Well once I made it on the plane and settled in for the 9 hour flight, I was able to truly relax and spent most of the flight sleeping. I did get a chance to watch a couple of movies and enjoy the pretty good in flight food as well.
9 hours later, we landed in Rome. Since our flight left in the evening, it was essentially an overnight flight and it was Friday morning when we landed in Rome. Our itinerary had suggested that we get sleep on the plane because we would be hitting the ground running and we do just that.
We got our rooms and went quickly upstairs to drop off our bags and head back downstairs to eat lunch and have orientation. During orientation, we got our metro passes and a rundown of the overall tour. Then we ran quickly upstairs to shower and change to head out for our Vespa tour of Rome. Unfortunately it had started to rain but the tour went on regardless. We headed out and met our tour drivers. Mine was a nice older gentleman who spoke absolutely no English but made me feel safe on the Vespa. Here’s his picture.
Now I’ve seen people ride Vespas in Atlanta but not like they do in Italy. In spite of lines showing the different lanes, it is apparently ok to share the lane with a car. It was definitely a learning experience to ride on a Vespa through Rome. Plus the sights were lovely. I would highly suggest it to anyone taking a trip to Rome but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
Once we finished our tour, we were cold and wet so we all headed upstairs to rest before going out that evening. Later on, we jumped in a taxi in groups of four and headed to a happy hour spot. The only issue: no one knew the name of the place, only the area of town. Our lovely, non-English speaking driver drove us to the area but didn’t know where to drop us off. So while he and the lady in the front seat argued (in two different languages mind you), we drove through these tiny alleyways. When I spotted some of the other ladies (Bellas from now on), I suggested we get out of the cab but was denied the request. The ladies I was with refused to exit the cab so I watched helplessly as the metered continued to tick away. Eventually the driver stopped and told us to get out of the taxi (in Italian mind you). I can’t verify that he said get out but his body language and rapid fire language gave me the impression he was saying “Get the hell out of my taxi!”
We got out and found the other Bellas who were also roaming around confused. A few minutes later we found our lead Bella Feleace (I hope I spelled that right) and she took us to Beige. It was a very hip bar that had great drinks for great prices (7 euro for a large mojito and they free pour…no jiggers in Italy!). After stopping to eat a pizza (as served by our adorable waiter), we enjoyed a drink at Beige while we waited to go to the next place (which was Alibi-pronounced AL-I-BEE). Here are the Bellas at Beige:
Beige was really nice and the music was cool. It was the techno type of music that isn’t really great to dance to all night but it was good to sit for a moment and enjoy a GREAT tasting mojito to. As it got close to midnight, we learned that we would be heading to the next place soon. Apparently the clubs in Rome don’t start popping until about midnight so we all headed outside to hop in a taxi. This time I got the name of the place and Bella April got the address. We were all set to go! We hopped in the taxi and headed over to Alibi. When we walked in, the music was very similar to the music we heard at Beige. We were slightly disappointed because we had been told the music was going to be more hip hop than techno. We waited around until we saw some of the other Bellas and they advised us to go upstairs. We hadn’t even seen stairs! We went and heard some great music so we danced for a few hours before heading back to the hotel. First night in Rome!
The rest of the trip in Rome was just as much of an adventure. The next day was spent touring the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum. Who knew it was so large? My feet hurt horribly. We had walked for about 10 hours. By the time we got back to the hotel, we all passed out and didn’t make it out to dinner with the rest of the Bellas but we were hungry so we struck out on our own armed with our metro passes and a map. It was a great evening. We made it to a nice restaurant and back with no incident and lots of stopping of total strangers who spoke English. It was fun. I also discovered gelato that day and it was WONDERFUL! We had it twice and I proclaimed that we should have gelato every day and everyone agreed. The last day in Rome was a free day so we slept in a bit and then ventured out again armed with our metro passes and a map. We visited the Coliseum and the place next to it (I can’t remember the whole name but it had the Domus Augustus in it). It was all very awe inspiring. Plus we got taken by a guy dressed as a Gladiator. We stopped and took a picture with him and he attempted to charge us 3 euro a piece. It was 5 of us so he tried to come up on 15 euro for a quick picture. We gave him what we had and walked on. Be careful of the Gladiator when you visit the Coliseum!
Stay tuned for the next city on the action packed tour…