Photo courtesy of Kim Valle

Kim Valle and a friend in Rome.

Roaming through romantic ruins

April 16, 2016

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After a two-and-a-half hour plane ride from Fez, Morocco, my roommate Sarah and I finally landed in the romantic international city of Rome. The feeling of being in the city I have always dreamed about was so unreal!


Sarah and I hopped on a shuttle that took us near the main metro station, where our hostel was just about 10 minutes away walking distance.

We grabbed our only carry on and walked for about 20 minutes because we could not locate the hostel, the numbers on the streets were so confusing, but at last we arrived to our destination.


Sarah was ready and full of energy to explore the city and I was a bit exhausted from the plane ride, but she managed to get me excited! We refreshed ourselves and headed out toward the historic Spanish steps, which consist of 135 steps and have been a part of Rome’s history since 1725.


We could not believe the amount of people that were all over these steps. The vibes of the place felt right and I observed the locals as we walked down the steps and headed toward the stores and restaurants. Everyone looked so happy and the locals that were working at local ice cream and coffee shops seemed like they enjoyed what they were doing and served people with pride. I looked around and the restaurants were filled with people drinking wine and eating pasta.


Sarah and I made our way toward Trevi Fountain, however due to the construction at the time, the fountain was gated all around so we could not do the traditional coin toss at the fountain.


It was getting late so we decided to head back to our hostel, and while doing so we kept admiring the beautiful buildings and streets that Rome has to offer.


The next day we woke up at 7 in the morning to start our day and have some traditional Italian cappuccino with a chocolate croissant.


At this early hour, the day was already filled with lots of sunlight and plenty of water. We walked towards the coliseum and I could not believe my eyes! Sarah and I took plenty of pictures of it before we headed toward it.


We spotted a tour guide and cut into the hour-long line. The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about every part of the coliseum and other Roman ruins that surrounded it. The tour lasted for about three hours and we still had enough energy to head to Vatican City.

This time we had to take the metro to make our way there! I was amazed at the amount of walking we have done thus far!


We arrived to the holy place of Vatican City and headed to the museum, where we learned a lot about Rome’s history. I was shocked to notice of the amount of influence Egyptians had on Romans. I made a connection to my roots as well, because I discovered a small village that was named after my last name, Valle.


We walked through the artistic, breathtaking sculptures and walls of the museum; and despite the hot weather and the number of people all around us, we kept on going!


Sarah and I walked towards the St. Peter’s Basilica, where there was a long line to get in. We went through security and made our way inside.


My jaw dropped from the excitement! I looked ahead and noticed that a Mass was in session; I quickly walked toward the front, where security was only letting a limited number of people in. I poked with the guard and asked if he could let me in for Mass, and so he did.


As the choir sang, I couldn’t help but let my tears out from joy! Once Mass concluded, Sarah and I had our rosaries blessed and we made our way outside.


The sun was setting and we made our way back to our hostel while enjoying a delicious gelato.

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