Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Rome in a Whirlwind.

Hello guys! So here we are in Rome! I am DAMN EXCITED. I love Rome. I had never been previously and James felt thought that I might need...

Hello guys!

So here we are in Rome! I am DAMN EXCITED. I love Rome. I had never been previously and James felt thought that I might need a holiday after being dragged around the UK and France to meet all his friends and relatives at one go. I didn't need one, but you know, if you offer me a holiday, I'm not going to say no.
No, instead I will grin and bear my artificially whitened teeth at you.

Edit: Here we are now in Singapore, as Rome is known more for it's history than it's internet connectivity.

Anyway! We were in Rome for 5 days and we walked everywhere. And here are some bits and pieces that I'd like to share from our trip. And no, really. We did walk everywhere. I wasn't kidding. Check out our walking route.

#1 I learnt how to count in Roman numerals.

So as you might imagine, Rome is full of old buildings, signs, artifacts, and thingamajigs with Latin inscribed on them. And many of these inscriptions contain some form of Roman numerals which you kind of recognise, but can't really be bothered to figure out. Because, really, the only times people use Latin today is when they need an excuse to sound cultured and snobby.
(Via someecards).

But as it turns out, supercool James used to study Latin in school and sometimes takes it upon himself to furnish you with exciting Latin phrases.
(Via Giphy).

Or, "vir prudens non contra ventum mingit", as James would say.

Anyway, I now know how to count like the Romans because James has made me practice on the many numbers which have been carved into the many buildings.
Fontana dell'Acqua Paola - built in MDCXII aka 1612.

And I am now MMMDCCCLXXVI times better at counting with Roman numerals than the average person. That's 3876 times. And now that I've been educated in the Roman way of counting, I have finally solved one of the mysteries of life. The one where treasure maps ever lead directly to the promised treasure.
(Via Giphy).

My theory is that all the pirates had written "10" in Latin to mark the number of hours they had spent on the map. Or something. I didn't really think this through.

#2 We took a selfie with a man selling selfie sticks.

The Indians in Rome are very enterprising. They walk around major tourist attractions with dozens of selfie sticks strapped to their wrists going "selfiestickselfiestickselfiestickselfiestick". And if you happen to cross paths with them, they stick a selfie stick in your face and insist that you need it. (We don't. We maintain that selfie sticks are a hassle and dangerous in the hands of oblivious idiots.)
(Via Giphy).

Anyway, James and I weren't very amused at the masses of selfie stick peddlers. So we decided to take a selfie with one of them to express our feelings about the matter.
Selfie stick peddler at the Altare della Patria aka Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II. 

These enterprising peddlers are very hardworking. When they are not selling selfie sticks, they are busy roaming around Rome with huge bouquets of roses, shoving a few stems into the faces of every couple they see.
Rose peddler at the Piazza del Popolo.

Even though you might disagree with their pushiness and annoying sales tactics, you got to admire their enterprising spirit. Because when it starts drizzling, these enterprising peddlers whip out their stash of umbrellas and ponchos to sell! Talk about adapting your businesses to suit market demand. Watch out Forbes Top 100, these people are going to knock you off the list!
(Via Giphy).

#3 You have to dress for Rome.

It's true. You've heard about how judgemental the Italians can be when it comes to your outfits. And you better believe it. Why, the lengths that I had to go to to ensure that I was keeping up with the latest fashions.
Yeah. I know. I am the epitome of fashion. The Italians loved it. Sadly, it was waaaay to fashionable for the plain and simple me. So I had to do some last minute outfit adjustments outside a sandwich shop. Outside, because I didn't want anyone to lose their appetite after seeing my sloppy outdated get up.
I know, exciting stuff. But, more about this in another post.

#4 The typewriter building does not sell typewriters.

James kept going on about a typewriter building in Rome. And he said it like I should know what he was going on about. So I did what any logical person would do. Nod knowledgeably in agreement with everything he said and then Googled secretly after.
(Via Giphy).

So it turns out that this is the typewriter building.
Aka the Altare della Patria, National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, Il Vittoriano, or otherwise known as the monument built in honour of the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy. I know the building, I just thought it was called, "that Capitoline Hill building" or something like that. What? Same same.
(Via Giphy).

Yeah so the building got nicknamed "typewriter building" because it apparently resembles one. I don't see it. But then again, some people tell me that they are brilliant and I don't see that either. So you can't really trust my judgement.

It's also referred to as the "wedding cake building" because it also resembles one. Really? I don't think so. How on earth does it look like this awesome wedding cake pictured here?
(Via Wow Amazing).

Still, what do I know about wedding cakes? Nothing. Which is why I was sad to learn that the wedding cake building didn't sell wedding cakes nor were they readily offering wedding cake advice. And they didn't sell typewriters either. Turns out that some guy got a big marble monument built in recognition of him being king and people decided to call it names. Disappointing.
(Via Giphy).

And no, we are not looking at getting a pizza wedding cake that was just an example.

#5 I don't understand the traffic.

So if you have been following my blog, you might already know that my skillful self passed my manual driving test on my first try earlier this year. No? Here's a reminder.
But even so, I still didn't manage to figure out how traffic in Rome works. It's not my fault really. The traffic rules are really different. Like horizontal stripes across roads are markings for carparks instead of pedestrian crossings.
And how the green man doesn't seem to give pedestrians the right of way. But then again, I don't have much experience on the road so I wouldn't know.

What I do like about Italy though, is that the cars are so small and tiny! Look! EVEN I AM CONSIDERABLY TALLER THAN THE CAR.
And that was quite exciting. All the cars, seriously tiny. The number of Twizys and Smart Cars on the roads in Rome is possibly equal to the number of Toyotas you see on the roads here. But I'm bad at estimation so you shouldn't take my word for it. 

But we did also hire a very small and cute car to drive from Rome to Pompeii in!
The Fiat 500! HOW CUTE IS IT!!! When I say we, I mean James. James drove. I sat there and gave him moral support by singing wonderful songs with my tuneful voice.

#6 We got a great view of the city without fighting the queues.

So when you're in Rome, you might notice that most attractions come with a substantial crowd.
Crowd in the Pantheon. (Spot the Ang Moh!)
Crowds at the Trevi Fountain.
Queue at the Coliseum.

Yes, if you want to see cool Roman attractions, be prepared to brave the crowds. Unless you want to go to Castel Sant'Angelo. This is Castel Sant'Angelo.
Which for some reason, isn't all that crowded. You don't have to queue to get a ticket, nor do you have to fight away hoards of people to get some breathing space. Very empty and good.
And the views are pretty good too!
One of the views of the Vatican from Castel Sant'Angelo. 
View of Ponte Sant'Angelo from Castel Sant'Angelo.
View of more pontes (bridges because I now speak Italian like a pro) from Castel Sant'Angelo.

And it's not like the place isn't well known or famous. Why, it's where the riveting finale of Angels and Demons (2009) was filmed. (No I did not know that until James and I re-watched it over the weekend. We became very excited after finding out.)

Okay, I've come to the end of the post! Enjoy the rest of your week and of course, here's one of the wonderful songs which I entertained James with during our car ride from Rome to Pompeii.

❤ Jac.

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