So much has happened today! Rome has such a great "feel" to it. Everything seems old. I guess having architecture that's two millennia old helps. What a stark contrast from yesterday.
I started the day "finding" my way to the hostel again. I took the subway which, compared to London and Paris's rail systems, is a bit lackluster; at least on the B line. There are only two lines so it's easy to keep track of ;) I walked almost everywhere today after I left the hostel; it felt really good after sitting on trains all day yesterday. My first mission was to get a good cup of coffee. A quick Google search at the hostel yielded two prospects - Tazza D'Oro and Sant'Eustachio Il Caffe. Sant'Eustachio is near legendary.
Along the way I stopped by several sites. The main attraction was the Trevi Fountain which was beautiful. I got a gelato at Bar Gelateria and studied the fountain for a little while. There were a few other stops as well.
Then, I set off for Tazza D'Oro first because it was just a little closer (and by closer I mean about 2 min walking). It was very good, like one of the better/best shots I've pulled on my own machine back home. For 0.80 Euro it was fantastic. Then, I stopped by the Pantheon for a while. That was really neat. The architecture was beautiful. Then, it was onto Sant'Eustachio Il Caffe. This was a little shop with a few tables out front if you wanted to be waited on. Inside was a coffee bar with two Astoria machines; one was used for those sitting outside and the other for those standing at the coffee bar. You pay for whatever you order then stand in the mob waiting for their coffee with your receipt. Once you make it to the front the server takes your ticket and gives the orders to the man making the drinks. This must really be seen in person to be appreciated. The man making the drinks cranks out espressos like there's no tomorrow, yet keeps a calm countenance assuring you he's a pro. I ordered the Gran Caffe for 2.20 Euro - nearly three times the price of Tazza. It was the best espresso I had ever had; no close seconds. Just the right amount of sugar, what seemed like miles of crema, and perfectly balanced. It was actually life changing.
After my coffee fix, I set off for the Colosseum. Even though it wasn't a good day to go in and see everything, I had to see it. So, I slowly made my way there stopping at several neat places. As I approached, I turned a corner, and, BOOM, there it was. That was a surreal moment for me. To think, that has been there since the first century AD. Since it was raining a little, I only walked around the perimeter. I'm going back tomorrow after I go to the Vatican.
After this, I made my way back to Sant'Eustachio because I had to have another espresso. Then, I went back to the Trevi Fountain to get a slice of pizza and another gelato at Bar Gelateria. Only 3 Euro for one of the best slices of pizza I'd ever had.
That pretty much completes my first day in Rome. It was a good one - no, a great one. Now I'm back at the hostel where they have free pizza and beer on Tuesday nights. Pretty good pizza, alright beer. It will be nice to sleep in an actual bed after sleeping on that train last night.