All Roads Lead to Rome
I do not have time to write anything, so here is a very quick guide to a few things in Rome that should be done by the backpack traveller. Profanity included.
Hear me now and believe me later,
In Rome make sure to go to the Borghese museum in the Borghese park, it has the best sculptures in the world. No exaggeration. It is small and you need to make reservations in advance as there are limited tickets but make sure to do that. Like as in if you do not do this museum and jerk off to some sculptures you will seriously be downgraded in my books.
Check out the all the tourist places and watch your wallet at all times. If the line up for the coliseum is ridiculously long (which it will be) you can get your ticket at the entrance to the park that is on top of the old school stuff just upwards of the coliseum. It is a dual ticket that gives you access to Nero’s palace and park and to the Coliseum (it is the same ticket you would get at the Coliseum).
Go to the gelateria near the fontana trevi, it is a very famous one and is a couple streets in back of the fountain and it has a big poster of an article in the new york times outside and it is probably the best ice cream in the world.
Try and hit up the other side of the river at the district called trastevere (or something like that). But since you do not have much time you may have to pass.
The vatican is pretty cool shit but the actual church is not. Check out the museum and when you head out there make sure to wear pants, not shorts (or they won’t let you in) and get there early or you will have to wait in line in the sun for a long ass while. The sistine chapel is sweet so take your time in there and check out the other cool stuff in the Pope’s crib.
There is a really good restaurant behind the church on the piazza navona and make sure to get buffalo mozzerella. The restaurant has posters on the outside of the place posted on the walls of the building and tables jammed packed with people and their might be a small line up. Make sure to eat outside and be friendly with your waiter and you should be able to get some free limoncello. It is on a street parallel to the piazza and is an offshoot of the street with all the little shops that suck in tourists, try and avoid those places.
There are a lot of small churches (notably one south the colleseum which used to hold the vatican prior to St. Peters and a small one on the road that is directly parallel to the ruins of ancient rome and the coliseum) that are less visited and very nice. do not try to buy drugs as the arabs will rip your balls off.
Also make sure to sign up for the pub crawl and get some flyers when you are at the vatican or at another tourist spot; or when you go to pay just bargain and say that you lost the flyers. It significantly reduces the price but the pub crawl is a lot of fun and you will definitely have a good time, al-might one with loud americans. The pub crawl I took starts at the piazza that has the hooded dude statue in the middle and is the only piazza in rome without a church. The pub crawl will be a lot of fun so hit it up friday or saturday if you are not too tired (as in if you don’t; you will be further downgraded in the Brun Hierarchy of living creatures).
Almost all the hostels in Rome are near the train station and, well, frankly, they are all kind of sketch; so don’t leave your valuable italian belongings in the hostel. Try and pick up some chicks to do the pub crawl with you and I guarantee you will get some serious foreign ass.
Spanish steps are prime real estate for pick pocketing lonely, clueless mexicans/italians, so be careful. Pantheon is very cool and the view from the Emanuelle II is solid as well as the museum that is to the right of it (when facing the monument) (NOT UNDER IT).
You will also notice water spewing out of fountains all over the city. The water is from natural springs found under Rome’s various hills (7 in ancient rome) but much more now. It was this natural source of fresh water that allowed rome to have up to 1 million inhabitants (a feat which was not equaled until industrial london in the 19th century). So that history lesson means you can drink the water from the fountains and if you don’t: you’re a tourist pussy.
If you want any more info contact me.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself,
JonathanPublished on July 14, 2006