Thursday, April 19, 2012

Roma, Roma, Roma: Spring Break Part 2!

Arriving back in Athens Monday morning, I had just enough time to unpack, repack, and grab a quick gyro at the local souvlaki stand, before my roommate Morgan and I hopped over to Rome for a week!  A few hours later, we were checking into our hostel, which I would totally recommend for any women travelers.  Papaya Female Hostel was located in a super safe, residential area just a 7 minute walk from Termini Station, which was super convenient.  It was also only about a ten minute walk from the Trevi Fountain, Barberini station, and all of that good stuff.  After getting settled in, we headed out to explore the area, and ended up meeting up with a friend who was also spending a few days in Rome.  We got dinner, and then headed to the Trevi to make our wishes and get our first gelato of the trip.  Here is a picture of us tossing our coins, the flash was a little too close, but I think you can still make out our excitement. :) The other pic is of our first Italian meal!

The next day we found the best breakfast place EVER.  A small espresso cafe, the 0.70 espresso shots and 1 euro pastries were literally my dream come true.  It was a typical place, with a large counter manned by baristas which kinda reminded me of the octopus from Monster's Inc. -->

After yelling our orders above the din of clattering cups and saucers and shouting Italians (un latte and that pastry right there) we settled down at the counter to drink the best coffee of our lives.  We decided to go back every morning after that and cycle through the drinks and pastries.  After chasing my latte with an espresso shot, I was on top of the world and ready to rock and roll.  
We headed off for our grand adventure, and our day was full of churches, beautiful piazzas, and a handful of famous sites!  I think my favorite part about Rome was seeing Latin everywhere in the city! It was so much fun to read the inscriptions and recognize the titles that I'd seen in readings at Willamette.  

The Fountain of Four Rivers at the Piazza Nuova (where we also had the best gelato of our lives)

 Oh hey, Pantheon!
 I bought a really cool postcard that kinda looks like this...guess I could have just printed out the picture.
 Then we headed towards the Colosseum and the ancient city center!!
 Secret: It's really big in person, too.

 We found a great museum area upstairs!

Here's me in front of the triumphal arch!!

After starting out at our little breakfast place, we headed to the Vatican on Wednesday.  Upon arrival, we saw a huge crowd outside St. Peter's and the Pope was on the big screens! Turns out every Wednesday in the morning they have a service and he blessed a bunch of people, so that was cool to see.  We headed around the corner to the Vatican Museum and boy, that was an experience.  
I am already planning my next trip because I feel like I have so much more to explore!  

In the museum we amused ourselves by venturing off the beaten path to the Sistine Chapel and exploring the many empty rooms of things like the Etruscan collections and Modern Art, because frankly, this is what I felt like when we were walking through the main hall (except for I didn't have my dad to save me from the stampede of tourists).

Anyway, so we had a lot of fun avoiding the crowds and did eventually make it to the big room, which was fun mostly because I liked watching all of the creative ways people found to stealthily take pictures of the ceiling. Next, we hit up the Vatican Museum Pizzeria for some much needed sustenance, and then went into St. Peter's Basilica! It was very beautiful but also full of funny people. 

After that day of sensory overload, we needed a good nights rest to prepare us for the next day's appointment at the Borghese Museum.  Luckily, upon arrival at the expansive grounds of the Borghese estate, we saw on the map a little picture of a giraffe, labeled Bioparko.  Upon further examination, we realized that there was a ZOO there!! We had lots of fun unwinding at the zoo.  
The Borghese museum was very beautiful, and my favorite piece in the collection was a Bernini sculpture of David winding up with his slingshot.  After the museum, we headed over to Trastevere to get some lunch! 

 Yummy organic gelato that we found! Pistachio and chocolate. :)
 I loved the street signs in Rome!! So fancy.  After a lovely afternoon in Trastevere, we headed to the Colosseum hoping to grab a snack with a nighttime view! It was so beautiful and the perfect ending to a great few days in the Eternal City.  Full of a sufficient amount of sugar and carbs, we headed back to Athens the next morning to get ready to get wild on the island of Santorini! (haha just a pun!)


  1. I'm so glad you could make it to Rome too! I just love that city...

  2. do you rememer from where you got the organic ice-creams?
    (off to Rome in about two weeks; from my last trip I remember a place not far from the Fontana di Trevi where they sold ice-creams free of artifical colours etc.)

    1. I'm sorry I don't remember where we got the ice cream, we mostly just popped into random shops whenever we wanted some! That place near the Fontana di Trevi sounds amazing though!