Le Avventure Di Sophia Graf

My thrilling adventures in Europe!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


The train to Rome was a disaster. Just after our stop at Bologna, about 2/3 of the way to Rome, the train stopped. An announcement was made that stated that there were "technical difficulties" and that we would be going again soon. About 45 minutes later another announcement was made that said we would be going back to the last station where we could get onto another train since this one could no longer run. Of course, that train was so full that we had to sit in the pull-out seats in the aisle. Only Anthony and my mom got a seat, where Anthony soon fell asleep. I spent the two hour journey crunched between people trying to walk down the aisle (the food cart was the worst) and trying not to fall off the seat (it was tilted down). When we finally got to the station (two hours later than we had planned, since we had paid for a high-speed train) we stood in line for a long time to get a refund, only to find that we were given free miles for and Italian train company. Seeing as this was our last journey in Italy, they were kind of useless. We stumbled around outside, trying to find our apartment, then eventually found it and got dinner.

Places We Went:

  • St. Peter's - Our first full day in Rome was a Sunday, so of course it was spent in Vatican City. We went straight there, but even so we didn't make it through the security line untill 10. We had thought that mass started at 10, but it had already begun, so we stood in line through the whole mass and got second row seats for the next one. The reason we had been so confused was that there weren't signs anywhere saying the mass time, so we just had to guess. The hardest part was that the mass was in Italian, so I didn't understand a thing. The next day we came back to do the touristy stuff. We paid eight euros each to ride the elevator up to the inside of the dome, where I was scared. Then we climbed 300 stairs to the top of the dome where we found an outdoor balcony. That was where I was really scared, especially since there was just a banister, unlike the inside which had had a metal screen.

  • Pantheon - the outside of the Pantheon was in relatively good shape for it's age, but the inside was in perfect condition. It had been turned into a Catholic church and had many tombs in it including that of Victor Emanuel who united Italy and that of the artist Raffaello (eek, I have no idea if those spellings are right!). The big dome (with a hole in the middle!) is really cool because since it's so close to the ground it seems a lot bigger than St. Peter's, but in reality it's only one meter bigger.

  • Colosseum - we stood in line for a loooooooong time only to find out that the ticket people only took cash. Since Cindy and Anthony were both full price, and we didn't have 66 Euros in cash, some of us would not be able to go. Even after the lady behind us traded us 15 Euros for 10 Pounds (the exchange rate is roughly 1.5 to 1), we still only had enough for four people to go. We decided that Thomas and Anthony, being boys, were automatically in, and since my mom had been already, twenty years ago, she would take whoever didn't go to get gelato. That left it between me and Cindy. At first she decided that she wanted to go, and that I would be left with the gelato, but she didn't seem sure, so I convinced her to get some yummy ice cream while I went inside. When we got inside, I was thouroughly underwhelmed since most of it had crumbled away. There was hardly any of the outer shell of marble left, since a lot of it had been scavenged a few years after the Roman Empire fell and even used in St. Peter's. We did see some bits of stone with words carved on them though that were supposed to be the senators' seats.

  • St. John Lateran - was another church that had been used as the "chief papal residence" before St. Peter's was built. It was a little bit smaller, but just as lavishly decorated. The ceiling was almost entirely gold, but my favorite decoration was the twelve statues of saints in white marble that lined the seating area. In a big cage-like thing above the altar there were supposidly some relics of the heads of Sts. Peter and Paul.

  • The Forum - Thomas said that he wanted to see some unrestored ruins and he got his wish with the Forum. It was basically a pile of rubble in a hot, dusty, archaological site with a few pillars here and there.



Anonymous said...

wow the tran ride dose sound horrible and boring. wow you went to alot of placess


sorry fer all the miss speld word


we miss you alot
cant w8 till u come home

August 15, 2007 10:38 AM  
deen said...

sounds like it was a big dissapointment...


August 19, 2007 10:46 AM  
Anonymous said...

i hate transportation... youre not alone we had to wait 9 hours in the san diego airport, 7 in the grecain one ill tell you the whole story later it was... terrible!!!
you decribed everything perfectly on the up side.. i miss you

August 25, 2007 1:01 PM  

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