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Italy, what can you say? It is a country that everyone should see for themselves. Every city, every area, is completely different from the next. The landscape is breathtaking, the architecture is indescribable, yet timing is really everything. Before going, I wasn’t that keen on it, it wasn’t on the top of my list, it was on my husbands, guess what he wanted to see, the Colosseum.

We got to Rome via train from Cinque Terre. We arrived at the busiest most confusing train station that I had ever stepped foot in.

We somehow got a cab (which was the stupidest idea, because it cost a fortune), made it to our very cheap accommodation, we were just outside the vatican – it was run by nuns, and there were crosses on the wall, and I mean, everywhere!  When we showed our passports, the nun in charge asked why I hadn’t taken my husband’s name, and if we were actually married. O.K a little rude, but I just shrugged it off, and said it was non of her business. Yes, I know, I was a little snappy with a Nun, but I hadn’t realized that you weren’t allowed to stay there if you weren’t married.

We arrived to our basic room, it had been newly “renovated”, with nothing on the wall, but a massive brass cross (it was 5 feet tall, I wish I took a picture), there were two twin beds, and the nun gave us a look that made us not want to jump into bed together. At that point, we just wanted a nice hot shower,  my husband got into the washroom, and the door fell off of the shower stall, crap, that Nun was going to make me pray, I just knew it. We tried fixing it, but that didn’t work, the door had not been put on properly in the first place. So we showered without a door.

As we left, another Nun appeared at the desk, she told us to make sure we came back before dark, they had a curfew, seriously, a what? Apparently, after 8, you had to call to get in, not just buzzed in, but call. We were in Rome and I could feel this was not going to go as planned, so much for romantic evening strolls in Rome.

We meandered around for what felt hours and picked a place for dinner, it was 5pm, it was an early bird special, but in Rome, they thought we were there for coffee or a drink, not food. We ended up having an amazing meal, as we told the people next to us about the bizarre curfew, the waiter overheard. There was a lot of commotion and laughter, he came over to tell us to never stay where Nuns were running the place, but didn’t let us in on the joke. Hmmmm, Italians telling us to stay away from nuns, interesting…

So after an amazing meal, we realized it was getting dark, and we didn’t actually want to get locked out of our “hotel” which was really 5 rooms in a nunnery, which i am gathering was our first mistake.

The next morning, we woke up very early to head out to the Colosseum, at that point, I just wanted to get out of the tiny room with the massive cross staring at me. We wanted to get to the Colosseum as early as possible.

Of course just being outside the vatican, but not near the entrance, we happened to get on a bus that a gaggle of aggressive nuns were attempting to get on,  I was literally shoved so hard by a herd of Nuns – 2 bruises on my arm and one on my ribs (that is no joke), they were trying to get to the Vatican. I was amazed at the aggressiveness and the unapologetic look in their eyes, almost like crazed teenagers at a Justin Beiber concert would look like.

As we arrived at the Colosseum, all of my bad Nun experiences washed away by the absolute glory of this monument.

I was never into the movie Gladiator, nor did I fully comprehend the allure of the Colosseum, but I walked among the Gladiator fans, posing with the silly thumbs up, thumbs down poses, and was blown away by the intricacies, the maze underneath and the shear grandeur of it all.

The Colossuem contained 45,000 sitting places and 5,000 standing places. It was so much larger than I could have ever imagined.

We ended up sitting for a rest on a set of stairs that thousands upon 100s of thousands  of feet from an ancient time must have used. It was a moment to really take in.

There is so much more on our adventure of Rome, but I will leave off with this, the Nun experience hadn’t tainted it, just yet.

Travel Lady with Baby