Runnin’ Through Rome + Vatican City

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Runnin’ through Rome felt magical, like walking through the ‘lands’ of Disney Parks for the first time. The architecture is surreal and every bit of epic that I imagined. Plenty of staring and questioning reality took place. By the way, I am still in awe.

Before being wooed by bricks, arches, and columns; we were abducted by a rogue Italian taxi driver. Here is how it went down:

Guy A: Taxi?

Us (My sister + I): Yes

Guy A: Where are you going?

Me: Hotel Colors. Via Boezio, 31, 00193.

Guy A: 40 euro

Us: Ok…

(This is the first time we are quoted a price. Maybe he frequents this hotel. In a blink our luggage is in the trunk, we’re ushered into a car away from the taxi line, and Guy A disappears. Meanwhile, the car starts moving, I proceed to scan the interior and notice there is no meter in sight.)

Me: Where is the meter?

Guy B: It’s ok.

Me: May I see your permit?

Guy B: [pulls out document]

Me: [reaches for document]

Me: This is blank. Please pull over and let us out.

Guy B: It’s ok.

Us: Let us out.

Guy B: Ride for free.

Us: [we open doors while moving]

(I’ve seen horror movies. We are not dying or becoming sex slaves today, sir.)

Us: Let us OUT! [still holding doors open]

Guy B: Ok

Guy B: [driving and not pulling over at first or second opportunities]

Us: Let us out. [pointing at sidewalk]

Guy B pulled over, we grabbed our luggage and walked back to the train station. The police that we replayed the story for could not care any less.

We spotted Guy A with his next victims, so we ran over to warn them, then returned to the taxi line.

I hope that those sketchy guys were only trying to capitalize on the blissful ignorance of tourists by posing as taxi drivers and overcharging for rides.

Our taxi ride turned out to be less than 20 euro. We arrived at our color-filled hotel near Vatican City in one piece. FYI, if you stay at Hotel Colors be prepared to carry your luggage up stairs because there are no elevators.

We dropped our luggage, then took off to explore Rome by foot with our new tourist map.

Food could be found on the top of my to-do list everyday. In Garfield fashion, I devoured lasagne at Caffe Bianco. First we eat, then we do everything else (see everything else below).

Lasagne at Caffe Bianco

Lasagne at Caffe Bianco

I heart Rome and the gelato at San Crispino is delicious. We made a special second trip across the city because we needed more. San Crispino gelato comes second to Amorino Vavin in Paris. Now I am craving gelato. Thanks, self.

After walking around the entire Vatican City perimeter wall, we found the entrance. To my sister’s dismay, I would not give up. We missed the bells and whistles because the city went night night before we made it inside. The Sistine Chapel will happen on another trip.

No, we did not see Pope Francis. I’m glad he did not catch me runnin’ around in that cropped top.

Thanks for the hospitality Rome and Vatican City.

More photos will be posted on my Tumblr page.

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