Thursday, August 30, 2012

Embracing the Tacky Fanny-Pack-Wearing-Map-Consulting-Camera-Toting Tourist Inside Me

Today was a tourist kind of day. It began rather nicely by sleeping in until noon. How. Lovely. I haven't been able to sleep in since I've been here. Because we open the windows and doors to keep the apartment cool at night, that means that come morning, all the sounds and lights of day come freely into the apartment, hence making it difficult to sleep past 9. Somehow today we managed though and it was wonderful! We left the apartment an hour before we were supposed to be at the university to meet up for a bus tour. But, as we've learned over the past couple days the public transportation system in Rome is very unreliable. So we ended up standing at the bus stop waiting for the bus to show for about 35 minutes. In short though, we did make it to the university with a little time to spare.

Our afternoon was spent on the bus tour, where we saw several impressive sites such as...
a pyramid that was a burial monument for the first king of Italy (i think?)

the Baths of Caracalla

Rome's Unknown Soldier Monument. Un-affectionately known by Romans as the "wedding cake"

an old castle/fortress that used to be used as a refuge for the Pope in times of danger. there used to be a tunnel leading from the Vatican straight to here.

where Caesar was assassinated (sorry for the poor quality, I just couldn't resist posting this!)

St. Peter's Basilica! 

After the bus tour, we were dropped off at the one, the only, the Colosseum! It was great! We met up with our same great tour guide from yesterday and headed into the Colosseum! Unfortunately, halfway through the tour, the Colosseum took another victim when my camera died. Womp womp. After the great tour of the Colosseum we continued through the Roman Forum which was magnificent! 
The Colosseum

Constantine's Arch - composed of different pieces taken from various significant structures in Rome

After finishing the tour, some girls and I hopped on a bus to go find some dinner. We ended up in an adorable little restaurant in Trastevere where we ordered from a pre-set menu for students consisting of mixed bruschetta (one mushroom, one zucchini, one tomato), a spicy pasta dish, finishing off with tirimasu all with a lovely glass of wine! Surprisingly, this was my first pasta, bruschetta and wine since I got to Rome! And it was all wonderful! After dinner we hopped onto the tram and were back home within minutes! All in all it was a good day! It really was good to get over to the Rome across the Tiber and see all of these classic Rome sights! I can't believe this is only my third day here, it feels like I've been here for weeks! I guess I really am settling in.

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