Day 4, I decided to have a rest day since the next few days will be busy. I sat by the pool waiting for my washing to be done (after travelling for over a week I was running out if clothes). Isn’t a hard life really. I highly recommend this place Plus Camping Roma to anyone travelling on a budget in Rome as they have great facilities for backpackers and campers.
3 hours and a cocktail the size of my head later I decided it was time to head indoors. Should have gone in earlier since I was a little pink. The sun is no where near as intense as NZ sun, so you can spend longer outside during peak hours and not get hammered by the rays. I wasn’t wearing sunblock due to my own stupidity, I left my block in Sorrento and the on site store was closed. But I can only advise that my burn is similar to 20 mins in the sun back home. Tolerable and mild to say the least.
Day 5, I needed to check out of my cabin. Tonight I was staying here again but as part of my topdeck tour. I needed to meet the tour leader at 2 along with all the other people joining me on an Eastern Europe adventure. Since I know I will be back in Rome sometime in the near future (can’t keep me away Italy) I didn’t want to do too much touristy stuff. I caught the bus to the Cornelia station and decided to do some shopping (mostly window) around the Spanish steps. Anyone who has been here will know I can’t even afford to walk into these stores let alone buy anything haha but the names Versace, Valentino, Armani and Gucci ring a bell? Alas, my budget only stretched to H&M haha. I chucked on the GPS and navigated my way around the lanes like a pro. I didn’t want to stand out like a sore thumb so I tried to blend in and look as “italian” as possible.
After shopping and gazing at all the beautiful garments in the stores it was time for me to head back to camp to meet up with the guide.
With an hour to spare I thought I would go back to Ciao Bella at the camp for a refreshing cocktail. Not a bad size, €10 for a cup the size of my head. Oh my!
2pm rolled round and time to meet our guide. She gave a little overview and safety briefing then set us free. I had new buddies. We were to have a vice versa party tonight at camp which is a good way to break the ice and get to know everyone.
Majority of the group have been travelling for 3 weeks. And 8 of us started today so it’s going to be interesting how the newbies mix with the crew but I’m sure it will be fine.
We had dinner and then started to get ready. Nothing is more hilarious than a group of guys wearing dresses. They have more fun then girls do I think haha. We had a great rowdy night out and finally hit the pillow at 2am.
I thought I would do a little recap on how to get by in Italy my way.
Firstly, this is important: don’t dress like a tourist! Loose the backpack, branded tshirts, reef-type sandals (Germans I’m looking at you!) and other travel eyesores. I managed to spend 4 days in Rome and not get hassled by a street hawker! These guys can spot a tourist a mile off. I don’t know if my very generic European looks helped confuse them if I was italian or not but it was nice to sit by and see them ask everyone else to buy tickets, selfie sticks etc and not me. Only the once was I approached and sold something and that was when I was with others who looked touristy.
Secondly, loose the map for a couple of days and just explore. Get on the metro and off at a randomly selected stop. Walk around, get lost and just enjoy Rome for more than the sites a guide book tells you to see. You can usually find a metro line or bus which will take you to one about every 50 metres so you’ll be fine.
Finally, enjoy Rome, hell enjoy italy! It’s an amazing country and I have fallen in love from what I have seen already and I WILL be coming back for more.
Today we leave for Bari to catch our ferry over to Greece. So it’s arrivederci Rome and γεια σας Corfu!