It was time to explore Rome. I had a rough idea where I wanted to go but had a short walk to get there. Most of the walk was through a city that felt like any other in Italy. Building after building, I wasn’t paying much attention to the modern architecture around me. Suddenly, as a passed down a narrow street between two large buildings, there stood the Arch of Constantine and the Roman Colosseum. This is the Rome I was looking for.
The Colosseum was just the tip of the iceberg. Stretching out behind it were ancient Roman ruins heavily protected by the city. Tourists lined up to enter the ruins that were fenced off from everything else around them. I decided to walk around the outside parameter to see as much as I could without being surrounded by the huge masses of people.
There was so much to see in Rome. I’m sure I could have spent several more days just exploring. Everywhere you turned, there was something that reminded you that you were in a city thousands of years old. To my disappointment, the Trevi Fountain was under heavy renovations, but there was still so much to see throughout the city. At one point, I ended up at a dead end with a single door at the end of it people were slowly trickling in and out of. It was small church, so I took a look inside. The church was certainly very old, and made me wonder how many people had stepped foot through its doors.
That night, I met back up with my friends from the night before. We sat around on the rooftop again. This time there were a few new faces; two of them were a couple of girls from Buffalo who were convinced they needed to go to a certain Roman club that night. We sat around, telling stories and joking until the rooftop closed and again we made our way to the bar downstairs.
Not many people were excited about the club idea, but I wasn’t all that opposed. Aussie Matt initially didn’t want to join us, but after a few more beers we were able to convince him. The girls went and got ready while the guys waited around at the bar.
We took a taxi to the club and walked up to the entrance. The bouncer stopped us at the door, looked us over, and proceeded to explain to us that the club was closed that night. Apparently the electricity was out, he said. What’s curious about the whole thing is that there we Italian girls waiting on the other site of the door. Maybe they were electricians.
The taxi driver hadn’t left yet so we caught a ride back to the hostel. The bouncers back at the club didn’t realize since Matt had been a chef in Italy the last two years, he spoke some Italian. He explained to us on the ride back that they were criticizing the girls’ footwear; the girls had decided to wear flip flops to the club. Oh well.
Before we called it a night, we stopped at a little pizza shop across from the hostel. After a couple of drinks and some slices of pizza, I decided to head back. I thought about staying another night but decided against it. I had heard some good things about Cinque Terre from an former coworker and knew it would be an escape from the big, touristy cities I had been visiting. At this point, I think it’s exactly what I needed.