Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Rome Day One

Ciao Everyone,
Me outside the Colosseum
Welcome to my blog about one of my absolute favourite site seeing places in Europe so far-Rome. Many of the facts I write about in this blog and many others come from Mia's amazing notes and talks she gives on the Contiki bus. I was constantly dotting down points in my iphone as she talked and during many of the tours we did around Europe.  'Roma' as the Italians call it, was once the centre of one of the biggest and most influential empires in Europe, the remains of which still stand on the original 'Seven Hills' for tourists to marvel at, Roma today takes on a smaller diplomatic role as the capital of Italy. There are plenty of sites and so much history to explore in Rome- as well as another entire country in the form of the Vatican City! Rome has been in the spotlight for close to 3000 years as an epic and monumental metropolis that definitely impressed me!

I woke up late again after another huge night of partying in Florence. Sharni had to help me roll my sleeping bag and help me close my backpack up and once again I didn't have time to shower so I left for Rome feeling gross!lol Many of my Rome Day One photos are terrible as I looked like death warmed up and was again, very hungover ha After a long coach drive through the Umbria's rolling hills we made in into Rome. 
Jess and I next to the amazingly stunning Piazza Venzia in Rome
The Colosseum (Colosseo):
Our first stop was the much anticipated 'Colosseum'-Rome's iconic monument.  The 50, 000 seater colosseum was once Rome's most feared arenas and is now one of Italy's most visited tourist attractions.  Inside this Amphitheatre is where Romans loved to watch gladiators and wild animals battle it out to the death!

We were guided around the Coloseum by a very attractive and masculine tour guide who was involved in the makings of movies such as 'Troy' and 'Gladiator' which was so cool. The tour lasted around 2 hours and  we got to listen to the tour guide through audio ear pieces so that he was clear and able to be heard from wherever we stood in the group. I was amazed at the size of the Coloseum (only about 30% of it remains), its history and many of the untold stories that the guide shared with us along the tour. 

Whilst inside the Coloseum we got to see it from a spectator, gladiator and emperor view which was amazing. The guide told us stories of how gladiators used to prepare and walk out into the arena as he rein acted what they used to do, which gave me shivers! He told us that there were actually no seats in the Colosseum but it was said that at times it could hold up to 85,000 people. I loved our tour of the Colosseum as I had watched Gladiator many times and I was again, couldn't believe I was actually standing inside where they used to fight back in Ancient Roman times. Mia did such a great job getting this tour guide as her new connection to show us around as it was extremely interesting!
Our attractive and charasmatic tour guide!

Me inside the Colosseum

Spectators view of the Coloseum

Where the Emperor used to sit and watch Gladiators battle
Roman Forum (Foro Romano):
From the Colosseum we walked on (with the same tour guide) towards the Roman Forum. The Roman Forum was the centre and where it all happened in Roman life. The Roman Forum was the former city centre and the basillicas, temples and governments buildings were all built up around here. As we walked through the ruins of Ancient Rome is was hard to imagine what life would have been like and how the buildings looked thousands of years ago. There is so much history within Rome and it was quite overwhelming for me as I hadn't studied Ancient Rome in High School and was hearing much of it for the first time that day.
Inside the Roman Forum

Ruins of Ancient Rome

Contiki Group walking into the Roman Forum
Pizza and Pasta for lunch:
After our tour of the Coloseum and the Roman Forum Mia guided us through the centre of the city to see even more famous sites such as the Trevi Fountain and the Panthenon which I will talk about more in my Rome Day Two blog. After Mia showed us around we were free to wonder around and have some lunch. Our group decided that we wanted to have lunch in a restaurant right next to an Ancient Roman fountain where we could hear bells chiming and there were people everywhere. The menu looked quite inexpensive and we got to sit right our the front which was nice. We all ate pizza and pasta, as you do in Italy and enjoyed each others company while we laughed about things we did the night before and each others funny stories. Taylor and Sharni also paid 7 Euro for a can of Coke at this restaurant which they found way over priced but really funny afterwards!  
Our view at lunch from the restaurant

Beautiful fountain statues

Statue outside our restaurant

Pizza and Pasta in Rome

Eating out at our restaurant in Roma

Jess loving the Italian pasta!lol
After lunch our Contiki group all met back up in the city centre and Mia took us to a Gelati shop which she rated one of the best in Italy. The New York Times has also made excellent reviews on it and this shop. They stored different types of gelati in separate chilling freezers according to which temperate they were best kept at. I had a banana flavoured gelati and as Mia said it was amazing. We stood out the front of the famous gelati store trying different flavoured gelati from other people on Contiki and I enjoyed every flavour I tasted, Yummo! 

Famous Gelateria San Crispino in Rome  

Eating Gelati from the famous Gelateria San Crispino in Rome 
After we all had gelati we drove to another amazing Contiki special stop at 'Seven Hills Camping'. This was an excellent spot and it again had it's own very cool bar for us to drink at along with another Contiki group that was there at the same time we were. It had it's own shop amongst many other things and at this stop it was my turn to be a 'dishie' along with Kaitlyn, Hamed and Rachael. I was a little nervous about being a 'dishie' with Hamed as I hadn't spoken to him since Florence and I was embarrassed about passing out in his bed. I roomed in a cabin with Rachael, Tamara and Tara in Rome and our cabins looked so cool from the outside :) After two huge nights in Florence I stayed and chilled out with Tara and chatted in our cabin while the girls had some quite drinks and then went to bed for a much needed sleep.
Our Contiki Cabins at Seven Hills Camping :)
Love the Roman Backpacker Goddess 
x 

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