We left the cruise ship Saturday morning and drove into Rome. We couldn’t check into the hotel right away. Our hotel was right outside the Patheon. I thought it looked like a Greek temple and it was super cool. I had read about it in a Rome book my mom got me. We headed off to St. Peter’s Basilica after we dropped our bags off at the hotel.
I was surprised how big the Basilica was and how many people were there (the line for the Vatican followed the big walls that surround the Vatican — all the way around the corner!). We found out where we were supposed to meet our group tour, and we grabbed lunch first. I had cheese pizza. This pizza was the best ever! We went back to St. Peter’s for our tour. I didn’t know it but we were walking up to the inside of the dome. Mommy didn’t look down because she was afraid of heights. Then we kept climbing about 300 stairs to get to the very top, outside the dome. You could see EVERYTHING up there. Me and dad were taking pictures like crazy. Mom was holding on to the walls, trying not to look. She said she’d look at the pictures later. Then we had to walk DOWN the 300 steps! My legs were so tired! I needed a gelato (this time it was coconut and tiramisu), and mom and dad got a granita.
After that, we went back to the hotel to hang out and rest. For dinner we went to the Piazza Navona and I saw a funny clown playing tricks on people to get money. There were street performers doing magic tricks too. It was fun to watch. I had pasta with bacon — it was REALLY good — the best pasta I have ever had!
The next day we went inside the Pantheon. There weren’t as many people in the morning as we had seen the day before. The Pantheon was really big and amazing. After that I went to train jiu jitsu at Flow Jiu Jitsu Rome with Professor Andrea Verdemare. He looked a lot like Coach James from Ojai Valley MMA. There was a solid yellow belt with him for me to train with. The boy’s name was also Andrea — there seem to be a lot of Andrea’s in this part of the world! We worked on spider guard. It was really fun. It was super helpful and I learned a lot of cool tricks. I think I can really use what he taught me. It was a really nice gym — and there was a pool! I got to spend and hour and a half training. I REALLY needed to train.
After training, Professor Andrea said we should get popsicles. He said when he comes to LA next, he was going to challenge me to eat a 4×4 burger from In-N-Out. I’m going to have to train hard for THAT challenge! (He sounds a lot like Coach James too!)
Later that day, we went to the Coliseum. It was PAAAAAACKED! The Coliseum was super amazing and we saw what the floor looked like when it was first built. Then we headed to Trevi Fountain for dinner. I got the bacon pasta AGAIN. This time it was as good as the night before. Dad got a steak that was as big as my head — well, that’s what he said anyway. I was happy that I had such a yummy last meal in Rome.
Overall, this trip was really good. My favorite place was actually Athens because I want to spend more time there. There is still more I want to see there — and there was good training (but I had good training at every stop!). I can’t wait to see my new friends at Pans and Worlds next year! I’ll be cheering for them.
It was a fun trip, but I’m glad to be headed home.