Given the chance, I would live in Italy. Specifically, Rome. It’s the perfect amount of old world and new. The buildings, architecture, and vast history of the city have you feeling as though you’ve stepped back in time. But, the advanced public transportations and crazy drivers remind you that no, you cannot run across the busy street for gelato. Waiting for the pedestrian light is always a good idea in the busy streets of Roma.
We left Florence by 3 in the morning and were in Rome by 6 am. Since the sun didn’t come up for another couple of hours, we sat in a train station until the sun was out and people were about (sound familiar?). Because Rome is such a large city with rich history, we started our day with the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill since they are all in the same area.
For as beautiful as the Colosseum is, it’s a giant old building guys. I am so glad I went and saw it and walked through it and explored the history but, I felt like I was missing out on something. I had this expectation that I would be in awe and wonder of the Colosseum. Although it was incredible, I felt underwhelmed.
What I found traveling through Italy is that I had all of these expectations of how I would feel or react upon seeing or visiting something I had dreamed of and then feeling underwhelmed because that initial feeling wasn’t met. I came in with so many expectations and often left a little bummed because what I saw didn’t meet my expectation.
I realized that it was my expectation of my own reaction that hindered me from enjoying some aspects of the trip. I expected to have a certain reaction when I saw a certain thing and was left bummed out when it didn’t leave me where I wanted to be. Expectation was ruining my mood.
So often expectation can ruin a great experience. We have an expectation that needs to be met and when it isn’t, we’re bummed or whatever else. The situation then becomes negative all because a previously assumed expectation wasn’t met.
Expectation is a fun-sucker.
When I realized that I was allowing my own expectation to dictate my reactions for the things I saw, I got rid of it. No more expectations. Just experiences. I love traveling because I love soaking the world in. When I let go of expectation, I am better able to love whatever it is I’m doing.
In a day and a half, we did all of the typical Rome stuff. We saw all of the historical sights and had some amaaaaaazing food.
My favorite foods in Italy: gelato (always), gnocchi bolognese, bruschetta, and suppli. Suppli is basically a ball of risotto that has been stuffed with mozzarella cheese and deep fried. SO GOOD. We went about a half hour outside of central Rome for that beauty and were very satisfied with our decision. Since it was a little under 2 Euro, I had two. No ragrets y’all.
Our second day we had only 4 hours in Rome and still so much to see. I made us an itinerary to ensure that we saw EVERYTHING. And we did 🙂
Vatican City: Or what we got to see of it, at least. Vatican City was closed the days we were in Rome. Sadly, we didn’t get to see the Sistine Chapel.
Piazza Navona: This Piazza is well known for the three fountains that stand in the middle of it. The Neptune Fountain and The Moor Fountain are the smaller fountains on either side of the piazza. In the middle is the Fontana dei Quattro Fuimi of the Fountain of Four Rivers. This fountain has four men on it whose landscape surrounding them represents the four major rivers of the four major continents under the papal rule at that time, 1st century AD.
Pantheon: There is entirely too much history behind this sucker. The Pantheon was part of a building program commissioned by Marcus Agrippa in 31 BC. WOOOAAHH. Now, I don’t know whether there are parts of the Pantheon that were later added by other rulers but, that building has been there for at least TWO THOUSAND YEARS. Wrap your head around that.
Spanish Steps: Were sadly closed. Our hearts were so sad when we saw the fencing around the Spanish Steps. Alas, there as still more to see!
Fontana di Trevi: And of course, the infamous Trevi Fountain. This is one of those structures that you could spend hours staring at and never tire of looking at it. The Trevi Fountain is breathtakingly beautiful. When we got there, it was being cleaned of all the coins from the previous day (or days, I have no idea how often they clean it). So we had to wait a bit until we could sit on the edge of the fountain for pictures. It took my a few tries before my coin actually went in the fountain. I was a little too excited for my aim to be on point.
Rome is a city you could never tire of. Although we managed to see many of the major sites, there is still so much to to Rome that I hope to visit again and again throughout my lifetime.
Shoutout to my pal Krystal Tran for killing the Airbnb game and letting our little group crash with her and her sweet mother.