Pictures this, one gloomy Wednesday morning in Gatwick, sleepless students from KCAS congregate in the only place they know comfort - Weatherspoon’s!

After the initial getting acquainted the journey there was pretty standard. One lost / recovered bag later, we were in Rome!

They say to never judge a book by its cover and that's true with Rome. It's very ethnocentric of me to say but my first impression of Rome was 'barbaric'. I'm a city boy, order is key and Rome just didn't seem to have it.
Navigating the roads felt like walking around in Grand Theft Auto online, for those of you who haven't played the game, dodging cars is not fun! 
Anyway we made it to the hostel which was surprisingly sweet and guess what we found!? FREE WIFI!  

Day 0:

The remainder of that day was a bit of a blur as we were all so tired from the flight. A group of us managed to make our way to the Colosseum (after a few wrong turns). As you can tell from the image below – it is an amazing structure. Hungry from the 36 hour day we strolled around looking for a nice Italian restaurant; yeah…we ended up getting a curry but it’s a curry in Rome so loop hole?

Day 1:

Having good trip leaders (shout out to KCAS) meant the next few days were very organised. We returned to the Colosseum in day light and was able to enter for free! We done the standard tourist things, strolled around, wondered if we could vault across the center, took a few selfies then left. I did seem to be the only one referring to the film jumper though...
Keen to destroy our leg muscles, we also walked to the Roman forum and Palentine Hill. I cannot begin to explain the jaw dropping views we saw; however we seemed to be more interested in the rather large rabbits...

Day 2:

A packed day was ahead of us, after Google maps failed us we finally found the Trevy fountain. It was definitely not us reading the maps wrong... My friend said “I wonder what a fountain looks like”. Taking this in context, I replied “It’s a bit of rock pissing”. Apparently my description was wildly inaccurate and unappreciated. The fountain was relaxing and peaceful, relaxing and peaceful enough to stop everyone from wondering off and getting ice cream? Debatable.
Dodging the selfie stick men we made our way to the heavily constructionalised Spanish Steps. Can I just say, they're definitely claimable, I was almost disappointed with how little effort it took to climbed them.
A short walk later came the parthanon pantheon. Much like any monument there was security and sculptures. The highlight was the debate of whether the center of the dome was covered or open. Spoiler alert, it’s open #mindblown.
A small group of us broke off and went to the alter of Augustus. The experience was warming… (they had to maintain a constant temperature around the alter, it’s a pun :p). On the way back to the hostel we headed to an underground supermarket. When I was a kid I always envisioned the black market being an actual market place, that supermarket was exactly what I envisioned the black market being like.
The day ended with one of the more mature members of the trip taking us to an Italian restaurant. Took me three days buy I finally ate Italian food :-). A few of us went for drinks that night, I think I had a good night… I was smiling in all of the pictures so…

Day 3:

This was the much anticipated journey to Vatican City, and I
was hung over AF, I went to the holiest place on the planet hung over. Whoopes #studentproblems.

Many of us were surprised to learn that it’s actually its own country. 

So look, the Vatican is massive and beautiful, like, it belongs on MTV cribs. I’m not going to lie to you… I got a tad bored, I dunno, you spend your life going to church, you get use to it.
Also, ‘the Vatican’ is the club in empire not Vatican city…
Surprisingly Vatican city was not the highlight of my day, nor was it the Italian Mcdonalds but a castle near Vatican City. Now I’m a short guy but I can’t imagine a tall guy saying the castle was not big because it was massive! As we walked around we were taking pictures over the side of the views of Rome but nothing could prepare us for when we reached the top of the castle. The castle its self was impressive but dam, that view once you reached the top, I think I actually said “wow”. It was so high that we actually planned our way back to the hostel from there.

Day 4:

This was my absolute highlight of the trip; we went to Ostia. It’s a village that was abandoned many many years ago. The elements have had their way with Ostia giving it a ruined assassins creed feel. It was amazing. You’d wonder around and see glimpses of half ruined rooms, gardens and sculptures. Then you’d go into an underground room and discover a hidden passage. It was a really jaw dropping experience. I was like a little kid, seriously, I did not stop running around. 

PS, the tube kicks the metros ass #represent

Day 5:

We had a bit of a treat today as a lecturer from the uni came out and gave us a tour around the Trajan's markets. The experience wouldn’t have been the same without him as he helped us visualize original the scale of the markets (which is massive). The remainder of that day was pretty chill, went for a stroll, had a nap then dinner. Student life :p .

Day 6:

The next day we met up with the lecturer again and he toured us around Rome, even to a very film like riverbank. When we were done with the guided tour I went round the shops, people spoke to me in Italian to which I very touristy replied “what?”. All good though, got a nice watch. Walking home I saw a Renault twizzy which I oddly like, for a car guy I’m hardwired to hate any car that does not run by petrol. There was actually an impressive selection of cars in Rome, well, once you get past the floods of smart cars and mopeds. 

To celebrate our last night a few of us strolled to the Trevi fountain and just sat there contemplating life and whether we could throw each other in the fountain from a certain distance away...

So Rome, it was a great trip. There is a slight learning curve when it comes to their driving habits and you will wish that the Earth was actually flat thanks to the amount of hills they have. But it was a bloody good trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone who’s thinking of going. KCAS TRIP TO ROME 2K16 WOOP WOOP!!

Thanks for reading,

Mario El