I was suppose to meet my cousins at their appartment right after the bridge in front of Castello S. Angelo and what I didn't think was the fact that it was 4km from the train station and my lack of orientation skills would get me totally lost and would cost me 1h30 of pain walk with 20kg on my back.
-Ah! Facile! Stritto, stritoo, prima alla sinistra, stritto, stritto - it's never as easy as they say, EVER!
I finally got to taste Italian pasta, carbonara (I was dying to try it) and one with tomato sauce that was too good to be true and eaten on the Spanish Steps even better! I even surrendered to the Italian Gelato - people who know me, know I'm totally not a fan of ice cream at all -, so it came as a surprise when I actually LOVED IT! And I tasted the best cappuccino of all Italy - true story!
Rome has this unique thing where sometimes it will make you feel like a princess walking such an iconic place, and others it might feel like the city is trying to kill you as you get lost when you were sure you knew the way and with all the crazy traffic where cars and bikes won't stop for you to cross over and you'll have to jump in front of them and test your luck.
Now the funny moment of my family trip. On our last day we headed to the centre and planned to visit the Roman Forum, Palatino and the Colosseum. Got to the Roman Forum first, a surprisingly fast line to buy the tickets and get in. Since it was the day we were leaving, my cousins were going back home and I was getting a train back to Florence, I had my backpacks with me. Once we got to the gate the security looks at me and says I cannot get in because my backpack is too big!!
Him: I'm sorry miss, but for security reasons we cannot let you in. You're backpack is too big...
Me: WHAT? But I have my ticket!
Him: No. You can leave your bag at the hotel or at the train station.
Me: But we already checked-out. I'm getting the train after this. I can't leave my bag anywhere.
Him: Sorry miss, security reasons.
Me: But it's all clothes...CLOTHES! (stared at him for a while but I just gave up) Fine! I want to return my ticket and get the money back.
My family got it and I had to stay outside waiting with my very dangerous backpack.
The next day we were there by 7h30 and there was already a line (Oh my God! What time do you people get up?). Because we wanted to visit the museums as well, and I'd already see the Basilica last year, my cousins sent me to the line to get the tickets. Stayed there for 1h30 and once I got in, I knew we were in trouble. The entrance to the museums was in the same place to buy the tickets. The plan was to get in, buy the tickets, get out and wait for them without having to wait in the line. Now I was inside, but my cousins weren't! .
The Sistine Chapel is obviously the most expercted room (lucky for you, it's at the very end!) and as you climb the stairs to go in, you'll see the amazing sign "No photos" - WHAT? HELL NO!
There's like a dozen guards among the crowd that will tell you to shut up every minute, and every twenty seconds they'll yell "no pictures". When I got in one of them told me that and I just thought "yes, pictures!". I got in the middle of the crowd and managed to take a few photos.
I'm not a very good person at accpeting no for an answer, so when someone tell I cannot take pictures, what I hear is I can take pictures without getting caught.
Do you know you can take photos of EVERYTHING, excpet of the Sistine Chapel? Come one, that's like a kick in the face, and there was no way I was leaving that room eithout some cool photos, and I didn't.
Did I say I saw a REAL Mummy? Oh my gosh, so gross and so cool at the same time!
I was suppose to get on a train at 13h50, but once I got to the station, that train cost twice the price, so I had to stay at the station for 2h, pay 2€ to use the bathroom, and get a train that took me 4h to get to Florence which got me there when it was already night.
Ah! And the thing I love most about trains in Italy. You have this big screens where they put the the hour and platorm of departure of each train. Well my platform only appeared FIVE MINUTES before departure time, and once I asked where it was, the man just told me "Terminal 1, go 400meters. 5 minutes, go!" WHAT? Oh my god!! Italy, you're trying to kill me! Can you imagine running 400meters in less than 5minutes with two backpacks weighting 20kg? I almost died doing that! All I could think was Run, Rita, run, as I tried not to twist my anckle or fall on my face.