On my last day in Rome, I decided that I wanted to sleep in. I had seen most of the important (and touristy) sights the city had to offer, and my toes were not the ten friends on a camping trip they used to be. I had packed my bag the night before so all I had to do was throw on some clothes and go downstairs to check out. After losing my keycard in the 5 minutes between the bed and the front desk, I did not get my €5 deposit back. C’est la vie. I stored my bag at the hostel and set off for the Pasticceria around the corner for breakfast. I had a fresh croissant, still warm from the oven and drizzled with honey, and a pot of tea. Nom!
From there I decided to visit the Etruscan Museum in the Villa Borghese. I had heard the Villa itself was quite beautiful so I walked there rather than embark upon another smelly metro adventure. The museum was OK, but not fantastic. Most of the information was written in Italian, which I had difficulty reading. Almost all of the museums and sites I had been to up to this point had English and Italian descriptions, and I was a bit put out by this museum’s lack thereof. When I got bored in the museum, I left and stopped at the cafe on the way out to have an Orange Fanta and find out where the hell I was/where to go next. The Fanta was delicious, much better than the US version. It tasted more like sparkling orange juice than soda. By the time I had finished, I had mapped out a scenic route through the Villa that would eventually take me to a metro station.
The Villa certainly lived up to the descriptions I had been given. It’s like Central Park but more green. There is minimal concrete and a very friendly atmosphere. There were many families out enjoying their Saturday mornings off. I walked around enjoying the landscape and the ducks that meander aimlessly between the two ponds of the Villa. It was a nice getaway from the city within city limits. Quite nice, really.
When I arrived at the metro stop, I hopped the next train to the Trevi district. I got off and immediately got a sandwich on my way to the fountain. This was quite a large sandwich, too. I ate my fare under the piercing gaze of the fountains sculptures and watched the many people come and go. People watching is so fascinating. I spent quite a bit of time there, just relaxing for a bit. However, it being a sunny day, I began to burn. I didn’t notice this until much later…
I was just doing a bit of reading by the fountain when I had a sudden craving for gelato. Being my last day in the city, I decided to indulge this craving and headed over to the gelateria I first visited only a few days earlier. I had noticed a significant price difference in the gelato here as opposed to other places in the city. The quality, however, was worth the price. I asked the attendant what makes good gelato and the reply was of course, “The ingredients.” He also said that they would NEVER serve it in a cone because it detracts from the flavor of the frozen treat itself. That would truly be a shame.
Having indulged myself, I was headed back to the hostel when I realized I had not been to one of the sites on my list. The Terme di Caracalla, or the Baths of Caracalla. Back on the metro I got. After getting a bit lost, I made it to the baths. They are truly impressive. The mere size of them rivals the Colosseum. I wandered around for a bit, reading the information placards kindly translated into English. Apparently, apart from cleaning oneself, the baths were the second public library opened in Rome. There were two rooms: one for Latin texts and one for Greek. Greek was considered the second language of the Roman Empire and many educated citizens were fluent in both. I got lost in history, only to return with a quick glance at my watch.
I walked quickly back to the metro station and made my way back to the hostel to collect my bag. Luckily, the bus/train station was only a five minute walk from the hostel, so I didn’t have far to go. The coach took me directly to the airport where, this time, I arrived two hours before departure. I checked my bag with plenty of time to spare, made it through security (which was surprisingly lax), and settled in to wait for my flight. We boarded and left at 22:15 with an arrival time in England of 23:45. I slept, very weary of the many miles I had traversed throughout the city of Rome. I have thrown my coins into the fountain, so I will be back one day…