Rome, Italy – Day 2 of 12
Court is still asleep from our nap that we started at 8 pm this evening. It is now 1 am. I have never witnessed this of my Court Court Energizer Bunny. I figured I’d let her sleep.
Today was day 2. We are sticking with working out a little bit every day. The last time I was in Europe, I put on 10 pounds in the first week. I’m already not at a good place and need to burn some calories on top of just walking all over the place. Our plan was to go to the Spanish Steps and work out, then walk to the Trevi Fountain, get ready for our Vatican tour and have lunch.
I woke up, worked and got ready for our morning walk. The city has not awaken quite yet at 8 am. The streets were being cleaned, the likeliness of being struck by a car seemed to have decreased by the slower pace they were going at and the sun was shining. No chance of thunderstorms.
We made our path and started our trek. Eventually my body temp started to rise and the Puma jacket came off and I was ready to sweat in a tank top. A detour was made at the gates of the Palazzo Barberini. It was a beautiful building with grounds to match. We wandered around, went past the main entrance to the building and towards the long escalating walkway to a statue in the distance. Under the building, it smelled of morning and we found our way to two curving staircases that were roped up on both sides of us. I have always wanted a house with split staircases like that.
Walking up the elongated steps to the opening made me think of what a party would be like in a big gorgeous gown, a Venician mask, champagne in hand and dancing under the stars in the garden we were headed for. The light gravel stone walkway rolled under our feet with every step. At the end of the walkway, we could either go towards the street or explore more of the grounds. Explore! ‘Scusa!’ Oh, spiacente. We weren’t supposed to be there and headed back towards our planned route.
We eventually made it to the Spanish Steps not knowing we’d find ourselves at the top of them. We looked down, took some photos but went inside the church first since we were at the top. My Lola would be proud that I went to church. Apparently I’ve been a bad granddaughter and haven’t seen her since Easter. I need to make it up to her when I get back.
Then our workout began. I would say we could run and up and down them as a group of other folks were doing but I didn’t trust it. They were pretty slippery and I’m not trying to hurt myself. So we did variations of squats at every level. By the bottom, we could definitely feel the burn. I hope we made it in all those people’s photos! I asked Court if she wanted to go back up. She declined. So we took a few more photos, shot a quick video for Christina aka my Sunshine who is in Colombia traveling the world and getting fit. She was my Events Manager, Personal Trainer and a friend I miss dearly. The video was thanking her for the inspiration to get a workout in wherever. Who needs a gym?
We made our way to the Trevi Fountain and my good sense of direction found us there. We weaved thru little streets and went towards the sound of many people gathering. And there it was!
There were hundreds of people there looking out, taking photos, tossing in coins and I got distracted by the gelato in the window. It looked delicious! We took some photos and did dips and push ups on an open rail. We didn’t have any coins so we HAD to get some gelato so we can make a wish. It was 1€ per scoop. I got the the fragola, mango and a purple and white swirl that I want to say was ‘amara’. It was cherry. Regardless, I didn’t like it but loved the fragola. Sooo good. I love fruit. Always have. Court went with coconut and more coffee or caramel like ones. We got our change and made our wishes at the fountain. Let’s see how that all works out.
Then we headed back to the room to shower, get ready for the Vatican and have lunch. The voucher for the Vatican said that backpacks are not allowed and you should be covered up. No shorts and tanks. We appropriately dressed and changed my purse from my Michael Kors backpack to the Coach crossbody.
Lunch was nearby. Court and I love grilled octopus and we ordered theirs as a starter and salads to keep it light. The octopus were whole little octopi! Oh my! Not what I was used to and it didn’t sit with me well. It was all Court’s! My chicken Caesar arrived. I haven’t had a Caesar salad in who knows how long and I thought I might as well since I was on his former land. But the salad did not live up to his great rule. It came with sliced chicken and three squirts of what looked solely like mayo. Sadly, it was flavorless and I ended up adding balsamic to the mix. Court’s salad was lacking as well. Balsamic was added as well. My bellini was decent.
Then we went back to our hotel to get picked up for our tour. Fifteen minutes later, we were
picked up by some no name and speed walking bello for not being that tall. A lady was a driver and they just spoke Italian to each other with no interest in interacting with us. Then we arrived at our spot to meet with our tour guide named Moon. Our tour began with our headsets on, walking the wall to main entrance and our only opportunity to use the restroom.
Normally on tours, I make friends pretty quickly with other guests but our group was kind of annoying. There’s a couple that was completely oblivious to their arm movements and just not paying attention, there’s another couple that would rush and stop, rush and stop, girls with big camera lens banging into me, people pushing and bumping into us without apologizing, excusing themselves or even learning. The same goes for other groups as well that aren’t part of a tour and just push their way thru. I was getting irritated but I’ve never seen Court’s face stay irritated for that long of a time. Normally when someone else is more irritated than me, I check myself and try to make it better for the other person. So I ended up blocking people from bumping into her. People can press and push against me all they want but they weren’t getting past me to do the same to her. The rudeness of other people really ruined the experience because you just want to get out of there and be free of them.
Pass the statues, tapestries and maps, you find your way to the Sistine Chapel. I loved studying Michelangelo in college and am so lucky to have had the opportunity to see the Sistine Chapel twice. I tried to just soak in the experience and find my way directly under the creation of Adam. I thought of Michelangelo being positioned on rickety scaffolding high above the ground and painting in body aching positions for our four years. It was just captivating.
Then we moved into the Basilica. Almost free of these people! We saw the Pieta, also made by Michelangelo, which is now housed behind protective glass as it was once vandalized by some Hungarian. We turned in our headsets and went as close to the altar as possible. Coffins housing bronzed former popes were in every direction. And we left.
We walked towards the Castel but wasn’t going to pay for another tour. We crossed the Tiber River with our sore feet and decided to find some grub, wifi and get a taxi back for a nap (which Court is now awake from at 2 am).
I had a Bellini and Court didn’t have any booze, but she did order lasagna again. I had what I thought was Roo’s dinner last night, pasta, goat cheese, pepper and bacon. It was similar but way salty. We got out of there as soon as we could.
Though it was challenging to get a taxi in the line where people don’t know what’s going on and a guy totally steals a taxi, Ivan was a bello, funny and sweet. I love getting Court’s age! He asked if we were going to a discoteca and we definitely were not interested in going to a club. He mentioned going to a pub and recommends an Irish pub nearby. We were supposed to meet up with Roo and Vicente but I slept until 10 pm and didn’t hear back from them until late. Court had trail mix for dinner and I had Oberto turkey jerky. Now we’re both up and our sleeping schedules are messed up. I am now going to try to go back to sleep. We have to be up in a 5 hours for a long walk to the Coliseum.
To Day 3 and final day in Rome! We have the coliseum, altare della patria, the parthenon and the the gay district with Roo.