Tag Archives: scholar’s

Day 2 – Borghese, Steps, and Fountains

We had a 1pm reservation Sunday at the Villa Borghese and the Borghese Gallery, which, due to the previous post, we missed.  After waking up at 2pm, realizing our error, we decided to grab some food and hopped on the Metro north towards the Gallery.  Luckily, the Gallery takes stand-by’s, we made there by 4pm, walked around the enormous park (Villa Borghese) and got into the museum at 5pm.  There is something about the Villa that makes people want to make out and kick soccer balls around because these are the only two things everyone was doing.  It kind of made me want to make out, or at the very least, kick a soccer ball around.  Once inside the museum, we began on the first floor (always a good place to start) and worked our way up through three floors the elegant rooms of the Borhese family.  We didn’t get to take pictures, but I was able to snag one of the building before we entered.
Borghese Gallery

Borghese Gallery

There were only about four works of significant art history (all sculptures): Canova’s “Venus” (which Napoleon’s sister posed nude for :O ), Bernini’s “David” (the most action-packed of all the David sculptures), “Apollo and Daphne,” and “The Rape of Proserpine,” with various paintings by Caravaggio, Correggio, Titian, and Raphael, among others. Overall, definitely worth the €8.50 entry fee.

From here (northern Rome), we walked south to the Spanish Steps for our first Italian dinner.  The Steps were nice, but it was dark by this time (trucks and staff were cleaning up all of the Rome Marathon admin gear that was left strewn around from the race earlier) and I had heard they were more fun during the day, when they were flooded with hundreds people – Romans and tourists, alike – lounging around and basking in the sun.

Real Italian pasta dinner at the Spanish Steps

Real Italian pasta dinner at the Spanish Steps

From the Spanish Steps, we walked towards Trevi Fountain, sculpted by Nicola Salvi – from what our book said, while the Steps aren’t as impressive at night, Trevi is more impressive at night.  We grabbed a couple Peronis (giant Italian beers) for €1.15 each and sat at the Fountain for about 3 hours – definitely the best hangout for people-watching in Rome, and arguably in the world.  In the time we were there, hundreds of people stopped to take pictures, make out, talk, and just sit and watch other people (like us). 

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

The only draw-back were the peddlers selling dumb trinkets that nobody wanted.  The classic trinket combination was the camera tripod and noise-making magnet set.  Who in their right mind would say, alright, I have room to carry only two types of goods: let’s go with camera tripods and magnets. Nobody was buying camera stands, and after being rejected initially, the peddles would look at them with this face that said, “Oh, you don’t need a camera tripod? Well that’s okay, you must need these useless rattling magnets then!” No. Nobody wants your crap. We were there for so long that we would see the same guys going up to new people and we would heckle them.  “You probably should get that camera tripod, wouldn’t want any shaky pictures at a time like this! No tripod? Lucky you! He’s got magnets also!”

I didn't take this because my camera is bad at night.

I didn't take this because my camera is bad at night.

We ended up meeting a girl from Drexel grad school and her cousin who went to St. Joseph’s, coincidentally, when Duch commented that the picture they just took by the Fountain was “Facebook Profile-quality” or something.  We had been joking around with lots of people who were taking pictures for the past two hours, and we were kind of surprised when these two talked back to us, much less that they were also from the Philadelphia area. The five of us ended up going out to Scholar’s Tavern (the Irish pub from the bar crawl) and taking down a fifth of lemoncello (lemon flavored grain alcohol) on the walk to keep warm.  After a couple hours at Scholars watching March Madness and soccer, we parted ways and headed back to our hotel, getting lost a number of times on the way, knowing that we couldn’t be out too late because our reservation for the Vatican Museum was at 10:30am, and we didn’t want a repeat of the morning of Day 2.

Advertisements

Day 1 – Nightlife

We got snagged the first day at the Colosseum by an American guy who would fit in perfectly in Philadelphia with a messenger bag, bright wheels on his bike tires, and a Pabst Blue Ribbon pounder. He told us about this “Colosseum Pub Crawl” starting at 9pm that night, and us, having nothing planned and not knowing of any bars in the entire city, figured a pub crawl was just what the doctor ordered to get the lay of the land.

We got off the Metro a the Colosseo stop and immediately found our guy waiting for us (and the other partiers he had scooped that day), and he and his buddies guided us to the first of four bars around Rome. This first one, called Pier1, was only two blocks from the Colosseum and consisted of an 8 foot by 8 foot basement bar…nice.  It was 20 euros at the door, which included cover at all fur places, a sweet “Rockin’ Roma” t-shirt, and free beer, mixed drinks, and shots…nice.  Needless to say, we took full advantage here from 9-10pm.  The bar tender, Musa, was very needy for attention, and you could tell that he used the same lines and stories every time this pub crawl came through. Nice guy though; kept the drinks coming.

We left Pier 1, got on the bus (which was free and had no problem with all twenty of us drinking beers on board) and took us to the next place, called Drunken Ship, and was arguably the best place so far.  It, too, was not very big, but they had beer pong in the back and – something I believe we should be implimenting in the States – the challenging team bought the game’s pitcher of beer. Thus, if you kept winning, you kept drinking for free – a just reward.

The next place (we have no pictures to show you becaue I left the camera in the hotel room), also was reached via bus, and was called something like Blue but we don’t remember the name or the location because it was so lame. It was like a crap version of Blu Martini in Old City, but without the people or any music from the last ten years. I think we heard TLC “Scrubs” twice while at this place.  This as been a trip-long trend we’ve noticed; the music has been so bad and so old, it’s mind blowing. I was expecting like, Pokerface or Right Round to just be about to hit here, knowing that Europe’s music is about 6 months behind ours, but it was wayyyy older. Like, mostly early and mid 90’s, and every once in a while they would throw in a track from 2004 like La Gasolina. Either way, this place was terrible, and we left quickly.

The last place on the list was Scholar’s Tavern, an Irish pub, which was also awesome.  They had March Madness and soccer on their twenty flat screens scattered around the rather large single room and lots of Irish and English guys would randomly break out into song when a soccer highlight of their team was shown on TV. It was like a little oasis of English (well, a version of English) in the center of Rome, which was nice for us.  They even had a student discount on drinks (!) if you were from one of the American universities that had sister campuses in Rome – we opted to say we were from Temple to keep the lie simple.  Drexel, obviously doesn’t have a Roma satellite campus.  Too many drinks were consumed by me, I got separated from Don and Duch at some point, they ended up about 5 miles south of the last bar and more from our hotel, I hitchhiked back to our hotel, and collapsed till morning.