All in all, Rome was... big. A large mall and a church. There were definitely cool aspects and things in specific -- today we went to the Pantheon just for kicks, and last night we stumbled upon a free rock concert (think: Italian 30 seconds to Mars) at Castle St. Angelo, but when Kevin and I talked about it as a whole, neither of us would probably ever go back to Rome again.
Our hostel, which I've mentioned the location of repeatedly, was fine. Not very social at all -- we didn't have nighttime sing-alongs or group outings or free breakfasts in the morning with anyone-- but it was clean, in a really cool building, the two guys running it were friendly and always available, there was wifi (a plus for us, but for some other guests it seemed an excuse to stay in all day and ignore the city they actually came to visit), and the showers were warm and almost mold-free. No pictures, sadly, but I do have a pretty good video clip of us using the elevator :)
After getting in our last few hours today visiting the Pantheon, eating pizza and our last Rome gelato, we packed up and made our way to the central train station to catch our ride to Venice. Again, walking everywhere overly alert and constantly assuming the people around us are looking to gain an American momento.
The ride to Venice was long (we took a local train on the cheap, so instead of the high-speed 3 hour ride, we got a chill 6 hour one), but we were able to see lots of Italian countryside. To me it looked something like California in the Napa region. Short trees, hills and fields.
We arrived in Venice around 9pm. It was dark out and I half expected it to be empty and for us to silently creep to our hostel and go to bed. NOT the case. The sidewalks were lined with people wheeling luggage about, all the stores and restaurants were packed, and when we found the hostel, there was a solid party in progress, and one staff member who frantically searched for a bed to put me in between smiling and high-fiving other people.