August 17, 2008

rome: first impressions

Posted in rome tagged , , , , at 9:44 am by Malia Yoshioka

rome. so many things to see and do. visit the pope’s crib. admire the sistine chapel. relive gladiator in the coloseum. toss a coin into the trevi fountain. indulge in carbo-loading heaven. and we’ve only got 3 days!

arriving in rome, kim and i found our way to termini station and checked into our hostel. our room was three flights up a winding staircase and by the time we got up with our bags we were so tired! but there’s no rest for the weary. when in rome, you’ve got to do as the romans do, right? so we hit the streets, and i tested out my sense of direction to see if i could find the trevi fountain.

along the way we came across lots of basilicas, grand piazzas, and important looking buildings. not wanting to break out the map, we dubbed them all “buildings of historical significance” and kept moving. the streets of rome give me the same grand feeling as the streets in paris, except the color scheme is different. where in paris the buildings are mostly white, biege, or light in color, in italy you get the “renaissance colors” of yellows, burnt oranges, and the occasional pink. the cobblestoned streets in rome are similar to the ones in paris too, except that the stone they use is black. both have beautiful wrought iron balconies and grand statues build into the facades, and wear their age well. both have a special place in my heart.

eventually we found ourselves walking down the via nazionale, talking about what songs were stuck in our heads all day, and other random thoughts. suddenly, a moped rider crashed right in front of us! it happened so quickly that i didn’t even realize how it happened. kim said she saw him smack into a big metal utility box near the street, and he landed on the sidewalk about twenty feet ahead of us. we rushed over, with a few other bystanders, and watched as one man took charge and made sure the ambulance was on its way. knowing there was nothing else we could do, we walked away, both of us really shaken by it, and suddenly both very grouchy!

i guess that set the tone for the rest of the evening…

soon we found the trevi fountain, a beautiful baroque extravaganza of sculpture, and a buzzing beehive of tourists and souvenir sellers. my heart dropped a little, despite the grandeur of the fountain itself, because the huge crowd detracted from the peaceful feeling of the water sculpture. supposedly, tossing a coin into the fountain means that you will one day return to rome, so kim and i both tossed in a euro, then quickly made our way out to find something to eat.

trevi fountain, rome

for our first meal in rome, we wanted to try to find some good pizza. i was really starving though, so we ended up choosing a little cafe a block away from the trevi fountain. the sour-faced waitress ignored us for a good ten minutes, brushing by every so often to bring other people their food. when she finally marched over and stared at us expectantly, we told her we hadn’t seen the menu yet! i guess that should have been a red flag, but instead we made our orders and waited for the food.

when it finally arrived it was disappointing. we ordered red wine, and she brought us white. kim’s margherita pizza didn’t have fresh tomatoes like she wanted. my pasta was al dente, yet lacking in flavor. and needless to say, the service was horrible. the bill was outrageous as well, and we left feeling as if we’d been cheated. first the moped accident, then disappointing italian food.

our first meal in rome

oh well, that was just our first night… two full days of sightseeing ahead of us, so things can only look up from here right? i know the eternal city can do better! =)

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6 Comments »

  1. Mom said,

    Gotta get better from there, right? Love you. Mom

  2. Brianne said,

    hi my dear. just wanted to say I enjoy your blogs. keep ’em coming (i subscribed to it on my google reader…I love that thing!) i also subscribe to this really sad but uplifiting blog about a dad who’s raising his daughter alone. the baby’s mom died the day after she gave birth to her……check it out one day. it’s pretty awesome.
    http://www.google.com/reader/view/?tab=my#stream/feed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.mattlogelin.com%2Ffeed%2F

  3. Brianne said,

    just realized I gave u the link ot my reader…not sure if that works, so here’s the link to the blog
    http://www.mattlogelin.com/archives/2008/08/21/wednesday-august-13th-anniversary/

  4. wisa said,

    I hate bad service! And to have a bad meal in Rome?! That sucks.

  5. sheryl said,

    i love reading all your blogs.. It a motovation to travle. you should wright a book..

    I am so exieted you are in rome.. finaly.. yah…. and you got to go to the fountain.. did you get to see the colosuem.. ahh so so so cool..
    miss ya

  6. maliayosh said,

    bri, thanks for the link to that blog – you’re right, very sad yet inspiring at the same time! =)


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