[This is a Six part series of my Euro travelogue ]

EPISODE : 2/6

So, Day 1 was awesome in Roma. My friend had her classes on Day 2, she had to attend them. We decided to explore the city on our own. As we were so hooked on to our phones,google maps and internet. We decided to take a local sim with internet connection in Roma Termini. This place is like our own Majestic (Kempegowda Bus station), center place for metros,trains and any other information about the city. It has a history from 1863 modernized in 1950, architecturally, the building punctuates the sense of arrival to Rome, and communicates a sense of the Eternal City as both modern and traditional, looking forward to the future as well as remembering its history. Its bold presence in the urban fabric expresses the diversity of the City’s history, and speaks of the dramatic new scale of the modern industrial economy of Italy.

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TERMINI

With our limited knowledge in Italian and Monika helping us,we went to a ‘sim card angdi’. A token was issued to wait in the queue and we started explaining in broken Italian and perfect English that we wanted a sim which would work in the whole of Europe and to call home (India). The man in the angdi nodded his head and understood something,gave a brochure which promised a fortune!. As usual any tourist makes comparisons of how it is better here than India, nobody follows queues,strangers don’t help you etc. We bought a sim which worked fine in whole of Italy but didn’t in Austria, Spain and France our next stops. Mr.Shopkeeper had understood that we wanted a sim which could make calls from Italy to anywhere! So lesson learnt,take a sim card that works anywhere in the world in INDIA than trying to explain to anybody!

So our next stop was the most famous The Trevi Fountain, the wish making place in Europe. This stretch of fountains were built in the honor of a girl who showed the soldiers freshwater to drink after a long tiring journey. But Trevi is famous for its wish making-fulfilling powers. Promptly every tourist throws a coin,making a wish mostly saying I will come back to Europe/stay in Europe. We also made a wish and returned. Interesting Trivia was everyday the coins in the fountain would be used for the development of the city . No wonder Rome is so beautiful! While I was writing this blog, remembered my ajji telling me that she was so fascinated seeing River Kaveri near Mysooru long back and it was a ritual for everyone to throw coins. The bus was stopped on a bridge and she also religiously did it in reverence to her favorite god. I had told her it was so stupid and how a coin to the river would make her wish come true, also gave her gyan to not to do any such unreasonable acts which she would be ashamed off in future. Now I sit and write a blog about my wish making story in Rome. I think its a way that you get carried away because everyone does that! Nevertheless the roads leading to fountains were fantastic. Sculptures everywhere,each one narrating a story.

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TREVI FOUNTAIN

After walking miles together,we decided to stop at a place which is famous for Ice cream. Yes the famous Gelato Ice cream. The place is called ‘Quinto Gelateria’ in Piazza Navona which is there since 1915. The gallery in the shop shows most of the celebrities, world leaders eating ice creams there. Much emphasis was given to natural flavors of ice creams, crepes to suit everybody’s taste. I can very safely say its one of the best things I ate in my life. Yes it didn’t give me sore throat, hence its very apt for my sensitive throat!

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Famous Gelatos!

So the most famous Vatican City could not be missed by a Dan Brown and Pink Panther fan visiting Italy, an independent country in the country. A place of religious importance for Roman Catholics and spread over only of 110 acres. It contains St.Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and few museums. The sculptures by Michelangelo and other famous artists were mesmerizing. Every sculpture, painting was very detailed. I used the heading ‘God’s Domain’ because like in India, Italy is not a great country for atheists. Every place has a history attached to God,miracles and the religion that is followed. Empires have fallen, risen and flourished in the name of GOD. If you are a fan of Dan Brown, his novel explains a lot about every inch of the roads leading to Basilica and I was more intrigued on the Vatican Secret Archives which is a closely guarded secret of the church. All the enthusiasm came to an end when it started to rain in Vatican. It looks beautiful in the evening,but rains were harsh. I imagined all the scenes of Pink Panther which showed the funny side of the city and laughed! I found a similarity in the architecture of theirs and ours, they also had a huge pillar in front of every religious place they worship something like Garudagamba.

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Vatican City!

I am pretty sure everyone would have a question how could we not eat Pizza in Roma. We went to  Vidhyarthi Bhawan like place in the midst of the city. It was called Carlo Menta,the best pizza I had ever eaten. It had too many people, waiting queues and less vegetarian options as usual. Margarita was the only vegetarian pizza available, if mushroom is classified veggie then two exactly! The pizza joints in Bengalooru have definitely made pizza junk there looking at them in Rome. Best desserts like Tiramisu, Panna cotta were savored.

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Real Pizza!

We left Italy with a sweet note to travel to Austria. Yes it is a beautiful country but has it’s own problems,conflicts,pregnant single woman begging on streets, heavy smoking,refugees,radical religious followings etc. For a tourist Rome fills your heart with beauty.

Grazie Roma!

Next Episode – Vienna, detour to Rome, Venice