We woke up early and already felt the heat. Sun tried to break into the room through the heavy curtains.
Only then I properly identify where we were. It was Trastevere. The 13th district of Rome, on the west bank of the Tiber river.
Trastevere has narrow cobbled streets lined by classical houses. At night, natives and tourists alike gathering to its many pubs and restaurants. But this district, unlike the city center, is quieter and more peaceful. This is a place where you can escape the crowds.
I went out to the terrace and took a deep and very hot breath. It was only 8th o'clock and we decided that we need to solve one huge problem in this hot Roman sun. Shelter for the next night. I logged in my Couchsurfing profile while my male friends ate their breakfast - quick noodles (student's life).
Then Anita appeared in the doorway with a big smile on her lips. "He let us stay for the rest of the nights," she said. Apparently, our new Italian friend saw how appreciative, clean and polite we are and decided that there will be no harm If we would stay for the rest of the nights on our short trip. Probably he also was sorry for us. Four cheap a*s students who thought they can afford Rome. How silly!
But we were so happy how this all turned out. As we had only two full days in Rome, it was good that we didn't need to spend our time to look for a place to stay. Here every minute counted. We needed to see as much as possible in this small amount of time. If you wonder why we came just for two days my answer again - we couldn't afford more! Dooh!
We lived on the main street of Trastevere. There were many apartment buildings. All windows were covered with sheds, so the sun wouldn't warm up the rooms. On every balcony or even roof, there were some plants, lemon trees, palms or some other greens.
We bought tram tickets in the closest tobacco shop and our Rome's exploration could start.
First thing what we noticed was how small narrow streets mixed up with wide squares and alleys. In one minute you try to get through the street surrounded by historic buildings, the next you can dance on the park with your arms wide open. History is so intense that you feel how all those books from history lessons attack you all at once. Although I didn't like the noise, the tourist crowds, the dirty streets, I loved the ornaments, the statues, the contrasts. I feel that Rome is one of those places you can really love or hate. For me, It was the love at first sight.
Especially I loved the small cars. They were scratched and bumped, but it seems that nobody cared. Locals were busy working and even more busy chilling after that.
The first object what we visited was The Pantheon. It is a former Roman temple, now a church. It is also painters Raphael tomb place.
Next object on our way was Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II. (I will not dig deeper into the historical facts about each monument, statue or object, because then I will need to write a whole history book. But we all know that Google will always help if you want to know more.)
We could see pretty far from this high monument.
It was a nice view to famous Colosseum also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. I think it is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Rome.
Also, we saw Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. As we knew that we will not be able to afford tickets to go inside in any of these objects, it was super nice to peek at least from far. Everything was so impressive. I imagined how imperators and war heroes participated triumphal processions and elections in these ruins.
We even saw Saint Peter's basilica. We knew that there's Vatican city.
Food prices shocked us. We weren't ready to spend 5 EUR for one sandwich. We bought some sweet snacks in the grocery store instead. Also, we drank a ton of water, because it was crazy hot. It is good that you can fill your bottle wherever you go because there are drinking fountains on every corner. A good way to save money that we didn't have.
We walked closer to the Colosseum. But on the way, I felt like I will pass out from the heat, so I had to buy a hat from intrusive street vendors. I really advise you to stay away from them if you don't need anything, but if you do, ask them to lower the price. It's their favorite game!
Right next to amphitheater is an Arch of Constantine. Another historical masterpiece.
The day was only halfway through, but we had to see so much more. Although the historical scenes were on every corner, Rome isn't a small city, so you need a lot of time to see everything. Especially if you walk, and it's +40°C.
To be continued...