Thursday August 7th, 2014: To start the day off we thought our flight was at 10:30 and not 9:30, so we knew it was going to be a long one from the beginning. Once we finally got a flight and made it to Rome around five we checked into our hostel and decided to grab some dinner. Luckily, the hostel was serving free pasta for us to indulge in. After we walked around and stumbled upon the oldest gelato place in all of Rome, which was packed. We got a huge cone for 3 euros and it was delicioso! To end the night we grabbed a beer at a local bar and then got a good night of sleep before a long, touristy day tomorrow.
Friday August 8th, 2014: Today we made our way to the Colosseum and the ancient Roman buildings that surround it. We first toured the place around the Colosseum, which is where the great civilization of Rome was and conducted their everyday lives. It was crazy to see just how complex their architecture was and how advanced they were for their time period. It is arguably one of the greatest civilizations of all time and it was super interesting to walk around and see just how they lived their lives. When you walk into the Colosseum, it leaves you breathless. It is one of the most exhilarating spots I've ever been to and just how massive it is as well as what went down there makes it absolutely spectacular. We learned some cool things by eavesdropping on some tours and how the gladiators actually only had a 30% death rate. They also were able to hold up two fingers as surrender, and the crowd controlled their fate: live or die. It's crazy to think in 80 AD, there were games like this that brought in such a tremendous crowd. We then walked around and explored some more of Rome before getting a three-course meal of authentic Italian food.
Saturday August 9th, 2014: We slept in a little later this morning because our Vatican admission was not until 3:00 pm. We had a couple hours to kill before so we decided to walk there (it was about an hour walk) and kind of explored more and got lunch along the way. We stopped by the Pantheon, which is a huge dome church that was built 1000's of years ago, a great site to see. At the Vatican, it was cool to sit on the steps and just take in everything around us. The Vatican is huge, and just looking at how massive it is really puts into perspective how much Romans care about their Catholicism. Once we made it inside, it was the most crowded out of any place we have ever been. There were people everywhere trying to see the Sistine Chapel or 16th chapel (what Adam thought it was called). There is a lot to the museum before the chapel but it was hard to stop and look at things with all the people that were there, Saturday probably wasn't the best day to go. There aren't words to describe the chapel; you simply have to see it. Michelangelo's paintings are absolutely breathtaking and every inch of it is covered from bottom of the wall to the top of the ceiling, it's easy to see why it is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world. After seeing that, the other part of the crew who were in Budapest the past two nights met up with us for dinner. We went out to a cool bar after where Wiston and I played some Navy guys in beer pong. They bought us beer for winning and we hopped to a couple other places in the Campo di Fiori square, a very touristy bar scene in Rome.
Sunday August 10th, 2014: A bittersweet feeling, our last day in Rome and our second to last day in Europe. We decided to walk to all the other things we had yet to see and hit a couple famous restaurants. The first place we went ended up being closed because it was Sunday so we stopped for gelato instead (our last gelato of Italy unfortunately) (which we had way too much of). We walked to the Spanish Steps another big touristy spot and picked up some souvenirs for everyone's friends and family back home. We then walked to a huge park where the Tempio Di Esculapio is located. We had our last meal at a random Italian restaurant right by the Basilica. I had pasta with clams one of my favorites and it was a great way to end our travels in Rome and the rest of Europe for that matter.