today Mel and I spent yet another full day out walking around Rome. Whilst Mel went into the Colosseum I went back to the Vatican to use their postal service to send postcards before going back to Piazza Nuova and the Pantheon again (which also had more meaning thanks to the tour). I then met up with Mel again and the two of us walked across the river to the Santa Maria Trastevere which was amazingly decorated, with LOTS of gold!!! We then climbed a massive hill to get a beautiful view of the city where there was also a HUGE fountain where we splashed around in to the amusement of others there :) After that we went to the St. Maria Cosemedin where the 'bocca' is located- the big stone face with a hole in the mouth for you to put your hand in it, know what Im talking about? Then it was yet more walking past the old Roman circus and then a metro to the Spanish steps and Trevi fountain before FINALLY walking back to the hostel. ANd all this was done in like 37 degree heat, are we die-hard tourists or what!!! Luckily there are FREE water fountains all around Italy or me and Mel would be broke.

Tomorrow Mel and I head off early to the Amalfi coast which should help us in escaping the heat. If its anything like the Cinque Terre it should be absolutely amazing! We cant wait!!! Hopefully I'll be able to put up photos real soon!

Well thats all for now for the Italian Adventures of Janet and Mel so until the next update!