This weekend was my opportunity to fulfill all my Lizzie McGuire dreams. Our school had scheduled a weekend trip to Rome where we left from Florence at 6:30 am Saturday morning and returned by 7:30 pm on Sunday night. Though in the last two days I have not slept and have walked more than my feet could really handle, it has been an extremely eventful and fun weekend. We had to meet at the bus station at 6:30 which meant waking up at 5:30. I have never seen Florence at 5:30 but she is the quietest I have ever seen her. The trip to Rome is about 3 hours and by the time we got there everyone had slept and was ready to go about exploring. Once we reached the hotel we were given the opportunity to either follow our program directors on a walking tour to see some of the main attractions in Rome or go about our day on our own.
My friends and I really wanted to see the Sistine Chapel and knew that the wait would be longer so we decided to hop on the metro to the chapel. The metros in Rome were very clean, efficient, and easy to navigate. Once we got to the chapel we had to wait in line for about one and a half hours. And though that dampened our spirits, walking around the Vatican museums and seeing The chapel made it all worthwhile. Seeing all the artwork, lots of which I have spent so much time learning about in class, was just incredible. And seeing the chapel itself was really breathtaking and worth all the wait. Once we left the museums we decided to grab lunch, recuperate, and go on our own walking tour of the city.
In reality we had a dream to create a wonderful Lizzie McGuire music video and had to see the sites to film our scenes. Though we did not find our Paolo to take us on a vespa tour of Rome, seeing the main attractions and just wandering the streets of Rome was so much fun. Rome is very crowded, though the streets are wider than Florence and it is a bigger city, in the areas with the Trevi Fountain or the Parthenon, there is so much hustling and it can get overwhelming. But I think being open minded and walking around while remembering to appreciate that we are in Rome and finding little corners to turn into made it all worth it. By 9:00 we decided to pick up some pizza to go and return to the hotel to sit on the terrace and just appreciate the night. We all ended up walking around more and only sleeping by 3:00 am, which was unfortunate seeing as we had to wake up by 6:30 am the next day to go on our guided tours that the school had set up for us.
Needless to say, the start of the day was very hard, but once we got to the Colosseum, again, everything seemed worthwhile. Our tour took us through the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. It was just very interesting and fun to see all the ancient architecture. I know that everywhere I look in Italy I’m seeing ancient architecture and that all of it contains so much history but I guess since we all learn so much about Rome and the buildings that I got to see, it gave it a different meaning. After the tour we were left to our own devices.
For for my group of friends this meant food and wandering around more. We ended up walking towards to Tiber River and just enjoying a little park while eating gelato. We had to meet back at the hotel by 3:30 and we were a 40 min walk from the hotel so slowly we made our way back while still stopping and enjoying the different buildings and architecture we saw everywhere. Though we were completely exhausted and running on 3 hours of sleep, I think this was one of my favorite trips I have taken since coming to Italy. Though there is so much to see in Rome and we did not get to see everything, it was a nice change of pace and a great way to relax us before midterms start up at Accademia.