oh man, this was amazing! the food was outstanding, the people friendly and easy on the eyes, the history more than ancient, the hospitality unmatched, the transportation not the best and the memories incredible. amazing 7 days: 1 traveling to and from italy, 4 in rome and 2 in trapani, northwest sicily. katie and i had a shockingly fantastic time together too. we stayed with 3 couchsurfers (look it up online if you don't know it- very cool): all native italians, attractive, twentysomething year old men who let us crash their homes for free and showed us an insider view of the cities.
we flew from paris to milan, where we spent a 6 hour layover attempting to sleep in the airport for our red eye, and then arrived in rome! our first day, we visited appia antica, the oldest road still alive and kicking into the city. paul mentions it in the new testament, and it was around before him if that says anything. we visited tons of old and magestic things, my faovrite being saint callisto's catacombs, where Christian martyrs were burried in several levels of labrynths for over a thousand years. then we met benny, who is 29 and was for two nights. he was hospitable, sooo into himself, and defines what it means to be flamboyantly gay. benny cooked us a lovely traditional italian dinner and served us espresso, red wine and lemoncello to drink. he is a professional latin dancer, and took us out to an amazing place where we danced to latin and hiphop beats until we crashed at 4am.
second day, we hit up the vatican and did some shopping. going into st peter's basillica, i was searched by security because they saw a sharp metal object in my bag... a cross i had just bought that day (what irony!) we visited the vatican museums, which included hundreds of priceless pieces of art, most noteably the sistine chapel. after meeting a new friend and wandering around the smallest nation in the world, we met our second host giuseppe. he is a 26 year old financial planner who fits the epitemy of normal, with a little quirk to him. he also made us dinner!
third day, we walked from his place to the colisseum! it was amazing to see the place where 70,000 people could come for free and see up to 20,000 humans and animals slaugter each other. we went around palatine hill, seeing the arcs of tito and constantine, the forum/senate, old town hall, churches, gardens, memorials, you name it. we went to the gargantuan trevi fountain, the pantheon and the spanish square/steps before grabbing dinner and relishing dessert at the oldest gelato factory in the world.
fourth day: diocletian baths, church dedicated to mary, the saints and martyrs, church of the sacred heart; american lunch at a roadhouse grill, dinner cooked by benny and dessert at the gelato place again.