Euro Trip – Day 1 “All Roads Lead to Rome”

This is probably the first and last time that my travel entry will have a proper title.

After almost a day’s worth of travelling we arrived in Rome at around 4 in the afternoon. We boarded our bus and was immediately on for a city tour.

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I started taking pictures right away. I wanted to capture the city as is and not just by its famous tourist attractions.

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Our bus stopped right across Palatine Hill. We met with our guide, Amelia, in the area.image

I’ll save her picture for Day 2 for the mean time let’s settle with a picture of her back as she introduces our group to the Flavian Amphitheatre (or commonly known asย THE COLOSSEUM)

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Amelia gathering our group as she will be starting with “history lessons” (I didn’t know how else to phrase them. It’s not as boring as the word lesson implies. They were fun stories about the historical sites.)

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I could only take a picture of certain sides of the Colosseum because they were restoring part of it. (If you’ll look at the upper left corner of this picture you’ll notice the scaffoldings)

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Due to time constraints we didn’t enter the Colosseum. I settled for outside shots with it instead. (Someday I’ll be able to go inside you and also take a picture of you at night, which I opted not to do because of the scaffoldings)

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I wanted to read this whatever’s written here. (I’m guessing something related to the Colosseum.) Sadly it’s written in Italian (I think), or I was just not able to find the English part of the thing.

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My key takeaway would be the reason why they stopped holding gladiator games is because of Christianity. Watching people fight for their lives wasn’t a moral source of entertainment. Another takeaway is that the movie Gladiator starring Russell Crowe is one of the more accurate depictions of the gladiator games.

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The Arch of Constantine sadly its also under restoration. (This isn’t the last historical site that we’ve visited that’s under restoration, sadly there’s more to come.)

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I’m not entirely sure but I believe this is the entrance to Palatine Hill.

Fun fact: The word palace comes from Palatine Hill

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Circus Maximus, it’s the field I believe, and then Palatine Hill, the ruins.

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Family picture which we seldomly have during the trip.

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The phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day” comes from how the buildings of the city were being re-used. Some of the parts of the old buildings such as the pillars were retained or used as a foundation for the next building.

We passed by a church I think (which I was unable to take a picture of) and it used to be a temple of some Roman God and instead of totally demolishing the pagan temple. I think it’s very earth friendly of them to just re-use the site instead of making a new one.

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As you could see (or not really) this is outside the Mouth of Truth made famous by the movie Roman Holiday. I actually wanted to visit this place unfortunately the queue was long that day and it wasn’t really in our itinerary. It has a fun story. If you haven’t seen Roman Holiday or haven’t heard the story. Legend says that if a liar places his/her hand in the mouth, it gets eaten.

I just read that the same church running this tourist site has relics of St. Valentine. THE Valentine that we supposedly celebrate during the 14th of February. Wow. I’ll surely visit this site and the church itself next time I’m in Rome.

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Il Vittoriano the monument built in honor of the first king of the unified Italy, Victor Emmanuel.

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Fontana di Trevi or simply Trevi Fountain. It was quite difficult to get a good shot of and with the fountain. The place was loaded with tourist. It could feel a bit claustrophobic due to the place being like an enclosed space as compared to the outside of the Colosseum.

There’s a coin throwing tradition that has been going on in this place. You’re supposed to toss a coin using your right hand and then over your left shoulder.

There are two legends that surrounds this tradition.ย “The first says that if you throw a coin from your right hand backwards over your left shoulder, you will definitely return to Rome. The second legend inspired the film ‘Three Coins in the Trevi Fountain’, which says you must throw three coins into the fountain: the first guarantees your return to Rome, the second leads to a new romance, while the third will lead to marriage!”

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When in Rome do as the Romans do.

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Gelato!

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The store was packed with tourists wanting a taste of the best authentic gelato. They were also selling pizza at the inner part of the store unfortunately we weren’t able to try it which is such a shame because some of our tourmates were able to and said that it was really delicious and far from the pizzas here in the Philippines.

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This serving was about 4โ‚ฌ.

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We each had our own gelato which was a mistake. First was the serving I should’ve just bought us the 2 something euro gelato which was in a cup instead of a cone and had less gelato because we (I) didn’t finish our (my) gelato. Second we should’ve just shared so that we’ll be able to buy and taste their pizza. Not only would it have been cheaper but it’ll be like hitting two birds with one stone.

Anyway what’s done is done. We (I) learned from that day to not be too excited and think first before buying something.

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Some works of art on the pavements. I think they’re for sale but I’m not entirely sure because we just passed by them as we were heading back to the bus.image

This (the balcony right where the flags are) is where Mussolini made some historical announcements (such as declaring war with Britain).

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The day was ending. It was probably around 7pm and the sun was just setting.

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Had our dinner at La Carovana Ristorante. We were surprised by the sit down dinner. We didn’t expect that the food was being sent out by course so by the time they served the main course most of us were already full.

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Once again this is the Trevi Fountain. I’m posting another photo because I find the site absolutely wonderful despite its jam-packedness.

I think Rome is just amazing the clear blue skies, the sunny weather. I even had to pull my sleeves up because it wasn’t as cold as expected. It was a great first destination as it paved for a good transition to the climate/weather in European countries. (Or we were just extremely lucky that the weather in Rome was wonderful)

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