Buongiorno readers! It is currently 10am and we are just waking up. It is nice to get a sleep in. We are not on Contiki any more, which is bittersweet. It is sad because we will miss everyone, but we are finally able to relax.
We started the day with a relatively late wake up (8am) which was nice. We had the classic hotel continental breakfast, which was pretty average as usual. The Orange juice they serve at these hotels is bright red for some reason – its pretty nice, but also weird. Then we jumped on the coach and heard our last day song.
Our stop was the Colosseum/Roman Forum. We had a guided tour through both of these impressive ruins. The Roman Forum is a ruins that has the remains of ancient Roman government buildings. It is where Julius Ceaser’s body was cremated in 44BC and where Marc Antony held up the severed head of his enemy Cicero. Lots of the cobblestone steps that we were walking on were original from that time. As we walked on these steps, I kept thinking about the history that had taken place at this same spot and that this is literally where emperors and ancients romans like Julius Ceaser and Marc Antony had walked thousands of years ago. It’s pretty amazing.
Then we went into the Colosseum. This is the first building we visited when we got to Rome and now we are back here to go inside. It is a beautiful creature. The Colosseum is firstly enormous, but seems a bit smaller in scale once you get inside. They are always renovating (cleaning) it so you can never really see it in all of its glory. It is pretty magnificent though. I was picturing lions and gladiators fighting and thousands of people cheering them on. Of course this was driven by images of gladiator and Russell Crowe saying “are you not entertained?”.
It is pretty dog because you cant take any liquid into the colosseum. We had to ditch our sunscreen. Not having sunscreen and walking around Rome at this time of year is a terrible combination. Jimmy was leading a walking tour around this city for the next hour, but we have already seen all of the sites hat he was going to take us to and we really did not want to get sunburnt so we opted out of the walking tour and instead we went to a pharmacy to buy sunscreen and caught a cab back to the hotel to get out of the sun and to get some rest..and rest we did. We spent the next 6 hours in the hotel sleeping and relaxing. We didn’t want to leave so we ordered some maccas via Uber Eats (definitely something we do not want to get into the habit of doing), though it was pretty good and we knew we were having a bit Italian feed tonight so we didn’t feel too bad.
During this time we also needed to do Contiki tips. Contiki recommends that you tip the drivers/tour managers €3 per day. They really do go above and beyond and deserve this bit of extra money.
7pm came and it was time to head out to our optional dinner (had to pay). The dinner was called “La Dolce Vita”. It is literally an underground cave just down the road from the Colosseum that is renovated to be a restaurant. The good thing about caves is that they have really good acoustics. This lends itself well to the fact that the waiters also doubled as opera singers. Every 10 minutes they would bust out into a song which was pretty awesome. They were really talented and had great voices.
We had some weird entree which was like eggplant quiche and some cabbage thing that was pretty gross and we didn’t eat. Then we were given three pastas that Rome is famous for – Cacio e Pepe, Amatriciana and Carbonara. They were delicious. I (Ronnie) love pasta and smashing all three of these was unreal. They were really tasty, spiced well and there was lots of it. We didn’t really get pictures of it because they were also serving a shitload of wine which of course we were drinking.
At the end of the dinner, we were well on our way. It was our last night on tour so we decided to make it a big one. Alessandro (our bus driver) dropped us off at Piazza Navona where we went to a bar that was €15 for two mixed drinks and a shot. They do free-pour here and the drinks are super strong. We smashed the shot and a few vodka/pineapple juices and Jimmy snuck us another shot which was cool.
We were very drunk at this point and it was time to say goodbye to everyone. This was sad and we had lots of drunken hugs. We then had the task of waving down a taxi, which was difficult because everybody else was doing this too. It eventually happened though and the guy was an absolute maniac of a driver. Zipping through the streets and into the other lane without giving a single fuck. He was also on the phone the whole time. The roads are wild in Rome, they all drive like this. I would not recommend driving here if you enjoy being alive.
Aimee threw up hard when we got back to the hotel. I was good though, I just annoyed people on messenger whilst doing my classic stay up and sober up whilst ingesting way too much water. It is a sure fire hangover prevention method and I feel good now – so it worked!
- Colosseum/Roman Forum ME Time Optional – €64
- Water – €2
- Sunscreen/hand sanitiser – €21
- Taxi – €12
- McDonalds – €18
- Optional dinner “La Dolce Vita” – €81
- Tips for Jimmy and Alessandro – €150
- ATM fee – €6
- Drinks at bar – €15
- Taxi – €14
- Money from Hugo & Maya for taxis – +€9
Well over budget today. We knew it was going to be big, but in the longer run we are still about 6-700 under budget so that is awesome. A chill day in Rome is to be had today!
Ronnie and Aimee