After leaving Paris, I flew to Rome for the next stop on my grand finale tour of Europe. Had I realize how cheap it was to fly around Europe, I may have had a very different trip. My Paris to Rome ticket was just $21.80. Less than the cost of a 10-mile taxi ride in the states.
With my morning spent traveling, I didn't have time to properly see the major sites in Rome, so after settling into my hostel, I just went for a walk.
My first stop was the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs, a church built inside the 4th century frigidarium of the Baths of Diocletian.
The Baths were used until the siege of Rome in 537, and about one thousand years later, a section of the remaining structure was adapted into this gorgeous church by Michelangelo.
Just inside the doors is this sculpture of St. John the Baptist by Igor Mitoraj.
Before building up the courage to leave everything behind to have an adventure, heading out my door for a walk only ever led to cornfields and dogs chasing me. Life is significantly more interesting now.
Rome was already worth the $21.80.
Not every turn on this rainy afternoon stroll led me to something as fantastic as a basilica designed by Michelangelo, but every turn led to something interesting and new to my eyes, which I suppose is the point.
Like this real life Geppetto I spotted working in a toy and puppet shop.
And, although under maintenance, the impressive Trevi Fountain, one of the most famous fountains in the world.
I didn't get to see it functioning in all its glory, but I found what the workers were doing to restore the 18th century fountain just as fascinating.
I walked miles of roads and alleys taking photos of anything that was unlike home. Like the numerous scooters, which unlike in Indiana, are respectable forms of transportation and not just vehicles for those with one too man DUIs.
The rain never let up, but I'll take a rainy afternoon with my camera in Rome over a sunny day at work.
As much as I didn't mind a little rain, I looked for every opportunity to duck out of it for a while...
Oh perfect... a covered porch.
This is Rome's Pantheon, built during the reign of Augustus from 27 BC to 14 AD.
It has been in continuous use throughout its entire history.
Just waiting to shelter me from the rain for a bit.
After a day that started with a 3 AM alarm clock and a rush to an airport in Paris, I found myself on the other side of Rome with a camera full of new memories and a long walk back to my hostel. I decided to call it a day and plan my day two in Vatican City.