ITALY: ROME

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Last stop! Rome, ALL ABOARD!

This phenomenal city has a way of seamlessly joining the past and present. There are not many places where you get right off the train and be welcomed by an arena that used to house up to 80,000 spectators back in 80 A.D.  The closest we get to that in New York is Yankee Stadium, but there is something about using your imagination to rebuild a structure and form figures walking around that makes everything that much more spectacular. From the fast pace to the crowded four-lane streets, I felt right at home. There is just a certain vibrancy to the architect and the variety of personalities that inhabit this city, that end up making it such a great vacation spot that continues to attract people from all over the world. This is the city where you can see various destinations, such as The Roman Colosseum, The Trevi Fountain, and The Roman Forum.

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The Roman Colosseum was originally named for the Flavian Dynasty. This structure is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, was constructed with eighty arches for each of the four levels. Three hundred tons of iron clamps fortified this gigantic arena. In order for the shows that were performed daily, they housed a variety of animals from hippopotamuses to birds to the well-known lions, as well as, prisoners and gladiators.  The Trevi Fountain’s construction started in 1732 and took thirty years to complete. The fountain marks the end of the Aqua Virgo, a man-made channel created in 19 B.C. This is a place for both onlookers and lovers alike. For those hoping to have their wishes granted, have 3 options when it comes to throwing their coins. When you throw one coin over your left shoulder, it is said that you will return to Rome. If you throw two it will ensure you receive a new romance and three will grant you marriage. The Roman Forum for me, the first time around was a tricky one. When we went, we could not figure out what the Roman forum consisted of because it was under restoration.  This rectangular forum acted as the center of the Roman City and was surrounded by government buildings. Happiness was discovered in a city that wasn’t built in a day.

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5 Things I Learned in Rome:

  • Bad experiences can turn out to be the best. On our last trip, we had a horrible run in with a restaurant owner. Because of this, we met a woman with a dog whose walk was meant for the runway and ended up having some of the best food I have ever had in my life at Trattoria Al Tettarello. We went back four nights in a row and did the same this time around as well.
  • Not everyone will be helpful. Just like in New York not everyone is your friend. Try to make sure you have some type of navigation because when people don’t speak the same language it is hard for them to understand causing them to be less likely to help.
  • Transit is your best friend. While traveling from the center of Rome to the Vatican after walking all through the Colosseum, the trains and buses will become your right-hand man. Don’t be afraid!
  • Be careful what you do…people remember. While waiting in line for the Roman Forum we had an episode of line skippers. When discovered they quickly proceeded to argue and tell the people to mind their business in Italian. We proceeded to see them at the Vatican and Pompeii, constantly reminding us of what they did and to pay attention to everyone around us for their next move.
  • Dress comfortably… a huge component of having a great time in Italy is being comfortable. Wearing the most cushioned shoes you can find is key. My mom had Asics sneakers and still managed to find a way for her feet to hurt at the end of a long day of walking.

Where will happiness be discovered next?

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