VTT Postcard - Day 10 - Rome, Italy

Monday, April 11, 2011
Aaaah, roaming around Rome on your own, what beats that?

We left early for the city centre for our tour of the Colosseum and the Forum.

There are simply no words to describe how big and mighty the Colosseum stood. An ancient piece of history, what a sight!
We toured around the Colosseum for an hour. Then we proceeded to The Forum for another hour. We were then informed that the Pope was giving a blessing at St Peter’s at around noon so a group of us decided to head straight to the Basilica after our tour was done.

Navigating the city via buses was difficult. You had to know which end of the street to queue in as well as where the buses were going to. The bus system in Rome was average compared to the efficiency of the Germans and British, I suppose. Furthermore, I found the Italians not too keen on foreigners as when we asked, hardly anybody spoke any English nor offered to help us with directions.

We eventually got to St Peter’s Square which was still a long walk from the bus stop. The St Peter’s Basilica was magnificent from afar. Apparently, it is the tallest point in all of Rome.
St Peter's Basilica
The St Peter’s Square was fast filling up with people, all anxiously awaiting the appearance of the Pope. The Pope blessed us from his Papal Residency, which was located just beside the Basilica. To say the least, I think he blessed the crowd in 5 different languages!

After the blessing, our group decided to head for lunch and look for authentic pizzas. We found a pizza place that was run by someone who at least spoke some English. Then we proceeded to sightsee some more. We walked around and found our way back to the Victor Emmanuel Monument. Then walked some more to find ourselves on the Quirinale Hill, the highest of the seven hills in Rome and had a great view of the St Peter’s Basilica.

We took the Metro and decided to see the mother of all churches, Basilica of St John Lateran (San Giovanni di Laterano).
Basilica of St John Lateran
The time flew by so fast. Before we knew it, the sun had set as we headed back to Rome city centre. We walked around a bit more and found ourselves inside the Pantheon.

Afterwards, our group decided to have dinner. We found a small Italian restaurant and they served good food. I was not sure if the food was really good or we were just hungry. Anyway, my spaghetti carbonara was delicious. And the portions were so big, it was the first time I could not finish the food on my plate (because I was so full). But not too full for gelato (ice cream), I guess. We found a gelato place nearby and decided to have some to wash down the pasta dinner we just ate.

Our group headed back to the hotel, taking the Metro. Unfortunately, as it was holiday, the Metro did not arrive as punctual as we would like. We waited an hour for the Metro and when we got to our stop, we found out that some of the buses were not servicing on a Sunday. Woe is us! We had to walk our way back to the hotel, got lost a bit, and spent more than 30 minutes of guessing wrong and guessing right. Getting lost was such a bummer end to what otherwise was a beautiful day spent in Rome. But we eventually did arrive at the hotel at around midnight. I went straight to bed.

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