After a very strange sleep that involved a picnic and disembodied voices, I woke up groggily, checked my watch before doing a double-take.
There’s no way it’s 11:30am. I looked out from the window to see people milling around on the streets, cars darting in and out of side roads, and a blue, blue sky. Okay, so maybe it is 11:30am. Oops!
My mom didn’t have anything specific to do today, so she let us all sleep in a little. The consequence of that was getting out of the guest room at 12pm. We first stopped at the electronics store, Euronics, for an extra converter. In time, too, because the only fully charged device we had on hand was my dad’s phone, and only two other devices were even able to be used at that point.
We then left for the Pantheon, another well-preserved Ancient Roman building whose primary use today was also a church. At this point in time, I don’t think I’ve emphasized exactly how much Rome loves her churches. When I say “church”, I mean at least a hallway like area that could hold 3 floors and is fully decorated with handprinted ceilings, sculptures, columns, paintings, candelbreras… you get the picture! Everything! Isn’t it amazing that the Romans, throughout history, have put in this much effort and skill to making their religious buildings have so much beauty, intricacies, and meaning? Even if you aren’t Catholic, you can respect the dedication that they put in to their religion.
Anyways, back to the Pantheon. Inside the Pantheon, while taking pictures, my dad pointed out a kid taking pictures with a camera while holding various strings of bagged items, like sunglasses and other cameras. When I looked at him, the thing that gave him away that he was a pickpocket was his countenance of desperation and fear, not necessarily the things he was carrying. As I walked around the Pantheon, I checked back constantly to see if the kid was around. Typically, I carried everything in my black bag which had a large flap on the front. With my hand constantly gripping the bottom of the bag while I was walking around, I basically made sure that I was not going to be an easy target to pickpocket. After the incident with my mom’s fitbit being stolen awhile ago, I made extra sure to clasp my watch tightly on my wrist, so that wasn’t going to be stolen. Even so, I am a paranoid person in general, so I kept an eye on him. Generally, pickpockets in Italy were a group of kids and their mother, so I fully expected others to be around. Anyways, the kid eventually left in a hurry with his siblings and mother, not wanting to get caught, I suppose.
After visiting the Panthenon, my mom had us stop in a church along the way to Piazza Venezia. Church rules were that you couldn’t enter with knees and shoulders showing, so they also had a box full of red and green colored tarps for people to use if they conveniently had their shoulders and knees showing. After taking a look around and waiting for my mom to finish taking pictures, I had a bit of fun with the tarps. I played around with how the fabric could be manipulated, and ended up having a bit of a fashion show with my sister in a Catholic Church.
On the way to lunch, my mom got sidetracked by a roadside vendor selling personalized name necklaces. 5 Euros, 8/8 would say they’re gr8.
We then went to Piazza Venezia, a place with a palace dedicated to some of Italy’s finest rulers. It would be nice if the weather wasn’t burning our skin off, so we sat in the shade for awhile, admiring the view the palace gave us. We could see our destination, the colosseum, off in the distance.
The Roman colosseum was as grand as we always thought it was, except the floor was missing to reveal the complex elevator system underneath. The grandiose colosseum, however, was overshadowed by “I’m a Barbie Girl, in a Barbie World~~~” and loud chants outside the attraction. Running to the nearest opening, I could see crowds, stretching for at least a mile on both sides on a road adjacent to the colosseum, holding up rainbow flags and blasting pop music. Buses drove on the middle, with signs such as “No sexism, No fascism, No racism”, and “LGBTQ rights are human rights”. It was an exciting spectacle, with mixed reactions from everyone watching. It wasn’t as varied as it might have been in America, due to Italy being more… exhibtionist? I don’t know how to describe it exactly. Italy is more used to their sexual freedoms, I suppose.
After roads were cleared up from the performance, my family headed over to the Fontana di Trevi. Apparently, it was in some movie, so there were crowds everywhere around it. My mom wanted to stay to take pictures, but the rest of us wanted to flee on sight. Coincidentally, the fountain was right next to the Piazza de Spagna, which was having a national dedication to its navy with a band concert on the Spanish Steps. I got gelato ice cream again, and just was impressed how open Italians were to random strangers. The servicemen were extremely pleasant and cracking jokes, even though we could not 100% understand then.
As my little sister and I ate our gelatos, we walked down Rome’s “Magnificent Mile”, with brand name stores lining that street. My mom had my sister and I take a hilarious (?) photo by the Chanel store as well.
Before we got home, my family went to a local grocery story, and I picked up some gum. Now, this wasn’t any ordinary gum, this was Tic Tac’s new watermelon gum. Mind you, I’ve never had a Tic Tac before, much less Tic Tac gum. But the magical moment in which I crunched into that capsule had some cooling effect, and my tongue tingled with the frigidness of whatever crystals lay within the watermelon formula.
Finally, my family got home at a solid 10pm, with no mafia in sight. That’s another thing, too. If there’s any organized crime, they didn’t make themselves known very easily, which was both good in that we couldn’t notice any crime going on, and bad because there was no… spice. I watched too much of this mafia anime (KHR, anyone???), and kinda wanted to see some action. But in Rome, at least, there would probably be more white collar crimes going on rather than duels. With that thought in mind, I closed my eyes to the world.