Ciao, friends! That means hello or goodbye in Italian!
Today I am recapping my first day in Rome, Italy!
On day 1, I guess you could say I Rome-d around for the most part. Terrible pun? Did I go too far?
I started my day off with heading to the ATM to withdraw some cash to pay my tourist tax that I had been unable to pay upon check-in. Once I paid my debt, I set off to explore Rome.
Now, my first faux pas of this adventure happened to be my decision of wearing shorts. When in Rome, do as the Romans do and do not wear shorts or tank tops. Dress modestly to not only fit in with the local population, but to also adhere to the dress code set forth by many of the churches.
First stop, S. Maria Della Victoria. This church was absolutely stunning! Even though I wore shorts, this church did not have any dress code restrictions.
Next, I made my way to Park Villa Borghese where I came across a pond/statue combo. At the pond, row boats could be rented for use. How fun! During my time at the park, I learned that parks in Rome are not maintained. The grass grows and grows without being mowed.
As I continued to wander, I stumbled upon Terrazza del Pincio and of Rome. I snapped a few photos and then went down to the square. On ground level, a group of handicapped individuals were being filmed while performing a dance routine to YMCA. All of the dancers were having the time of their life, which brought a smile to my face!
I left the square and stopped in a few more churches before heading to the Pantheon! Quite honestly, I still do not know the whole history about this magnificent church. I read the information sheets provided inside to guests, however, I mostly looked and took pictures and tried to get out of the crowd as soon as possible! What I found somewhat funny is a recorded voice would periodically go off in different languages asking everyone to be silent while in the church. When you have guided tours going on and a boatload of tourists, I think that wish is a bit unrealistic.
After escaping the Pantheon crowd, I stopped in a couple more churches taking my chances with wearing my shorts in some churches. Then, I walked through the Jewish Quarter thinking I would find some lunch but I instead continued onwards to Isola Tiberina. This is a small island that is in the River Tiber. There is not much on the island, but I found the church pretty and the river views to be nice. I then crossed the bridge into Trastevere and found some lunch at what seemed to be a family-run Italian restaurant. If you are in Rome, I highly recommend hitting up this area for food! Reasonably priced and authentic Italian where locals typically eat.
Once I finished inhaling my lunch, I started walking towards a museum on the outskirts of Rome. However, I was unaware May 1st happened to be Italy’s Labor Day. As a result, I arrived to the museum only to find it closed. I decided to backtrack and found some cool Roman ruins while walking through the rain towards Trevi Fountain, which I found to be underwhelming. Perhaps all the tourists was a big turn-off for me.
After snapping some photos of Trevi Fountain, I stopped in some shops before making my way to Gelateria de Romana for dinner…err…I mean dessert! This particular gelateria came highly recommended from my host brother and it did not disappoint! The coffee whipped cream was to die for!
A great first day in Rome!
Leave a positive impression,