Friday, July 8, 2011


Rome was a whirlwind tour of ruined buildings, large monuments, much walking, blistered feet, pizza, cheap wine, fat tourists, dodging tour groups led by rags on sticks, dodging cars and dodging souvenir-sellers.

That's the short version - skip to the pictures if you're pressed for time.

We only booked two nights' accommodation because that was all that was available. It's a shame - Rome is a lovely city for tourists. It covers a surprisingly small area and everything is within walking distance, although it is possible to be over-ambitious and develop aforementioned blisters.

We spent most of our days walking. It seems you don't have to walk more than 5 minutes before stumbling (over a cobblestone) upon a large and impressive looking building or monument. Although, most will only be labelled in Italian if at all, so sometimes you will stand there admiring it and wondering what it's all about. They are all most pleasing to look at even if you can't figure out what they are.

The Colluseum has to be my favourite, and one of the few that my sister and I recognised immediately. It is actually massive, and it's awe-inspiring to stand there and imagine what it must have looked like in its hey-day, with its sand-covered arena dotted with trapdoors through which wild animals and gladiators would appear, its roof (a giant sail controlled by navy sailors) and its segregated seating areas. I stood staring over the arena wondering where I'd be watching from - the podium with the senators, the second tier with the equestrians or way up in the cheap seats?

I was however, incredibly disappointed with the modern infrastructure. Whilst in the top bunk in my dorm room I leaned heavily on the handrail, breaking it, and had to cling to the mattress until my sister pushed me back up. Could do better.

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