Looong drive toward a late afternoon Roman Recap…
Tuesday, May 3rd 2011: Rome
We had an 8am start to the 8-hour drive back down to Rome from Venice. Oy vay. But watching Angels & Demons (since it’s set and filmed in Rome) and two stops at AutoGrills made the time go by quickly enough.
Filling out our review forms on the way gave me that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach of knowing it was almost over. I was a little surprised at some who were openly voicing their homesickness and being ready to leave. Though I suppose deep down there is the intuition that “there’s-no-place-like-home”. I, on the other hand, found myself wishing we could start it all over again. And we technically weren’t even fully finished with the tour yet!
We checked back into the Regent then headed out with Marlen for the walking tour. With the exception of the Spanish Steps, it was somewhat of a recap of what Mel, Alex, Anna and I had done on our first day. We headed down the street parallel to Via del Corso, stopped at the Spanish Steps and continued on to the Trevi Fountain. This time around I threw my coins in with the hopes of added luck/fortune along with all the other things I’d touched, thrown or rubbed in the last two weeks. (I can’t believe it’s been two weeks!). This would be my last gelato stop for the trip – *sad face* – Pistachio as we left the fountain and walked passed the government buildings toward the Pantheon. I’ll go ahead and admit that though I mentioned it in my post on Day 1, on that day when we actually first saw it, I didn’t even realize what it was… So cue my I’m-such-an-idiot moment when we strolled up and I realized, ‘Oh! This is the Pantheon! I’ve been here before!’ Following that, it was a short walk to the Piazza Navona, where we’d had lunch on our first day, and once the photo ops were done, we all had our last dinner together as a group. Bleh, more sadness in the pit of my stomach. The chicken quarters with salad was a little greasier than I was expecting, or had had since we’d gotten to Italy and I even passed on the wine and stuck to just rehydrating with water.
Back at the hotel, some got all gussied up for the last night out on the town. We started out a bar, Studio 18, (which is probably where we should have stayed) and there were af lood of various mixed drinks before leaving and going over to La Maison for the ‘disco’ (i.e. club club) portion of the night. Let’s just say that, unfortunately, not all Italian men are tall, dark, handsome and charming. Yikes. It was a night of fanny packs, slicked back hair, boob grabs, nose-picking bartenders and a missing men’s rugby team that never showed up. By the end of the night we quickly learned that Roman cobblestone streets are not conducive drunken walks home in stilettos or any kind of high heels!