Europe Day 17 – Rome, Coliseum, Santa Maria

by Troy Grosfield
June 11th, 2010

We headed out of Greece and back to Rome. Greece was a bit stressful due to the lack of order within Athens so it was nice to head back somewhere we felt safe. Boy was getting back to Rome an interesting experience.

For those of you that don’t know what a bed and breakfast is, it’s literally Just that. We showed up to the “Blackberry Inn”, where we were staying, that was just an unmarked door. Our cab driver made a call and a lady met us out front. She introduced us to our house host, Pablo, who didn’t speak much English. Yes, a bed and breakfast is like dorms, but with smaller rooms.

We met our unofficial tour guide and translator on the flight from Greece to Italy, Chris. We met him in line waiting for the flight. He didn’t have a place to stay so we offered to share a room for a night. This actually worked out very well because Chris knew Spanish and could communicate with Pablo. Pablo drove us to where we were staying and showed us our room.

There were three rooms. One for the three of us with three beds, a room next to us where another couple was staying, and a room across from us where some guy who we rarely saw was staying. There was a living room area about 7′ by 11′ that had a frig and a bathroom that we all had to share. Not quite the “Blackberry Inn” I was expecting.

Pablo showed us around the area and was a fantastic host! He bought us dinner and took us on a 4 hour tour around the southern side of the city center in Rome. He explained the history behind a lot of the sights which was something we didn’t have the first time around. We also were looking at everything at night which gives the sights a completely different feel. It’s amazing how many new things you see just from walking down a street in a different direction at a different time of day.

I felt very safe walking along the streets late at night. We covered quite a bit of ground and felt safe the whole way. This may have been one of the more interesting parts of the trip because of all the interaction with the locals. Rome is just as incredible as I remember it the first time!

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