Rome2.jpgWe flew all day Thursday and finally arrived at 8 o’clock in the morning to Rome Fuimicino Airport – thank goodness Cameron was on my flight and stayed at the same hotel as me.

Rome1.jpgWe dropped our bags at the hotel and started wandering the neighborhood around the Piazza Republica.

We started down the street in front of the hotel with no destination in mind and soon found ourselves in the Imperial Forum (right) and the column of Trajan (left)!

How cool – one second you are walking down a random street just exploring the neighborhood and the next you are smack dab in the middle of ruins and history! Ok, so I’m a nerd, but what a great start to this exploration of mine!

To the hotel …
After grabbing a quick bite in the square we headed back to the hotel to clean up since our rooms were finally ready. When I got up to my room in Hotel Papa Germano,

Rome3.jpgI was expecting it to be sparse, but it was about four feet wide and eight feet long with a bed roughly the size and comfort-level of my suitcase. And the bathroom was down the hall … maybe this staying in European 1 star hotels isn’t good for this SMU girl! But, after a quick shower (in the common bathroom, eek!) and a gulp of water, I met back up with Cameron to journey back to the Termini station where we had scheduled to meet our professor, Dr. Greg Warden.

… And the Villa Guilia
Rome4.jpgWe then met some of our group – an undergrad student from Michigan, Mona, and an SMU grad student, Lu-Jian, and headed off as a group to the Villa Guilia (right), the Etruscan museum. Exploring the museum with Dr. Warden was like a walking lecture hall; he told us everything about the significant pieces in the museum and answered all of our questions. It was awesome!! I didn’t have to read one placard and I found out way more about the pieces! It gave a great preview to what we hope to find and see in our excavations at Poggia Colla.

After the museum, we parted ways and Cameron, Mona, and I went for dinner down in the neighborhood of the Trevi Fountain. After dinner, we sat by the fountain eating gelato and then headed back to go to bed, because we knew that it would be a long day on Saturday. We met up with the group and took a 5-hour bus to our home in Vicchio on Saturday.