the flight to rome was fantastic. i had no idea business class would be so much fun. the stewardesses call you by name and you get a little bag with an eye masks, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, a blanket and pillow, all kinds of stuff. i had a window seat which i was very thankful for. i love being able to get the included arial tour of where ever i’m going. the food was far from what i expected from airline food and it was served on little mini tablecloths with real silverware. we could see into first class from where we were sitting and there wasn’t that big of a difference. the chairs were a bit snazzier and they got salt and pepper shakers as opposed to our salt and pepper packets. the food looked a little more complicated but nothing i would miss. i felt business class was a HUGE difference from coach but the difference between business and first class wasn’t very much. i felt quite posh indeed.
we landed in rome and got a taxi to our hotel by a guy who reminded me a lot of my uncle. what really stood out to me was the difference in the big difference in the trees. very mediterranean and not something i expected to see in italy but had always associated with africa. we drove in through the old city gate and past the aqueducts and everyone is just zipping around like they’re not there. so odd. gas is roughly 8 bucks a gallon here so only little sedans and busses ruled the road. no sign of the massive pickup trucks and SUVs that are in escapable in texas. i noticed quite a few extremely nice cars, lambroghini etc. i guess we were in italy after all.
the hotel was gorgeous and old, right at the top of the spanish steps. the steps were very pretty and there are several high end shops nearby and we ate some tourist trap pizza. it was average. you could find something like it in the states. in the evening the area gets very crowded with people picnicking and hanging out in the area. i saw several men pull out sheets covered with knock off handbags, belts and wallets. i almost got one but it was at the end of the day when i was getting tired.
i am beginning to see myself as a very savvy subway traveler. i was able to purchase tickets for everyone even though none of the machines were in english. navigation is very simple also since there are only 2 lines like in dallas. the blue line cars were entirely covered in graffiti and both lines were extremely crowded. the colosseum was an amazing site to see in person. we had a lovely personal tour guide who told us more about roman history than i could remember. we saw paletine hill and the roaman forum and the original senate. i took a TON of pictures. eventually the jetlag was too much to bear and i headed back to the hotel. i had some gelato which was delicious and i had my first encounter with a pushy italian male. i was flattered yet extremely creeped out at the same time.
one of the things I’m most impressed with is the ability to just wander the city with a water jug and fill up in the many water fountains around the city. rome still uses the aqueducts and the water was clean and cool. extremely convenient. our tour guide mentioned that at the hight of rome there were 11 aqueducts to serve the city of about 1 million people. now roam is considerably larger, several million, and they only need 3. i can see how they used so many before from all the fountains i saw in the ruins. amazing. i can’t wait to see the vatican next.