A BLOG CHRONICLING MY SEMESTER AND TRAVELS ABROAD

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I hope that this will be an excellent way for me to keep all of my friends and family up to date on my semester abroad in Rome. Please feel free to post any comments you would like, or shoot me an e-mail and I will try to respond as soon as possible. Also, if you click on each of the photographs below, it will display them at their full size.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The McPantheon

I slept in this morning for the first time this week and it was glorious. I rolled out of bed around 11:00 and got ready to head out. I met up with Monica and we headed towards JCU to use the internet because neither of us have access at our apartments (It has been a very difficult adjustment to make). We tried to find a place to eat on the way to school and walked around forever trying to decide where to go. Rome is crazy, every street you walk down there is at least 15 different places to get lunch or dinner, pastries, coffee, gelato, beer, wine, or any other kind of snack that you would ever want, so as you can imagine it is hard to decide where to go. Also, you can’t really tell which restaurants are going to be good and which ones aren’t so you kind of have to just pick one and try it.

We finally decided to stop off at this little restaurant near the river and it turned out to be a great choice. By the time we got there we were starving, so we got a couple of different kinds of pizza and a little bit of penne pasta with mozzarella cheese on it. It was delicious and the two of us stuffed ourselves and the entire meal was only 8 euros and 50 cents.

When we were done eating we went the rest of the way to JCU for a free tour that they had advertised. We showed up and saw that about 80 other people had the same idea that we did. It was a little crazy at first but the group eventually dwindled down a little bit and it was somewhat manageable. The tour guide’s name was Mossimo and he had a very interesting accent. Every time he would pause when he was speaking to us he added a little "ah" to the end of the last word he would say. For example, "This is the Pantheon-ah, but it is not the original structure-ah. It was rebuilt by a different artist-ah…" you get the idea.

This was near the beginning of the tour. Our group blocked pretty much the entire street.

Our tour guide Mossimo is in mid-sentence on the left. He was a great-ah, tour guide-ah.

We saw some very cool piazzas before we headed to the Pantheon, which was breathtaking, but at the same time not quite what I expected. I guess I didn’t realize that it was in a Piazza surrounded by different buildings and shops. You turn the corner and expect a huge opening with the Pantheon in the center of it, but when you turn the corner it looks like someone underestimated the size of the Pantheon, overestimated the size of the Piazza, and just barely squeezed it in to the small Piazza. This was only the first surprise. When you walk out of the Pantheon and look across the Piazza, there is a McDonald’s right in the center of the Piazza. It really kind of took away from the whole experience, but don’t get me wrong, the Pantheon is still completely amazing and probably one of the coolest things I have seen in Rome thus far.

This is the Pantheon. The McDonald's was about 30 meters to the right of me when I took this picture.

This is a view of the entrance to the Pantheon from the inside.

This is part of the ceiling in the Pantheon. It has a large opening at the center and the entire thing is made with and wet lime and volcanic ash to make it lighter.

This is a view walking out of the Pantheon. You can see the huge obelisk in the center of the Piazza in front of the Pantheon.

This is the base of the obelisk outside the Pantheon.

After that we kept up with the tour for a couple more stops and then started to get a little frustrated trying to keep up with the tour group so we decided to break off and check out this “mall” that had a bunch of shops in this cool old building. I bought a couple of dress shirts and some nice pants because I didn’t really bring a whole lot of clothes to dress up in and pretty much everyone does here do I got a few things so I didn’t stand out so much.

This is the inside of the "mall" that we stopped at after the tour.

Then we headed back home and decided to stop by this pizza place called Pizza Buona, one of the places that Monica’s brother recommended to us. It was just a small pizza shop but it was delicious. We waited for some fresh Margharita pizza and it was probably the best we’d had thus far.

Afterwards we headed back home to rest for a while, watched a couple episodes of The Office, and then decided we were going to go out for a little bit in Campo. We didn’t stay long but we did stay long enough to watch Monica use one of the “drinking fountains” that are all over Rome for the first time. They kind of look like a fire hydrant but have a little tube coming out of them that has water constantly running out. At first we thought that you were just supposed to use your hand to make a cup and drink from your hands but this is only one way to do it. We found out that if you plug the bottom, there is a hole in the top that will shoot the water out and that is what you drink from. We were very proud of ourselves for figuring this out (check out Monica’s Blog for the photos).

2 comments:

Annika said...

You do realize there's more to eat in Roma than pizza and gelato?

I know, I was surprised too. ;-)

AdRock said...

Yeah, it took about a week for me to figure that out though. But hey, you can never have too much of a good thing, right?