Roman Holiday

“Life goes by quickly, but if you live it right, once is all you need”

–Seneca

For my first trip out of Florence, I gate-crashed, broke-a-window, crowbarred my way into the other girls’ plans to go to Rome for the weekend. The plan was simple: see all of the Roman sites and stay in a hostel for the night, eating all the right foods at all the right places. It was right on track to be a wish fulfilling Roman Holiday. 

Breakfast on my last day in Rome

Fortunately, the other girls made the plans since we’d be up shit’s creek with no paddles had that been left unto me. We shared a hostel room down the street from the train station with a shared bathroom that could generously be described as dirty, but not disgusting, and had a toilet that only occasionally flushed when you asked it to. We were “roughing it,” as the kids say. I haven’t roughed anything a day in my life and it seemed clear that neither had the other girls, but the hostel was just a place to rest our heads when we weren’t roaming the streets of Rome.

Out and about, we grabbed lunch near the Colosseum, where I scarfed down plenty of Carbonara and caci e pepe, two famously Roman meals. We ate gelato at the Trevi Fountain, followed by a photoshoot. I threw my euro in and made a wish, but that wish is between me and Trevi. I had my head turned once again as someone got proposed to, but I joined in the applause when a guy shouted, “she said yes.” There was wine with every meal and gelato after every meal, a slice of tourism heaven. 

A nice lip-lining from the gelato I ate

Later in the day, I walked the length of the Forum alone. I wanted to eat lunch at the rooftop restaurant at the Forum, with a perfect view of the Colosseum, but the other girls did not want to, citing “too many stairs.”

Speaking of stairs, we saw the Spanish Steps, not to be walked up, of course, and spent the next half hour in the nearby Furla flagship trying to talk one of the girls out of, or into, the $200 purse she ended up buying. We checked out the Parthenon and Colosseum, but didn’t go inside due to the need for reservations. Instead, we shopped around, dipping into whatever stores interested us. 

The Spanish steps
The pantheon

I bought a purple rabbit fur coat (vintage, of course, so it doesn’t support the industry) and when we weren’t doing that, we were walking into various cathedrals with architecture that could bring you to tears, and encountering fountains entangled with statues of mythological figures dramatically heaving themselves on top of each other.

We made our way around Rome with us eventually passing by the Roman Senate (RIP Julius Caesar) and the place where Mussolini unfortunately gave his speeches near the Forum.

Towards the end, we went to a modern art museum to see some art that was very different from what we’d become accustomed to in Italy. An abstract art show, composed mostly of bright lights, is very different from a biblical figure made out of marble or a painting of character from roman mythology, but it makes for a welcome change.

It would be cliche to say “when in Rome” when discussing how we felt when trying to embrace what was around us, but few expressions encompass the fun and relaxing time we had in Rome that weekend.

The Tragic Queen,

Raquel

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