All Roads Lead to Here
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Around 4:30 we had landed and were heading into town on a train. I had grabbed a slice of pizza at the first possible place in the train station. Our hotel is called Hotel Des Artistes and is a half dozen blocks from the main train station in Rome (Termini.) This is the first hotel I've ever stayed at in Europe,and I have heard a million stories about European hotels about how they are all really old and the rooms are tiny and uncomfortable. It is a smaller hotel with probably less than 50 rooms, but they are spread over 5 stories with an old cage elevator to go up and down. The room is huge compared to some of the places we've been to, and very comfortable with old wood furniture and old Christian art on the walls
On the ride up the elevator to our rooms we were riding with an asian lady. Her kids were just outside the elevator and we caught a few words and recognized that she was speaking Thai. We talked for a second and she seemed really surprised that we figured out where she was from. When we got off we said 'sawasdee' and she said 'welcome to Thailand' which is what everyone says when you're there. It was a pretty funny exchange.
It had already been a long day to this point, but we had gained an hour due to the time change (even though we lost one due to the plane delay) and we decided to hit up as much of the city as we could while we had the chance. It is an amazing city. Not very colorful or modern, but extremely old and classic seeming. There are churches absolutely everywhere and you can't go more than a few blocks without running into a plaza with huge statues and fountains.
We wandered around a little bit and slid into an old unassuming church on a street corner. It turns out that it is an old church called Santa Maria della Vittoria. The inside of the church was covered in marble with huge statues and paintings that are hundreds of years old. The ceiling was also painted in bright colors. The most famous part of the church was a statue from some guy named Bernini. I had never heard of him before (I think that probably says something about me,) but it turns out that he is a huge deal here in Rome and especially with Catholic art
After leaving the church we went to the Spanish Steps. They are where hundreds of people sit around on these big steps "waiting to get inspired." It was very crowded, not that impressive, and Jacki bought a pop that ended up being 4 euros (~$6.) We did sit for a little bit, and there was a big obelisk that they had stolen from Egypt. So far we have seen 4 big obelisks that were from Egypt. It's kind of weird to see them so out of place since we had just seen them in their original spots, but at the same time it's kind of cool to see them someplace nice too.
We grabbed some pasta for dinner (amazing) and went to the Trevi Fountain. It's a huge fountain and if you toss a coin over your shoulder into it then you will come back to Rome someday. It is an amazing fountain, newer than most in town and extremely white and clean. For some reason it reminded us a lot of Vegas.
So far Italy has gotten off to a great start. I think we're going to have a good time in Europe.