After a sad final breakfast, we left the Legend of the Seas behind at the dock in Italy, we still had a fair journey ahead of us before we were able to find our next staying location – we had to take a shuttle bus from the port to the pier, then a walk along the beach, followed by an hour long train journey to Roma Terminus, and then we would have to hunt around for the bus station.
After a few hours or traveling and hauling heavy luggage around, our 310 bus would eventually drop us off near our next hotel, the Globus Hotel (Best Western). We sat around in the lobby and ate free pastries provided near the check in desk, then headed up to the room to drop off the luggage. Only one of our 2 rooms were available as we were trying to check in before the stated time, so we had to kind of make do. Our hotel had wifi (unlike the boat), so we took full advantage of that and soaked up as much news and social media as we could while the signal held.
I was playing around with the tripadvisor app on my mums phone and decided to scan the area, apparently one of the top 100 food places was located less than a few minutes down the street, a pizzeria as it were. Me and Gavin rushed off to grab some pizza to bring back to the room, we found it, but were instantly greeted with a giant wall labeled ‘language’. The pizza here is apparently served and paid for by weight, with large slabs of pizza laid out, we had to go caveman style and just point at stuff… it came to 10 euro for a small box, but it was probably worth it.
After a short rest, we were off to the metro station, headed to colleseo. A 10 minute walk and 10 minute train journey later and I was in front of one of the most iconic structures in the world, the coliseum.
Magnificent is probably the only way to describe it, awesome in both architecture and sheer scale, I ended up taking around 80 photos in the time we spent walking outside and inside the coliseum, my finger unable to keep away from the trigger. The size of it is the most surprising thing, everyone knows the coliseum is big, but it is SO BIG – even the steps on the staircase were double the height of standard stairs.
After walking about the coliseum, we were lead down some backstreets by my brother, on the hunt for yet another pizzeria. This one was again, in the top 100 of food places in the app, so he was pretty keen on eating there (kid loves pizza), unfortunately he ended up leading us down the wrong road and we spent 10 minutes walking around in some shitty backstreet area instead of sitting down and eating.
The menu at this pizzeria was sparse, I ordered a mushroom and prosciutto pizza and was pleased with the result, it wasn’t quite as 5 star as the reviews made out, but it was certainly above average pizza. My brother on the other hand was not enjoying his meal quite so much, he ordered a ‘white pizza with ham and rocket’ or something, which apparently translates to pizza but with no tomato sauce, it came out a pale white topped with cheese and a small garden worth of rocket leaves – he did not enjoy it. (also, I am very proud of the picture of the Bruschetta below, impressive detail considering the camera i’m using)
On the walk back, we stopped for another Italian specialty, Gelato (ice cream). The shop we found did 3 scoops for 3 Euro, a bargain compared to what we had seen, I got a cone with scoops of Bounty (chocolate and coconut), Mango and Pineapple. The employee loaded the small wafer cone up with the gelato, with little regard for gravity or weight distribution, it was tasty as hell though, and perfect for the hot sunny weather we had been exposed to all day (>27 deg).
From here we walked back to the coliseum and headed up a hill, trying to find our way to the Palatine hill, instead we found ourselves invading a wedding celebration at the back of a church situated next to the roman forum, whoops. Trip back down the hill, and then we sat on a wall for a while for some people watching – plenty of young girls doing ridiculous photoshoot poses, lots of wedding pictures being taken, lots of Indians trying to sell cheap souvineers to the tourists… all standard for a national landmark I guess (thought I don’t remember so many people trying to sell us cheap goods while I was visited the Eiffel tower or Amsterdam Red Light district).
We were pretty exhausted by now, my father in his 50’s in particular was feeling it – Hell, I was aching, and im less than half his age so I don’t know how he was holding up so well. We would spend the rest of the eve just casually walking down the strip near the coliseum, admiring parts of the roman forum and numerous cathedrals, churchs, statues and other historic buildings scattered about the place. At 7ish, we headed back to the hotel for some much deserved rest and a shower.
A final late night walk around the area revealed that there isn’t a massive amount of stuff around our hotel, there are around 8 pizza shops, 4 gelato shops and 2 bars – and those are pretty close to actual figures. I’m not entirely sure why they need so many pizza and gelato shops, but this is Italy I suppose. We bought some pizza to take back to the room as a late night snack, and went to bed early.