Hitchhikers Handbook are back on the road and all the familiar sensations come flooding back to us. Running for a plane that we are certain we are going to miss, we didn’t; Jon fearing we had boarded a plane to meet our demise, we hadn’t; and thinking we were ready because of the time we had spent at the gym, we weren’t.
Our first day in Rome was spent delving into its history: the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Palatine hill and the Vittoriano. Many hours pounding the pavement in the blistering heat, but definitely worth the while to admire all the splendours of antiquity.
You clearly have to bow your head to the magnitude of the Colloseum, its scale and architectural skill are simply awe-inspiring. However, I don’t think we would have enjoyed a 117-day party (like those held by the emperor Trajan) during which 10,000 animals and 9,000 gladiators were slaughtered.
Other highlights of our stay in Rome included: visiting the world’s smallest state, the Vatican City and climbing up the 552 steps to the Michaelangelo designed dome of St. Peter’s; the Pantheon, the oldest surving building in Rome; and throwing a coin over our shoulder into the Trevi fountain, in the hope that one day we would return to the Eternal City.
We were also very lucky as we were hosted in Rome by a fantastic couple: Gianluca and Sabrina, who made our stay very enjoyable. Many hours were spent in their garden, drinking beer and talking nonsense. On our very last night, they took us on a scooter tour of the city and showed us some places that only locals know about. For a short time we felt like Romans, whizzing around the traffic on mopeds and drinking cheap beer in Trastevere, the working class district of the city.
Before attempting the hitchhike to Siena we were fearful, given the stories we had heard about Italians not stopping. However, we needn’t have worried; 5 lifts and 5 hours later we had arrived in the stunning city of Siena ready for the next leg of our adventure.
written by: Ania & Jon
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