Today was sooooooooooooooooooo cooooooooooooooool.
Rome is freakin' AWESOME. I was going to skip Rome cause I'd heard all these stories of people getting their money stolen and yada yada yada. Turns out it's actually just fine if you've got your wits about you and don't do silly things like leave your wallet in your back pocket or take photos without checking to see if there are creepy weirdos about. Kinda usual stuff you should do when traveling in any really big city anyway. So no worries. Rome is freakin' AWESOME.
Note that the above explanation is for 2 reasons: 1) I am acutally surprised that Rome isn't scary after the random stories I've heard and 2) My parents/sister worry about me a lot. So the above paragraph is really for them exclusively. That said, if you're scared to come to Rome, don't just say "Bugger It!" As I have found out quite quickly, Rome IS AWESOME.
Anyhoo, today I did like a gazillion things.
I started first at the supermarket, which rocks. Also I have a kitchen and a fridge and it rocks. So Rome is expensive for the hostel, but I'll be spending waaaaaaaay less on food so that is great.
Then I went to the Piazza de Santa Maria Maggiore and ate some breakfast and it rocked. Then off down Via in Selci and into a nice Church. Then past the Parco de Triaino, and past the Colloseum! I then went first to the area near the Forum, checked out the Arco de Tito (Titus' arch) which was cool to see, it shows Rome's conquering of Jerusalem. In my guidebook it said that in the past Roman Jews didn't pass under the arch since it represents the start of the diaspora. Cool history here. So then I went to the Palatino, the old area where the rich people used to live and Augustus and his wife had their palaces. It was cool, we saw the place where they say Romulus founded the city of Rome. Also we saw the house of Nero and Circus Maximus. I went on a guided tour which was really good and much more interesting than just doing the tour on my own.
From there I got some food and something to drink because it was like 30 degrees in Rome today. Crazy. Then I went off to the Colloseum and did the awesome thing my Lonely Planet told me to do... skip the entire huge waiting line and just use my combined Palatino and Colloseum ticket, since I went to the Palatino first. Sweet!!
At the Colloseum I met a cute girl named Sue from Canada while waiting for the guided tour of the Colloseum. She said it wasn't a super good tour, but she'd just done it and was off to the Forum. I tried to help her find it on the map and I think sortof pointed her in the right direction. Good times. Anyway, yeah she was really cute, hehe. Maybe I'll run into her again. :)
Then I took off on the tour of the Colloseum, and it was a bit more frantic than the one at the Palatino, but still cool to hear some of the history of the place. Sooooooo crazy. There was a reconstruction of some of the wooden floor in the Colloseum, and you can also see all the rooms below the floor which housed the gladiators and the beasts that sometimes they would fight in the Colloseum. Crazy stuff. I heard that they actually flooded the arena sometimes too to run mock water battles. Man that is nuts. It was REALLY cool to see the Colloseum and to get a history lesson at the same time.
After that I took off down to see the Forum, and then walked down the big shopping street called Via del Corso. I found a Zara and finally bought that sweet stripey shirt I've been trying on every few weeks at different Zara stores. Awesome. I saw a bunch of other random cool stuff and then went to the Trevi Fountain. I threw in my 2 cents (literally) over my left shoulder as you are supposed to!! I then got a gelato which roooocked. After that I went to the Spanish Steps which were cool, but were really just steps. :) Fun times though. After that I finally started to make the walk back to my hostel. I got some groceries for 11 Euros and that will be all my dinners for 3 nights, and breakfasts too!! Sooooo good and soooo cheap to finally have a grocery store, a fridge and a good kitchen that works. Excellent. I made myself some gnocci with pesto sauce, olives, and also I had a peach and some cherries.
So that is my fantastic first day in Rome!!!!!!!!!! Man it is awesome here. Tomorrow I am going to go to the Jewish ghetto and then to a bunch of the other major sights. Monday I am going to go to the Vatican museum and St. Paul's Cathedral and so on.
Ok now for the photos.
Amazing clouds this morning
Piazza de Santa Maria Maggiore
Funny shirt things that people had to wear in the church if they had bare arms!!
Super awesome tree
Me at the Colloseum!!!!!!!!
This is soooo coool
Amazing pic of the Arc de Constantine
Arc de Tito
See the sculpture of the menorah
Walking in Nero's house
Ancient city where huts used to be in Rome
Our tour guide explaining the design that the walls had
Private gardens in the Palatino
Awesome tree again
Big open area in the Palatine
In the Palatine museum
Reconstruction of what the huts looked like
Cool tree again
Me at the Palatine
Inside the Colloseum
Colloseum floor and rooms below the floor
Reconstruction of the wooden floor
Hilarious dudes dressed up as Romans
Me in the Colloseum
Another cool pic of the Colloseum
Colloseum from the outside
In the Forum
More Roman Forum
More Roman Forum
Place where I got coffee
Chucking my 2 cents into the Trevi Fountain
Me at the Trevi Fountain
Another pic of the Trevi Fountain
Walking along the river
More Spanish Steps
Me on the Spanish Steps
Sculpture of Moses
Haha "Stop Here"... I totally didn't, haha