We got to Rome in the morning. It was extremely hot – not one cloud was up. This was no ordinary summer. Summer, is what we wish for in England and only experience for approximately three weeks in a year, that is, if we are lucky. However, in the Meditteranean, they should have another name for summer – it should be called Torrid!
Torrid was what we experienced in Dubrovnik and Rome. My friend and I began to complain at Rome’s point. We were fine in Dubrovnik because we stayed by the sea – also four months of light rains and cloudy skies made us resistant to four days of 31-degree heat.
Although the beach wasn’t too far away, we were done with water activities. I suggested coming to Rome because I am keen on history. As we all know Rome was the pinnacle of human civilization for a long period of time – it had a powerful ruling elite whose army conquered nearly the whole of Europe, North Africa, and the Mid-East. We were wary of the heat and decided to just chill that day – with fine wine, Meditteranean sounds, and cigarettes.
‘I think it’s best we wait for the sun to go down’ My friend had suggested.
‘Absolutely’ I wholly agreed.
Our wallets were beginning to run dry and my bank account had whispered in my ear before arrival to ‘take things easy now’ so I thought it wouldn’t be wise to take as many uber rides as I did in Dubrovnik – ‘Do not indulge!’. I still had some partying to do in Prague, three weeks from that day.
When the sky turned dark, we decided to just continue chilling by the pool bar with some drinks. Our hotel wasn’t at the center of town so there was no real desire to take a stroll to wherever. It was the next day that we got our shenanigans going, not even Rome’s dirty train stations could detach us from our euphoria – it was filthy, to say the least. We got out of the Colosseo train station like we owned the place – by saying hello to everybody. The Colosseum was right in front of me! Wow!
‘There’s no point going in there’ she was unenthusiastic ‘Let’s just take pictures here’. It was as if she wanted to stop me in my tracks because my upcoming suggestion was known.
She was unimpressed. I was so waved that I agreed instantly ‘We shouldn’t waste money’ I still had to visit Prague for my friend’s stag do and she’s got Majorca with her friend.
‘Yes!’ she replied authoritatively ‘Gard damn, I need a bottle of water’
It was very hot that day, my gard – torrid weather, you know. We needed something iced! My friend became hostile because it was like we were in a third world country with all the street-sellers vouching for us to buy water.
We took a few pictures at the Colosseum, magnificent it was, yet overly crowded. It lacked the elegance – and was devoured of the splendour I had imagined it possessed. I think it was the number of buskers and street-sellers or maybe it was because my friend had no approbation for history, I doubt if she has any curiosity about human history. I’m certain, she would’ve opted for a party destination like Ibiza, instead of Rome.
She gave her reasons for disapproving of paying money to go inside a wrecked building and having to queue outside under that scorching sun, wasn’t going to be pleasant indeed. At least, she took decent pictures of me, so she managed to be useful.
It took us close to thirty minutes to get to Victor Emmanuel Monument on foot. I should have booked a guide before coming to Rome, life would have been easier for both of us. ‘This one is more majestic’ I thought and my friend came to life in all its grandeur – also there were fewer tourists. A beauty worth the walk.
I later found out that it was built in honour of a King whose achievements involve unifying the Italian states. Why don’t we hear about this guy? He should be known globally. You know, like Caesar, Augustus and the Pope! He unified Italy! In other words, he made peace amongst the warring Italian cities – at the time.
Don’t take my word for it but I think that’s the statue of Victor Emmanuel ii. It was too hot to take an interest in a guy I knew nothing about. That being said, whoever it was must be of significance.
I went down the steps to look for my weary friend. She gave up on the conquest after seeing the number of stairs it would take to get to the statue.
It was around 3 pm at this moment. My energy began to dwindle. Food? Yes, I didn’t need to think twice. Revamped after launch, we took a short stroll to Trevi Fountain.
The place was crowded. My guess was, the fountain was built in honour of a Roman god. Yet again, I was left wishing we had a taken a bus tour or guide to give us some info. I was far from satisfied but the heat had become unbearable, so we left.
To visit the Vatican is a must. What a fail it would have been if I didn’t go to the Vatican – I summoned the energy to leave the comfort of my hotel. Moreover, this was the only ancient building that is still fully functional. The cradle of Catholicism and the seat of its power. It would be like going to London and not visiting Buckingham Palace or the British Parliament. I stayed there for an hour or so, trying to absorb it all. A feat accomplished because it was a cool evening.
‘I wanted the Pope to come out and say hello’.
Then I went to a nearby pub, found as I strolled around. The night was young and frankly, what would I be doing in the hotel? Listening to my friend complain about how hot the day was or how a hot guy approached to kept her company by the pool.
The pub was small and half empty. A group of friends were to my left catching a vibe while a lady sat at the right-hand corner. She was typing on her laptop. I went to the bar to get a drink before approaching her.
‘Ciao’ I said ‘Co me va’
She looked confused.
‘Ciao’ Then she realised I was speaking Italian.
‘No, No, I’m not Italian’ She giggled, ‘I’m American’
‘Oh that’s good cos that’s all the Italian I know’
She was blogging about Rome. She had been in Italy for over a week already, started from Venice to Florence, then Milan while her final stop would be Naples. Her friend joined us – she was in the loo. They agreed on Florence being the best city so far. Like me, they weren’t impressed by Rome because it wasn’t as clean as a capital city should be. There were too much graffiti and litter. The city had been poorly managed.
My advice is, they need to implement some litter laws and ensure strict punishment for unhygienic acts. Also, the number of prostitutes that lined up by the roadside at night was despicable. I was left wondering if prostitution was legal in Rome. It was revolting.
We had a few more drinks, I added them on Instagram and said my goodbyes. I got back to the UK eager for my visit to Prague.