DAY 4 SATURDAY
I took more time than I thought to get all my stuff packed and to get out the hotel, but I got out by around 10am, and then made a beeline to the Colosseum. I was able to skip the line using the Roma Pass, where passholders were able to use a separate entrance. It was really intriguing to be in an ancient Roman Colosseum, where gladiators had fought hundreds of years earlier. I took many photos on each level, from every angle.
In order to get to the best viewing level for the amphitheater, everyone has to walk up flights of very steep, uneven brick/stone stairs; I almost rolled an ankle just trying to get up! I was fascinated with seeing all the odd, seemingly abandoned corners of the Colosseum. As I was looking out over the mezzanine, a young couple was trying to take a selfie with the amphitheater in the background, so I offered to take their photo. As it turns out, they were from Spain! So we chatted very briefly in Spanish about our experiences in Italy. I even floated around a tour guide to hear how he identified the different times of each building material before he asked me to go because this is a paid tour and I just accidentally tagged along at the right time.
The restrooms were interesting. The restrooms were located in a trailer inside the gates of the Colosseum, and each of the stalls were really tiny there were no toilet seats (no, I do not have a photo of this).
After the Colosseum, I walked about 25 minutes towards a famous coffee shop, Sainte Eaustacio’s Cafe. I got a monachello (monah-kehlo). I sat outside with my coffee and pastry and watched people. Shortly after I sat down, one of the servers came over and let me know that it was an extra charge to sit al fresco, but after walking all over the city, I told him that the extra charge was worth it. Afterwards, I passed by the Pantheon and took photos of it but did not go inside it.
I walked over to the Trevi fountain, threw in my coin over my shouldn’t for good luck. The fountain is very beautiful and artistic, sculpted in marble by Bernini. The marble of the fountain actually looks like it emerges from the very building to which it’s attached. The fountain was crowded with many other people also snapping selfies and throwing their coins into the fountain.
Then I found a nearby restaurant with a covered patio dining (al fresco) and sat down to get lunch and do some people watching. I ordered tortellini in a cream sauce and a Rossini, a sparking wine cocktail with strawberry juices. It was all very good. After I was done, I walked towards the Flaminio metro station to head back to my hotel to get my bags to change hotels for one night.
Before I got to the metro, I entered a church just before Piazza Popolo, where there are 2 Caravaggio original paintings just hanging out in a church. Each painting has a box with a button and slot for coin, so that if you put in a coin, lights will turn on to better illuminate Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro paintings. I sat for a short bit just to rest and take everything in.
Then I went on my way, got on the metro, and arrived at HOA to take one of my baggage. Then I used Google Maps to try to find the new hotel where I will be staying just one night (Pini Di Roma) but my maps kept getting mixed up, so I got lost in on what was supposed to be a 10 minute walk that turned out to be an hour. I was tired, frustrated it was farther than I thought, and I was a female traveling alone and it didn’t look like the best neighborhood, and it was starting to get dark out, as the sun had started setting.
When I finally made it to the hotel, I realized that I was missing my passport. It had been in my scarf, and the hotel manager asked for my passport for documentation, and it wasn’t in the scarf, because the scarf wasn’t on my neck. I freaked out and tore throw my purse and backpack, but nothing there. It must’ve slipped off my head when I adjusted my backpack on a sidewalk whilst I was lost between hotels. I finally had a meltdown, frustrated by losing my passport, and about 50 Euro and 50 US Dollars. I was supposed to have gone to the art exhibit opening reception’s second night, but I just needed to figure out my passport situation.
I stayed in, took a shower, ate something, and tried to retrace my steps in my memory. I was also frustrated I didn’t feel like I could go right back out to search, because it was now dark and it’s a shady neighborhood that I didn’t earlier feel comfortable walking around by myself in. I called the embassy but they were closed, and would still be closed tomorrow, so I couldn’t go to the USA embassy until Monday. I resolved to revisit my possible previous route through the neighborhood to see if it was still on the ground somewhere, and to go to the US Embassy first thing on Monday morning. I called my parents and husband to vent about the whole situation, and then I went to sleep extra early.