Next stop, Rome! We hop off the plane and realized one of the couples (Marcy and Hugo) that took the same taxi at 4am from Barcelona was on the same Groupon package deal we had. So when we landed in Rome we all grabbed a taxi to our next hotel. When we traveled by taxi it just felt like we were in Rome. It’s so European with its narrow streets and elegant buildings. It still holds its old roots through the hand-carved architecture on every block. We heard the beautiful Italian accents and we knew this was the place we’d been waiting to see. We checked into our hotel at Hotel Delle Muse. This was our best accommodation yet and our most humble hotel. The hotel was so small and old-fashioned. They had an elevator that was so tiny, we all had to wait our turn to use it. We put the bags up with one person, and the other person had to wait for it to come back down again. You had to meet your bags upstairs. After getting situated, we grabbed lunch with Marcy and Hugo. We walked through the neighborhood of the hotel and stumbled upon some nice restaurants. Real authentic pizza on every block, not the cheap stuff, the actual fresh, doughy pizza. We stopped at a nice one called Ristorante Pizzeria because it was the only one open. We sat outside to enjoy the weather and the ambience of being in Rome. We were super gitty to be here. While we ate we met a Rasta man who was selling nice hand drums.He came over to chat with us, but he only knew Italian and French. Luckily I (Alethea) knew french, so I could translate. We told him we couldn’t buy the drums because we had no space in the luggage. (On a pas d’espace dans nos baggages pour les drums. Je suis desole.) He chatted with us for a bit and asked us where we were from and told us he was from Africa. After trying to haggle a bit more, we parted ways with one love and he left with a smile. We finished our pizza and strolled through the neighborhood listening to Jaden Smith Right Now. We came upon a park that had a really nice view of the city. We grabbed a drink from the fresh water that ran from an elegant drinking fountain and headed back.
The next morning we wake up to light shining through the french doors of our patio. We head downstairs to breakfast only to be disappointed again. Choices: fruit, cucumbers, salami, ham and many different types of cold meat, stale cereal, tea, cappuccino, hot chocolate, baguettes, croissants. We went with the croissant and jam with tea and fruit. Yan decided to make cucumber and tomato sandwiches to go. Seems like turkey doesn’t exist in Europe or China, is it just an American thing? We took a taxi to go down to book tickets for the Colosseum with Marcy and Hugo. Hugo never wanted to take our money for the taxi, he was a humble man and a huge blessing on our trip. We made it and we are in awe of the sites. Our tickets are booked, we bought a skip the line 2-day guided tour of the colosseum, the Palatine and the vatican. First up,the colloseum. We were amazed we were here with these old buildings that have been here since around 80 AD and are still standing! Its the oldest part of the city. We tour around and listen to the history. We all know this is where the gladiators would put on a show for the emperor and fight animals to the death for everyone to see. It was once apartments for people and could once hold 50,000 people. So we learned cool some facts and were amazed it was still standing and we were inside. We then walked across to the Palatine where the romans lived in immacualate palaces made of many types of marble. I just can’t believe they built these buildings with marble by hand, that’s blood, sweat and tears type of work. We tour around, try to video call some friends and family
(it didn’t work) and just wallowed in the scenery for hours after the tour to soak in all of the history. Of course we had to have a mini photoshoot. The clouds got dark, so we decided to stroll through making our way back.
We grabbed some food at a nice Italian restaurant and we could see the Colloseum right out of the window, very romantic. Arugula pasta and pizza. It was amazing, we couldn’t get enough of their food. The dark clouds bring in the rain and it’s pouring outside. The street sellers came out with raincoats, they already knew the rain was coming, they were prepared for every occasion. Outside the colliesium they were just selling selfie sticks. Totally unprepared for the rain, we step outside the restaurant, stand under a bit of shelter and gaze at the site as we wait in line for a taxi. We head home, rest up and get ready to hit the town.
Yan and I go down to Piazza Novana because we heard that was the party scene. We hop out of the taxi unsure of where to go so we just start walking and found many people walking to this particular area, so we follow. Turns out, we made it to an alley of bars, then one alley turned into the next, and then the next and so on and so forth. We grab a drink in a couple of the bars and what you do is, grab a drink and walk around and meet people, you don’t hang out in the bar you hang out in the alley and walk from bar to bar. We did that for a few hours, grabbed some food, a nice vegan flat bread sandwich it was amazing! We would be fat if we stayed here. We ran into our rasta friend and snagged some free bracelets! We then continued to walk through the crowd trying to find the party, plus we got cold. We asked some people, they didn’t know English, then finally after getting lost a few times we found someone who spoke a little and they told us where to go. After 30 minutes of searching the area(probably going in circles) we crossed the bridge and saw the beautiful site of the fountain, we took a picture like a normal tourist would. Stopped at a bar there where there were American flags everywhere, Beyonce’s Single Ladies was playing and a lot of drunk people. We walked out the bar and as we stroll through trying to find a club scene this guy gave us a flyer for this club. He took us there, we got to the front to his friend and we got free entry, payed 10 Euros for 1 shot and a beer but unlimited drinks for the night. We hit the jackpot. There was a karaoke room, a dance room, the bar and a boom boom room (freaky stuff went down in there). We had a great time! Met some people a guy from Egypt and a girl from Ireland in the bathroom, we all share the bathrooms in Europe, so we all had a long chat there. We even met some Indian Americans from Silver Spring, MD. After a long night of partying until 4am , we headed back( we had to make up for missing the party scene in Barcelona lol).
The next day, we woke up at around 10am and packed cucumber sandwiches and croissants and headed to the spot to meet our tour group with Marcy and Hugo. The line wrapped all the way around the outside for blocks. We were happy we booked the skip the line tickets. We met J.R. who was in our group, he was from San Francisco in town for work, an Engineering conference, something about creating robots to help in the ocean. Anyway, after waiting for about 30 minutes, talking to different people, we got our headsets and were ready for the guided tour of the Vatican. Being as though, Yan grew up in a Catholic church and I went to a Catholic high school for my last 2 years in high school we were curious to see where it all came from (we aren’t Catholic). The art of the place was amazing and really old, the marble statues were perfectly hand carved, the designs and paintings were rich, the meaning behind them is what we wanted to know. Some of the art was really suspect. One picture looked like the KKK, little kids naked with old men, the symbolism behind the art was truly something to think about. We got to the Egyptian part, and stopped to really observe the art that was taken from Egypt. We ended up losing our group, it was packed and we wanted to spend more time here. After we saw, we tried to get back to our group and wanted to take a short cut, but the guards wouldn’t allow, so we had to walk all the way back to where we came from and fight through the crowd. It was hot and muggy in there. We gave up on trying to meet up with them again. So we slowed down to look at all of the art. It got to a point where we wanted to get to the end, it was hot and there was some disturbing images in there at times. After an hour and a half we end up at the sisteen chapel and you aren’t allowed to take photos, they yell put the cameras away. People took pictures anyway on the sly. It was immaculate and held many messages it seemed, these artists told a story and sent messages through their art. We were overwhelmed by it all.
We got out and luckily we ran into J.R. again through the many people. We took some photos and then decided to get food! Walking through the crowds of people, across the bridge, taking pictures in between and passing priests every few blocks, we made it to a nice pizza place. Honestly, any place is good in Italy it seems good. We had a lovely lunch sitting outside the restaurant, eating seafood pasta, pizza and tall ones(draft beer) talking about life goals when we realized we could spend all night talking. J.R., Yan and I walked to Piazza Novana to see the sites during the day, live performances and the whole atmosphere. We ran into a nice dome full of art the Old Dome(Pantheon), it was super old, it had a hole in the roof where light shines and rain falls to wash away the animal sacrifices. The floors had many different types of marble from Tunisia, Egypt and other places.
We chilled out on the steps of the Old Dome, listened to music and decided to walk to JR’s airbnb which wasn’t too far. It was in the city(the shabby part) it was still nice, picked up shoes on the way from a street vendor on the way. Best place to get cheap quality Italian looking shoes. J.R. changed up and we all headed to our hotel up north(suburb) side. We hung out listened to Willow, Jaden, Little Dragon and Legendary Cloud 9. We got dressed, called some girls from Sweden that we met earlier and met down in Piazza Novana. We got drinks, listened to music from Sweden and Jaden’s Right Now (we all vibed to this song) on Yan’s bluetooth speaker and vibed out through the streets of Rome, exploring, taking pictures, laughing and talking. It was like one of those travel movies about twenty-somethings traveling in Rome. We hung out all night walking and drinking. The girls bought burgers and ate, they’d been traveling Europe for 2 months, after graduating from getting their masters. We talked about education and the pros and cons of Europe vs. America. They were hurting from their economy, getting jobs and we were hurting from the student loan crisis. We put the worries to the side and enjoyed each others company. It was like we all met before and we were reunited. After the long night of exploring the city streets in the late night, passing all the vintage buildings and sites, it was time to go our separate ways. We didn’t want to go, we held out for longer until finally it was time, that was what traveling is all about. 5am we said our goodbyes and everyone grabbed a taxi. We headed back just to pack and take a train at 9am to our next destination, Florence, which was a whole adventure in itself. Rome was the best city. It exceeded our expectations and the food! Amazing, we loved every minute! Who has been to Rome? We’d love to hear what it was like for you.
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Hotel Delle Muse Review:
This was a lovely hotel, it was in a cute little neighborhood with a lot of greenery and scenery. We had long french windows that opened up onto the patio which had a table and chairs and nice flooring. At night you you can lock the window doors and there was an extra door to close for privacy. The rooms were clean and neat. The bed was comfortable and the room was spacious. The bathroom was spacious as well, clean and nice hot water. Breakfast was served daily for free. We enjoyed our stay here.