A Minor Invasion

Wow, I almost forgot how it feels to wake up from a full night of sleep and not have a hectic day ahead of me.

I finally have a moment in the eye of my recent storm of excitement to write. As such, I'll try to hit past, present and future for those of you that have surely been eagerly anticipating a a new post.

Zac arrived last Saturday night and completely discredited any whining I was doing about being too tired from midterms. After his 20+ hours of traveling, he ushered us into a car to take us to our first Italian soccer game. AS Roma was playing AC Milan, a somewhat strong rivalry, and we had incredible seats thanks to Zac's dad and his relationship with Milan sponsor Bwin. The crowd surrounding us lived up to its reputation of enthusiasm, making Roma's come-from-behind win all that much more exciting.

Our trip back from the game was slightly less luxurious, but far more Roman. We jammed into the #2 light rail from Stadio Olimpico to Piazza del Popolo which literally could not hold a single additional person. Squeezed so closely to our neighbors that we didn't have to hold onto anything to maintain our balance in the swaying train, we attempted to sing along with the vulgar victory songs belted out by our fellow passengers. In the middle of the train was a single Milan fan. He did not have a good time.

Later that night we gave Zac a tour of some of our favorite haunts near school. We got gelato at my favorite spot, Frigidarium, Fernet at La Botticella, and beers at Bir & Fud. Between the major soccer game, an even bigger rugby game, and the fact that it was officially St. Patrick's Day (the Pope moved it out of Holy Week to the 15th this year), Rome was alive with masses of drunken tourists and locals alike. Maybe the best part of our post-game night out was seeing a huge group of kilt-wearing Scots in La Botticella dancing around two enormous guys playing bagpipes. The worst part was definitely listening to it all go down.

Over the next week, I did my best to give Zac the true Roman experience. Our bellies were put to the test as we kept them pretty much packed with the best food we could afford and the cheapest drinks we could find. During the days, we visited all the sites we had time to, including the Colosseum, Campo dei Fiori, St. Peter's, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and Trastevere. To appropriately address Zac's love of film, we watched Fellini's 8 1/2 in a piazza where Roman Holiday was filmed. To appropriately address my love of sounding intelligent, I rehashed some knowledge from my art history classes while we toured Galleria Borghese. Zac is a patient listener.

Zac left early this morning, making him the only person to ever leave Rome on the day before Easter. I am interested in seeing how many people are on my mid-morning flight to Morocco tomorrow; something tells me I'll have more options than usual when I pick my seat. That said, I'm actually somewhat glad to be out of Rome this week. The city is predictably flooded with tourists, and I'm even getting tired of my recent favorite tourist-related activity: watching the faces of visitors are they leave the Colosseo Metro stop, tilting their heads to see the monumental structure for the first time.

I'll be in Marrakech, Morocco for three nights and Madrid for three more before returning on the 28th. I really don't know what to expect out of either city, but I can promise I'll bring back a ton of thoughts and photos for your blog-viewing pleasure.

All photos in this post were taken by Lauren Kunin, as my small camera has unfortunately disappeared.

Buona Pasqua!


  1. Zac said...

    don't forget, we perfected our skills as fluent fake-italian speakers  


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