Friday, March 13, 2015

Ancient Rome and the Selfie Stick

I need to start by apologizing to all those people out there waiting on the edge of their seats for the latest and greatest coming out of Italy! We are desperately trying to beat the bad internet availability, but are constantly hitting walls everywhere we go! We will stay vigilant, so keep checking!

Here is some information from day 2 where the group visited the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and had many other fun adventures!

Breakfast in the hotel was a lot different than your typical American breakfast. We enjoyed a breakfast that featured cereal (Corn Flakes) and a variety of flavored breads. There was no meat or eggs being served. The Italians tend to stay away from those foods. A lot of yogurt and crostada (a jelly filled pie).

The Roman Coliseum
After breakfast the group headed to the Roman Coliseum for a tour. Personally I was extremely excited to be visiting such a historic venue such as the Coliseum. I had a feeling that it would be an awesome sight, but when we got there I was completely blown away. It was absolutely stunning. Before the tour we had some free time to take pictures. The Coliseum is a great spot for pictures. Inside the Coliseum, an Italian tour guide took us around. She enlightened us on the history of the Coliseum. Being inside of the Coliseum gave me the full effect, a feeling that a picture could not give. I could picture the gladiators fighting in front of the 60-80 thousand people watching and cheering. It was a very surreal opportunity.

Forum and Lunch
After Visiting the Roman Coliseum, we walked with our tour guide a short ways to the Roman Forum. The Forum was a gathering place used by the Roman people for many different things such as politics and economics, and it is also where the courts where located. The architecture of the courts inspired many of the designs of the churches. Julius Caesar had a house for the Senate built in the forum. The Forum was the hub of ancient Roman life. In Ancient times there were shops in the middle that were surrounded by restaurants. Being able to see the forum gave us great insight to what Roman life would have been like.

When we were done with the forum, we took another short walk to the Piazza Venenzia, the Italian equivalent of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. When we got there we were given free time for lunch. A few of us found a little snack bar where we got a couple sandwiches, which were very delicious. I got a prosciutto with mozzarella and a pepperoni with greens and mozzarella and a coke. The lady that served us was very sweet. After that we found, almost right next to the snack bar, a very modern looking gelato shop which was also was very good. I got hazelnut gelato with nutella mixed in along with Lemon. Both were very refreshing.

The Selfie Stick
Here in Italy, while roaming the streets, the group has been approached by at least 30 different street vendors. All of them selling the same useful yet annoying tool, the Selfie Stick. This is how it goes. A vendor walks up speaking Italian (which none of us can understand), points the stick at us, and says either “10 Euros?” or “15 Euros?”. The answer is always no because 10 or 15 Euros is an outrageous amount to pay for one of these sticks. Yesterday, the group decided that we should try to see who could get the vendors to sell us a stick for the lowest price. We each began to bargain prices with the vendors. Some of us got the prices down to 8 Euros, some down to 6 Euros. Zai got one vendor to the lowest price the group has seen yet, 4 Euros. The overall total number of selfie stick purchases on the day added up to 6. Mr. Churchill even participated in the bargaining. He seems to be the most excited about his selfie stick purchase. Since he’s gotten it, he pulls it out and takes group selfies at every venue.

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