By Kara Goldfarb > Junior > Writing > Ithaca College
I hosted two visitors from home this week, so I had to put on my tourist shoes. It was rejuvenating in a way because after being here for a while, I was getting a bit lazy with my exploring. I used to spend time after my classes wandering to new piazzas, but recently I’ve designated that time to napping. Having my guests in town this week put me back on my feet.
The sightseeing in Rome is awesome. That might be the most obvious statement ever, but the truth is, these aren’t places that you go to just because you feel obligated; they’re actually awesome. Climbing to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican was definitely the best experience for my guests and me. I had a slight case of claustrophobia because the stairs are spiral and the space is tiny, but I felt accomplished when I reached the top. The view up there more than made up for the challenging climb. With all of Rome displayed before me, it was definitely the jolt I needed to remind myself that I actually am in Italy.
The pantheon was also an exciting sight. The fact that I was standing in the oldest building in Rome (the oldest building used regularly in the world) was enough for me. The giant marble columns, interior design and giant holes (called "oculis") on the ceiling was the whipped cream on top of my gelato. We visited the Coliseum, which until that point my guests only associated with scenes from the movie ‘The Gladiator.” We also saw the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum and walked up the Spanish Steps–just because we hadn’t done enough walking yet.
Showing people around also gave me an opportunity to show off how much I had learned about the city. I’ve basically mastered the metro system (admittedly it’s not as tricky as it looks); I know how to walk to most places (emphasis on most); and when my friends started to slow down for the street vendors I confidently told them to keep going.
The weekend was exhausting, but these sights are famous for a reason. I have gotten caught up in the nightlife and the food, which is another incredible part of the culture here, but to add to the cliché of it all: "When in Rome," make sure you visit the tourist spots! And now, I feel like I’ve deserved my naptime.