Italy was filled with so many faces and spaces people and church steeples, moods and amazing food!
Read on below to go back with me up above the clouds where I first heard God’s voice and then down, down, down amongst the cobblestone streets, busy traffic, Michelangelo’s David, the leaning tower of Pisa, pasta, and wine, wine, wine and more wine…
When in Rome:
After checking into our hotel, Danika and I navigated the busy streets of Rome in search of the metro station. Final destination: The Coliseum. Armed with our southern charm and slight city savvy the streets of Rome felt familiar, comfortable, and welcoming. Rome was busy, loud, gritty and full of life. A gumbo of languages flooded the air from French to Spanish to English and of course Italian. “Everything in Italian sounds like a truffle.” I thought back to Elizabeth Gilbert’s line from Eat, Pray, Love.
A short train ride later there in living color stood the Coliseum. The pictures and film and documentaries and other media could never truly capture the intimidating strength the monument possessed.
We joined the crowd of tourist looking lost and shocked and overwhelmed and took selfies and pano shots and stared some more in awe of this historic structure. Ever step we took towards the Coliseum a tour group lead approached us with “special deals” and “VIP tours” and “skip the line” perks that my awestruck mood went to annoyance real quick. We had just flown across the world and in my excitement I had barely slept the last two days but thanks to zzzquill the plane ride was a blur and unfortunately my body hadn’t fully woken up. Luckily Danika was there to negotiate the best “vip tour” and after a few short minutes we were inside on the ground floor, earbuds in our ears listening to our tour guide describe the pit where the gladiators roamed and the animals slept and the dead bodies were collected. (Side-note: I hadn’t seen Gladiators before this trip.)
Inside of the arena you could just about make out where the bleachers use to be. Those of a higher social class would sit near the bottom tier and those of lower class (and women) sat in the nosebleed section.
We walked up and down and around and took pictures and just breathed in the history of the space and soon my feet, more specifically my pinky toe, was yelling at me to please put it out of its misery. We came, we learned, we walked were the Gladiators once stood… now it was time to begin the journey back to our hotel.
Our hotel was snuggled in what appeared to be the center of everything. You know, not too far from this, just around the corner from that. The only issue was every street looked the same. The short walk to the train station at the start of this adventure felt like a lifetime to my pinky toe during the return trip. After asking some nice police officers for directions and after each of them gave their suggested route (much like our men in American) we somehow located the building with the huge sign across from the tiny dump trucks that led to the statues near the supermarcati which was just a few doors down from BAR that only served non-alcoholic drinks which was next door to the long red carpet that led us home to the Rome Garden Hotel to our twin beds (most European hotels have twin beds versus full or queens… we are so spoiled in America) and our Italian TV and our shower and our toilette and our hand towels and my tennis shoes which barely left my feet for the rest of the trip and we were happy. “Bitch, we’re in Italy!” I said to Danika. We were. We really were.
After a shoe change and a short walk, the Industrial Eat restaurant was our first food stop with wine a charcuterie board filled with meats, cheese, bread, jams and other goodness followed by pasta and more wine. Our first day in Italy felt like three days in one but it was worth it. It was so worth it.
To be continued…