Five days in Rome with my History and Philosophy class.
01.02.2010 - 06.02.2010 13 °C
Our arrival was delayed due to fog on the airport in Frankfurt, but when we first arrived everything went smoothly. I was travelling with my History and Philosophy class and we had been looking forward to this trip for almost half a year. When we landed at the Leonardo Da Vinci airport we were all hungry and tired. We had met at the airport here in Stavanger in Norway at half past four in the morning and most of us had not eaten since then. The clock was two now and Rome was sunny, it was like a fresh breath of air. In Norway there were minus degrees and snow, here the grass was green and it smelled like spring.
Half an hour later by train we were standing just outside the Termini. Our hotel was a ten minute walk from here. Staying by the Termini at first seemed scary; it is kind of a dodgy area and especially girls should be at least two and two when walking to and from the hotel, especially at night.
The hotel we stayed at was ok, the only problem was that the walls were thin and we had to be quiet at night. Our teacher called it “The Forbidden Zone” just so we would remember it even when we came home at night after being out.
The first day we had a quick lunch before we went to see the Pantheon, a few churches and such before we parted and went our separate ways. The first thing we did was to go to a small liquor store and then to a small supermarket where we learned that liquor is cheaper at the supermarket than in a liquor store. If wine-tasting and advice is what one is after, the liquor store would be best, if not, a supermarket is much cheaper and if one also have a limited amount of time, a supermarket is faster. When we were done shopping for beverages and snacks we went back to our hotel.
Rome is a beautiful city, especially at night. We were going out and we wanted to have fun. First my entire class ate at a restaurant just across the street from our hotel before some of us wandered down to the termini where we found a cocktail-bar. The thing is, in Rome being a foreign girl; you are very welcomed, if not dragged in to the bars with promises of free drinks and good music. This is what happened when we walked by this cocktail-bar and when we finally agreed to go in we got free shots and ordered our drinks. A while later we met some architecture-students from Amsterdam. This is another thing about Rome; you meet more tourists than Italians at some places.
The next day we went to the Coliseum. The feeling of standing in the middle of it, seeing blue sky and imagining the actions that had taken place here, was grand. I felt overwhelmed; it was truly unbelievable that I, I of all people should be fortunate enough to be standing here, in the most historical city in the world. After having seen the Coliseum we preceded to the Forum Romanum, yet another historical place overwhelmingly beautiful and tragic at the same time. Forum Romanum is a mix of old temples and ruins. I was standing in this epicentre of cultural heritage and my phone rang. I was shocked, looking at my phone and then glancing over at the columns that had once made up a temple for women.
That night we went out as well, in fact we went out every night. You cannot go to Rome without taking the opportunity to go out. We found an Irish Bar called Scholar`s and if you are to go to only one place when you are in Rome, go there. The bar serves every kind of drink imaginable (I recommend the Strawberry Daiquiri), the bartenders are experienced and they have food as well. In this small confinement of a room there are people from my age (young) to people in their sixties, they have screens with football matches and sports events, but this all stops around ten. At ten they put on music and the fun begins. Friday night they had a live-band, I have been other places in Italy, but I have never heard a good band, not before that Friday.
The next days we went from the St. Peters church to the Hard Rock Cafe to Via del Corso where we did most of the shopping. Via del Corso have a mix of expensive boutiques and affordable fashion like Zara`s and Brandy and Melville.
Being in Rome offers something that cannot be experiences in other countries, or in other cities for that matter. It smells Italian and even the shortest walk down a street is fascinating. The people living there are accommodating and nice. Especially if you are a girl from a country like Norway where boys are usually very passive, the Italian boys as well as other tourists are a fresh breath of air. In Italy the smile and eye-contact from across the room actually works.
Another thing about this city, the beautiful Rome, is the profound feeling of home one gets. I could not help but feel at home, like Rome was the city I was destined to live in. I have been other places in Italy and in other countries, but have never felt such a profound sense of belonging to a place before.
I know where I am going back and I know where I want to live now...