Daytrip to Florence!
We got up bright and early (actually it wasn’t even bright yet) and hopped a train to Florence. Thankfully it was an express train, so we didn’t have to deal with kicking anyone out of our seats. It was an interesting trainride nonetheless. (That nun really should have gotten out the bathroom sooner)
Florence was beautiful and bustling with people, art, bridges, the Duomo…but only one David.
A little while later, I caught a cab back to the train station and took the first train back to Rome, my home sweet home.
After resting for a while, we got all dolled up again and went out to an exclusive club, the Art Cafe. Our connections pulled through for us and we were able to get in since our names were on the list. It was pretty amazing, I’ve never been to such a club.
Giuliangela and I went to Galleria Borghese today. I am no art expert, I just can’t help it when Bernini’s sculptures turns me on. You’ve never seen real art until you’ve seen Bernini’s sculptures of Greek mythology. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures of them, so you’ll just have to go there someday yourself.
After all that art, we walked around Villa Borghese, which is kinda the Central Park of Rome. It was such a beautiful day and such a beautiful place!
Next, we walked down the Spanish Steps, which was crowded with people. It was a truley Roman day. When we got to the bottom, I went to the fountain and got some fresh water to drink. Then we made our way back to the Tiziano, stopping at the Pantheon on the way.
That night, we got all dressed up and went out with our girlfriends and our Swiss Guards. Later, we went to a party at the loft of some Iowa State students. Let me just say that we had a little too much fun! 😉
As tradition dictates, Giuliangela and I must go out and see something amazing because it’s Wednesday. So we went to Tiber Island and walked across Tiber River.
Next, we made our way to the Mouth of Truth. You have to make a statement and then stick your hands in mouth. Legend has it that if you tell a lie, your hand will be bitten off!! Needless to say, we both still have both of our hands.
Then we headed on past Circus Maximus up Aventine Hill to see the Key Hole. What an amazing view!! So, there is this random door on top of this hill and if you look through the key hole, you’ll see the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica outlined. I don’t know how it came about or how people know about it, but it’s true and it’s an amazing view.
Katie and I returned from Sweden today. It was kinda weird coming back to Rome and seeing such beautiful weather after walking around in our coats in the snow just hours earlier. We had a really really hard time getting back to the Tiziano. There was apparently a marathon going on around Rome and all the transportation was a complete disaster. It took us forever to get back, finally we had to walk most of the way while carrying our luggage. I felt like I had run a marathon that day, I was so tired, plus I hadn’t got any sleep from the night before. I have never been happier to see the front doors of my hotel, my home, before.
I had no time to rest once we got back. I changed into more suitable clothes considering the beautiful weather and we headed to Circus Maximus where a bunch of Saint Mary’s girls were having a picnic and birthday party. It was nice to just hang out and relax and enjoy the beautiful Roman day. We all had a really fun time playing three-legged races and the human knot.
I came back to the hotel a little while later and awaited the arrival of Giuliangela and Alexandra from their weekend getaways in Switzerland. They also had a hard time getting back to the hotel because of the marathon, so while I waited for them, I met up with Alexandra’s mother and took her to the Pantheon for a little while since it was so close to the hotel. We of course admired the eye or the oculus of the Pantheon, enjoyed some street perfomers, and stuck a deal with a street vendor for some Italian scarves. Alexandra was thrilled to see her mother when her and Giuliangela finally made it back to the hotel.
For dinner, we carried on our tradition of eating at the Chinese restaurant behind our hotel.
Sweden was so much fun!! And so beautiful!! I’m so glad that I got a chance to go. I went with Katie Cosimano, Giuliangela’s roommate last semester. We had a great time together. Friday, we didn’t really do much because it took us forever to get there and then most museums and stuff like that was already closed. But we got to our hostel, which was a lot further away from the center of Stockholm that their website made it sound, nonetheless, it was a place to stay.
Then we went out and walked around Stockholm. We did a little shopping and ate dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. The Swedish people were sooo nice. They spoke Swedish with each other, but everyone could switch to English so easily, better than a lot of Italians. Anyway, so we had a nice and relaxing evening and headed back to out hotel somewhat early, 11ish. Then we ran into some problems. We were locked out!! Nowhere did anyone mention that they lock the doors at a certain time, and we had no key to get into the building. We kept calling the night watch, along with every other number I had (maybe that’s why I ran out of cellphone minutes so quickly). Finally, after like 20 minutes, the night watch person answered and gave us a code to get into the building. And then, at like 1 in the morning, the fire alarm went off and the fire department came. Apparently, someone lit something on fire in their room, but it was no big deal. They told us we didn’t have to leave our rooms or anything, but they took at least half an hour to turn the loud annoying alarm off!! I finally got back to sleep and then we got up the next day and had a much better day.
We went to the City Hall first thing, some nice Swedish man saw us looking at the map and came over and told us how to get their. We made it just in time for the English tour. The building is so cool. That’s where they have their government meetings and all that good stuff, like our Congress. Sweden is actually a parlimentary democracy. They’re kinda like England, with a royal family and a parliment. The Nobel Peace Prize is also from Sweden. The City Hall is where they have the reception and dance after they announce the winners.
After the City Hall, we went to Old Town. Stockholm is made up of a lot of little islands and then a main land. Old Town is one of the islands where the Palace and Parliment buildings are.
We walked around there for a while, it was really neat. We saw the changing of the Swedish guards and their marching bands.
While watching the changing of the guards, we had a spicy hot dog for lunch, apparently Sweden in known for their hot dogs, because they had hot dog stands everywhere and more different types of hot dogs than I was aware of. We went to the Armory, and saw lots of armor!! Who would have guessed. They have lots of Knights’ armor and stuff like that. Then, and this is probabely one of the coolest things ever, we saw about a dozen royal carriages. Che bella!! They were so beautiful!! They looked like they were right out of Cinderella. I loved them!
Anyway, next we took a tour of the Crown Jewels…the king and queen and crown prince/princess’s crowns and gold sceptors, swords, orbs…So pretty!!
Then we walked around Stockholm some more and went to another island where there is a museum with a Viking ship that is completely intact. Apparently, it sank in the harbor on its madain voyage and sat at the bottom of the harbor for a couple hundred years until like 50 years ago when they found it and brought it up. It is so cool!! That completed our day of tours.
Afterwards, we walked around for a little bit. Then we went to dinner at TGIFridays. We had a wonderful dinner. Then we went to a movie becuase that was about all that was open at that time besides restaurants and bars. We went to the Producers. It was really funny, especially since one of the main characters was Swedish and I was watching it with a bunch of Swedes. After that we walked around for a while and then hung out at McDonalds and 7-11 to waste time before catching our 3am bus to the airport and flying back home to Rome. I had a very wonderful weekend and I really want to go back to Sweden someday and spend more time there because there is so much to do. It was such a beautiful place. Everything is on the water so that made it even more amazing. There was snow, but the weather was still pretty nice. Some locals told us it was the best day they had had in a really long time. So, I’m glad we brought them nice weather from Rome. 🙂
Day One (Tuesday):
My Birthday!! 20!!
1st Stop on Trip- The Jewish Cemetary
The Basilica and the Castle
Day Two (Wednesday):
Day Three (Thursday):
Dante’s Tomb and Triple Angelas!!!
More Ravenna…The Po…
Day Four (Friday):
St. Patrick’s Day!!
Basilica of St. Anthony, Patron Saint of Lost Things…And the Tomb of St. Anthony
L’universita di Padua: Freshman Hazing
My Bus Buddy!! Katie Cosimano & I
Saint Patty’s Celebration!!
Day Five (Saturday):
Tomb of San Domenico
Two Towers and Lunch
Voyage home ~ Rome Sweet Rome
Swiss Guard Quarters
Vatican City: Vatican Bank, Papal Apartments, Il Passeto, Piazza Belvedere
Pontifical Scientific Conservatory and Vatican Museum
The most amazing tour giude – Philipp – along with Giuliangela, Alexandra, and myself.
Alexandra, Angela, and Giuliangela
The Original Altar from Lourdes where the Pope prays the rosary daily.
Giuliangela and Philipp
Vatican Gardens…Palace of the Government…
Chapel where Swiss Guards can get married…Palace of the Faith, where the Inquisitions mostly took place.
Alexandra and David
Campi di Fiori Market
Santa Maria a Trestevere
Saint Mary’s Birthday Celebration at Rock Castle Cafe
Visit to Vatican to see David