Italy was amazing, thanks all for your well-wishes!
The city is amazing. There are ruins literally everywhere — which I guess is what one would expect of a 4000 year old city that has been basically continually inhabited and built upon in its time. Many of the old ruins have newer sections that are still inhabited, and as we walked past the mini-colosseum each night to get back to our hotel, you could see lights on in the high windows.
We went to see Pompeii, which was astonishing. First, I learned that there really wasn’t lava that overflowed the city, but ash and “pyroclastic” blasts that decimated the population. There are beautiful frescoes and mosaics preserved inside the buildings that were amazing to see — my favourite depicted Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, turning a peeping Tom into a stag and setting his own hunting dogs upon him. Oh, and there was also a pictorial “menu” of sorts inside the bordelo. I am not sharing those for PG-ness and also because I was too short to get any good shots.
The Colosseum was also amazing! I had thought I’d be bored I mean, it’s just a really big pile of rocks) but I was mostly just thunderstruck. As they have excavated other parts of Rome and areas around the Colosseum, they found gladiator statues that were broken/hidden/ransacked/etc. One of these was found in 2008 and restored, and it’s most of the body of a horse with the legs of a gladiator upon it. The best part — literally the best part, you can so tell I’m a horse person — about this statue was that the stallion was anatomically correct! Anus, testes, sheath. All there. Loved it.
We walked around a great deal, ate a fair bit (not enough pizza and gelato in my opinion, but some lovely and very traditional Roman dishes like veal saltimbocca, fish crusted in salt, and mussels), and then I did a classically touristy thing and got my phone and kindle stolen. In the hotel. IN THE HOTEL. I am just that good. So there went half of my photos.
No matter, boyfriend will upload his eventually.
We were actually in Italy for boyfriend’s mum’s 50th, and so a big group of us were all there together. A few people made great friends with resteranteurs down the street from the hotel, and we had a shockingly good time drinking and filling their entire small restaurant with our loud American party. We went back three times over five nights, I think. On the one hand, it seemed a pity not to explore more restaurants in Rome. On the other hand, the food was so good, and different each time, and the service was incredible, so why not. I will not be surprised at all if our host and server are adopted and move to California this year. Boyfriend even played Cards Against Humanity with them, which translates about as well as you would expect.
I enjoyed not nearly enough gelato (there’s always room for more gelato) and got to spend time with relatives I haven’t seen in a while, could have eaten more pizza (always room for pizza), and probably could have had more coffee (cofffeeeeee). But now I know I like Rome, so I’ll probably go back for some kind of fat girl “food vacation” and mostly just request delicious things brought to me where I sit so I don’t even have to walk to get them. Though the walking DOES make room for more food.
It’s back to the grind this week! A draft and more analysis due Friday, which is way too soon. I’m also giving two presentations this week — gah whyyyy?! I missed Murray terribly, and kitten, and Jelly, and am very angry I need to wait until 5 PM today to see my beloved ponykins. Oh and Friday I think I’ll just pop over and hang out with a certain cute little ex-polo pony!!