This is my journey from the first time I made my way to that la paese bellissima! I wrote it on my first attempt at a blog, that I never did actually end up keeping up with, so I thought I would put it on here to share. 🙂
Hope you enjoy 🙂
Well i was quite nervous about making my way to italy, the place i have dreamed about going for so long. It’s quite funny the way it turned out for me to actually end up travelling to italy for so long. When i was planning my 6 week Euro trip, i had decided at first to travel to france, spain, italy, germany, the netherlands, and either denmark or scotland, but that list got cut down severely after i attended a catholic conference Ignite, which was a weekend conference for young adults. I had just moved to Brisbane, to get away from a rather unhealthy life on the Gold Coast, staying with good friends, while i saved for Europe, and we went to a Charismatic Catholic Church one sunday morning, and after church we were talking to a young couple outside the church, and they were talking to me about Ignite, i looked at the price, and as i currently was unemployed at the time, i was like “yea, there is no way i can afford that” Then has fate would have it, a couple were talking to my friends (who are parental age friends) and said to them that they felt God had told them to sponsor someone to go to Ignite, and after talking to my friends for a bit, they thought that God was telling them it was me. I was in tears when he asked me, its amazing how he works sometimes. Whether it was God, fate, destiny, some higher being or whatever, someone wanted me to go to that Conference. And when i was there, during an adoration period, i was kneeling down saying some prayers, and was praying about where i thought i should go, should i travel, or is there somewhere in particular i should be going to, and i just kept thinking “italy, italy, italy, italy” so i took that as a sign, and booked my plane from london to rome.
Waiting at the airport in Gatwick was exciting, i sat next to a lovely elderly lady who was telling me she was going to spend Christmas with her brother, then i sat next to a lovely older man on the plane, Roberto (who is now my sunday mass buddy) and chatted to him the whole way. And it was so nice being able to actually see the flight, see where we passed over france, sure the italian alps. It was just beautiful!
As i got of the plane in Roma, and wheeled my little pink Suitcase behind me, i could not stop smiling, i was so excited. Excited to meet my penpal, excited to see Roma! See the place i had longed for. I walked out of the terminal, and was a bit confused. I knew Matteo was coming to get me, i still had credit on my phone, so managed to call him, and he found me just fine, gave me an awkward hug, and then took me on my way to the adorable piccola nera mini! Then quickly took me to the mall so i could get myself an italian sim card for my iPhone 5.
I honestly had never smiled so much before, my face was hurting so much from smiling. We just managed to click straight away. And he was such a darling, because he knew how much i had wanted to see the vatican. So he took me there after i had checked myself in at the hostel i was staying at.
Unfortunately when we arrived San Piedro had closed. But i still got to see the piazza and wow, just wow! Oh my gosh! so beautiful! Something i have longed to see so much!
Then off to the hostel for me, lovely La Plus hostels Camping Roma, I had a room mate, he looked maybe in his 30s, luckily for me he was leaving at around 5:30am, because he snored the WHOLE NIGHT! Luckily for me 5:30am eventually turned up and he left, and i could sleep and then start my new day!
Matteo turned up, and off we went to explore Roma! First stop San Giovanni, which would have to be my favourite church. I liked San Piedro too, but San Giovanni was just much more simpler, and not crowded, simple in a good way, didn’t feel to idolatrous. I know that’s probably a bad thing to say about Saint Peter’s, but it was a bit too much for me when i went there. And as a bonus for tourists, San Giovanni has much cheaper souvenirs! But anyway San Giovanni, was amazing! I was just in awe from the moment i stood outside of it!
To the moment that i stepped inside…..
And i guess most people don’t know that San Giovanni in Laterano or as its called in english, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran actually ranks above St. Peter’s Basilica when it comes to the catholic faith! But i just loved it! Definitely something i plan to visit again when i go back to Roma!
Then off we went by foot to the next church for me to visit. So i could see La Bocca della verità or the mouth of truth, at Santa Maria in Cosmedin. So the story goes behind this lovely carved marble face, is that in the olden days, a priest used to stand behind the statue, and whoever put their hand in the mouth of truth, who was a liar, the priest would cut of his hand. People say you can still see the blood stained on the statue. Pretty scary stuff! Can’t say i would have wanted to be around in those days, although i doubt my hand would of ever been cut off.
Then finally for the last sight of the day, we get to see the Colosseo. Which was beautiful, although on the way there we got to stop to see some street performers! They are amazing! I have no idea how they could of done this! It looks pretty uncomfortable if you ask me!
Then off to the Colosseo! Its a bit strange being in the midst of the Colosseo, to think of all those innocent persecuted people, that died at the hands of Caesar and all of the other Roman Empire rulers! Although i do want to know why they don’t rebuild it. I think it would be a great idea to bring it back to its former glory. I am sure some rich billionaire would want to be apart of seeing that happen would they not? But then i guess thanks to the Catholic Church, they are the one of the main reasons why it deteriorated so greatly. The Pope’s of the time decided to take out the floors for their rooms and such, you can see the floor of the Colosseo in the Vatican Museums! But i’m sure we could still fix up the Colosseo now! How amazing would it be to get to go there if it was all fixed up? To see the undergrounds of it, where they would store the lions, to see where the games went on. To sit in a seat, imagining you were the emperor of Rome, and pretending to watch the games. How cool would that be? I guess i can only hope and dream. If a distant future someone might put this into action!