Friday, February 17
Friday morning came soon enough. I set my alarm for 630 AM to get ready and gather what I needed for my weekend excursion in Rome through API. We had to meet at 7:30 to get on the private bus provided for us to then take of for Rome. The whole ride I don't know if I slept, Josh would say "you definitely slept" but its weird cause it feels like I am awake and can't fall asleep but the trip did seem to go pretty fast. It must be that weird kind of sleep where you daydream about weird things that you think are weird. My friend Kelsey sat next to me and I thought for sure at one point she started to wipe my face because I had something on it... it seemed real but it definitely did not happen. Anyway we arrived in Rome around noon.
We got off the bus and the bus split into two groups for guided tours of the city. The first thing our guide told us was that 18 ft below current day Rome is ancient Rome. Ruins from about 2000 years ago from the Roman empire. All throughout Rome are ancient ruins from the Roman Empire. The Pantheon which we went to after the Spanish steps, and the Trevi Fountain, is the one of the only well preserved buildings from 118 A.D. - 128 A.D. It is 1,899 years old! It started to be built 118 years after Christ was born. Seeing ancient Roman ruins definitely put things into perspective for what it could have been like when Jesus walked the earth. The Pantheon was a temple for the Roman gods of the time and was later turned into a church which kept it preserved. Churches were kept while all else was recycled for new buildings in the medieval ages. It wasn't till the renaissance, the 14th-17th centuries, that things started to be preserved and Roman style was used in artwork and architecture. It's been a while since my art history classes but it would have been cool to come here right after I took the classes that I studied the artwork and architecture I am seeing now. I remember what the important pieces are but I barely remember the history behind them. This trip to Rome reminded me how much I love learning about history. Even my language class has me interested in the history of languages and how they came to be. It is fascinating to me.
My pictures are in order of the guided tour. We went to the Spanish steps first and then the Trevi Fountain. This is a very famous fountain that represents a scene from 19 B.C. of how a pure water source was located. It was believed to be found by a virgin woman. This water source supplied water to Ancient Rome through one of their aqueducts, Aqua Virgo, which was 14 miles long. Aqueducts moved water by gravity alone, it is quite amazing what they had figured out years ago. This aqueduct served Rome for about 400 years. In 1629 it was commissioned by the pope at that time to be created in remembrance of Aqua Virgo. It was finished in 1762. After the fountain we saw the Pantheon and then checked into our hotel.
At night after a brief nap I met Emma H. and we crossed the Tiber River to go check out the popular nightlife locations but we ended up buying Italian beers from a very cool guy who helped us find what we wanted, like a local Italian IPA. It was called bird Plurale IPA and it was great! Then we took our beers and walked over to Piazza Trilussa (a square) right across from the Ponte Sisto (the bridge we took over the river). We set on some steps, hung out, drank our Italian beers, and people watched. Around 12:30 Emma suggested we walk back to the Trevi Fountain to see it at night and take pictures by it. You know, people have told me that nothing good happens after midnight... while this was one of the best decisions I have made after midnight. On our walk we passed the Pantheon and you just have to see these monuments lit up at night. It is a whole different sight to see and it is just as good if not better than in the daylight. I recommend checking the Trevi Fountain out at night. The contrast of the fountain lit up with lights at night is beautiful. Just breathtaking. AND there is hardly anyone there after midnight so that's a plus.
My first day and night in Rome was jam packed with sights to see. Plans are good for structure and to make sure you see what you came to see but I am learning that the memories are made when you wander with no plan in mind. That is when the best memories have happened so far on my trip abroad.
Goodnight - I am 6 hours ahead of my Michigan people, it's almost 11PM
Enjoy these pictures!