Rome again - yay! Arrived at about lunch time yesterday and headed straight for La Controra. It was a quiet evening but nice because I got to see Martina and Renata again. There weren't many english speakers there this time (and there was a family with a toddler that kept crying) so I watched The Tourist online and we just blobbed.
I allowed two hours to get to Plus Camping Roma - the meeting point for my Topdeck tour. Thank god I did too, because navigating the metro and a crowded bus with a suitcase, a sleeping bag, a handbag, AND a laptop bag takes a weirdly long time. But I managed and I got here with a while to spare. So then the bus came and it turns out that only four people are on the Winter Rhapsody tour, but we've joined up with a Winter Spirit tour that started in London a week ago. Everyone is really nice and the nus is cool too so it's all going well so far!
So we hopped onto the bus and headed into the centre of Rome for a five hour walking tour with Amy, the tour leader. I'd already seen most of the stuff on the tour but it was nice to hear Amy give all the historical background to the things that I hadn't studied in Classics (I was near the back of the group and some of the people couldn't hear so I was also relaying my knowledge too - Trudy would be proud!) but we went to the Capuchin Crypt which was so weird... It's a hallway inside a monastery where the walls are completely decorated with the bones of dead Capuchin monks. Grim but interesting!
It was dark and cold by the time we were done and we all came back to the hostel for dinner (pasta, roast pork which I actually ate, and mashed potatoes) and then headed for bed! I had a spontaneous bout of homesickness so Mum called me and I felt lots better. I think it was just an accumulation of the nerves of getting started on Topdeck, tiredness, and a splitting headache. But I'm okay now!
Today I got up at 6am and was going to shower but it turns out that the shower in my mini bungalow (a two person room that is so cosy and warm and even clean!) it dumb and won't warm up, so I just sat for a bit and at 7:30am this morning we were back on the bus heading for the Vatican City and a tour with a mad but great British lady who showed us around all the important bits (apparently if you spent one minute looking at each piece of art in the Vatican then you would take seven sleepless years to get around) and that was great. Then Matt and I went to the Pantheon again and down to the Colosseum and Forum and then out for dinner (finally had a salad!) and now we're back at the hostel.
We're driving to Venice tomorrow, via Verona! I'm excited to see some more of Italy and to go to Juliet's balcony! When we get there we're having a New Years dinner and then going out into the city to see the celebrations. Everyone on the tour has being buying red underwear - apparently it's an Italian tradition and if you wear them on New Year's eve then you'll have good luck fo the whoe year! Photos to come.