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Il bel paese: PART 3 at last–Rome, Italy {travel log}

It’s taken me way toooo long to post the final leg of our Italy adventures. Probably for two reasons: 1) I’ve been busy, darnit! Wedding season hit me hard when I got back. 2) I wasn’t motivated to get through the pics of my least fave part of the trip.

Rome. I’ve heard such amazing things about it. I’ve watched EAT, PRAY, LOVE and thought the city would charm me, too. And it did. The first night. It was sunny, beautiful weather, and only a bit crowded. We really liked the hotel where we stayed, Capo d’Africa, which was just a few blocks from the Colosseum.  I had my favorite wine at a cafe down the street…although the pizza was good, I wasn’t a fan of how they didn’t distribute the toppings a bit more evenly.

 Rome, Italy

After dinner, we sauntered down to the behemoth edifice that everyone everywhere recognizes. we were planning on just browsing from the outside, but decided to buy the tickets to get us in to both that and the Forums. Our only regret was not getting a tour guide to go with it. We didn’t spend that much time there as it was late evening and the sun was going down…I wanted to get into the Forums before the golden hour ceased. And the last pic is one of the public restrooms so you can see what was the “norm”…though this one wasn’t half bad considering it was in the Colosseum. Pictures do not do the Colosseum justice. It is so awesome. So large, and brimming with a sordid past of so many years ago that I can’t even relate.
Rome, Italy

Some other pics from the Colosseum..and the ominous guards outside it.
Rome, Italy

I was in love with the trees there. Something from movies…of Africa? I have no idea where I’ve seen them, but wish they had them in the midwest. I kept looking around with the architecture, the crowds, the mediterranean climate and the beautiful scenery….and saying that Rome was the secret lovechild of San Diego and New York City, if they had existed thousands of years ago and mated. 😉

I loved the Forums. Unfortunately, our tour through was cut short because my darling husband had taken on the bladder of a pregnant woman there and had to pee EVERY 30 MINUTES!! I am not even kidding. We’d buy water and it’d be gone in 1 minute and then 29 minutes later, gee, who has to go AGAIN? And the public restrooms in the Forums were under construction or outside ofthe exit.
Rome, Italy

This first photo…Neil is standing under the arch..but you can hardly see him. The lil’ cars had to be snapped because, duh! they’re MY colors!!! And the last pic is our view from dinner that night when we were dining at an outdoor cafe.
Rome, Italy

so yeah, we were off to a good start. But Saturday, we awoke to cloudy skies and a chilly drizzle. And overcrowded streets and tourist attractions thanks to the fact that the week before (so WAY too late to change our travel plans) the current Pope had decided to begin the benediction for Pope John Paul II on THE weekend we were there. So every extremely devout Catholic or overly into history buff flocked to the same city where Neil and I had hoped to cap off our Italy trip with wonderful memories.
But I was cranky. Everywhere we went, we felt like we were in a line. We were wet, cold and exhausted. The tour bus we booked wasn’t very helpful as it seemed to go by places we had no interest in getting off…and lots of streets were blocked off thanks to the influx of religious tourists that infiltrated the city’s core.

This first set…the top left is of Vatican city…now this was before it was heavily inundated with all the pilgrims. But look how long that line is… we heard it would have taken HOURS AND HOURS to get into the cathedral.
Rome, Italy

This next set…top two on right are the Trevi fountain. As you can see, it was a zoo and a half and i was in no mood to be there. I had put on my Cranky Pants. The next two pics are just two things on the same street I saw that creeped me out (though i really wanted to get the boxers for Neil’s brother!!!)…the window display is of children mannequins stylishly selling bread. Yeah, I have NO idea why. The next two pics are the Spanish Steps…the most disappointing thing we saw that day. We had gotten lost getting there and when we got there, what a let-down. They were just steps! With lots of people! I bet they are kinda pretty without gawkers, but we weren’t impressed. The Lamborghini headlight was more attractive. And the bottom three pics are just other shots on our tour bus…to show you how many people were just EVERYWHERE. (the far left was a busy intersection, so if it looks empty, it’s because traffic was going through and people can’t walk in those streets!)
Rome, Italy
And the last pic is of our dinner at a place called CRAB. The food was delicious, but to read my review on how it turned sour, go here.  (that is grilled baby squid on the left –so good!!–and spaghetti with clams on the right. We also had Italian lobster –a bit diff from american…it was okay)
Rome, Italy

So yes, Rome wasn’t our favorite. I was ready to go home after that…though parts of it were indeed wonderful that first night….I would probably never go back, which is the opposite of how I feel about Venice, Lucca or 5Terre.

Either way… if you’re interested in purchasing any prints…you can do so now that I have all the photos online.
Go here.
And use the discount code Italy11 in the next 30 days to get 15 percent off of your order! 

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