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Roma, Prosecco, and Questioning the time/space barrier.

Rome Travel Blog

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Ancient Roma

We arrived in Roma Termini at 11:08 am.  It had been cooler in Venice, and also VERY early morning when we left; so I was in a turtle neck.  Now, it was midday, and Rome was quite a bit warmer.

So pretty
  Dragging all our bags, we attempted to navigate this huge and (in my humble opinion) not user friendly station to get from the Train section to the Metro section.

The subway system in Rome is super basic; just two lines are available; the A Line, and the B Line.  We needed to get onto the A Line, and take it to one stop before the end of the line; Cornelia.  From there, the hotel was supposed to be walking distance; but I was nervous with all our bags.

The Rome Metro was unlike any other experience I've ever had in my life; never have I been smooshed into that small a space with that many people.

More of the ruins
  It was breathtaking, in several ways; first, the crush of the people was so dense that you found it difficult to take a full breath; second, the terrible smell of sweat and body odor meant you didn't want to.   I have never done well in overly crowded areas, and I realized I was about to snap.  I closed my eyes, and tried to concentrate on not panicking.

Finally, we arrived at our stop and dragged our luggage up the stairs to the open air.  Just ahead of us lay the intersection that we'd been told about; we reached it, turned right, and crossed the street; we had arrived at our lovely destination.

Check in was smooth, and we headed to our room.  It was lovely.  We were so happy and excited to be in this beautiful room, in Rome.  We changed our clothes and headed out to explore!

We had very limited time in Rome, and certain things we especially wanted to see; such as the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and the Vatican.

Rome is like driving thru a city-sized open air museum.
  We took the metro back towards the middle of town,  hoping to locate the Trevi Fountain; but after wandering around for a good 45 minutes, we realized that if we were going to see any of the main sites of Rome in the few hours we had left before night fell, we had better get on a tour bus.

We found a tour bus offer in the metro station, and purchased the tickets.  They told us where to catch the bus, and we headed out to it - a left out of the building, then turning right down the next street.  After we had made the right turn and were headed to the square where the bus would meet us, I heard Michelle make a little sound of surprise; she had just had her butt pinched by an old man. 

Our bus pulled up and was going to be on break for a bit before pulling back out, so we stood outside and got to know our bus driver a bit.  He had immigrated to Italy from another country; I forget now what nationality he was, but he came from Africa.

Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
  He spoke of the challenges of immigrating and why he and so many others had chosen Italy.  He was a nice man and I was glad to meet him.

Then, our bus ride started.  It was closing in on evening, and the temperature had changed quickly; so while I had been too warm at noon, now I was freezing.  The main problem was simply being on top of an open air bus that was moving quickly thru the streets; the wind was too much for me to handle, so while Michelle continued to tough it on top of the bus, I decided to move below and accept a pane of glass betweeen the sites and myself.

We had just been looking at the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument , and then we turned the corner... and there was the Coliseum.  All of a sudden, I couldn't breath.  I couldn't look away.  I was stunned by my reaction, I had expected to be so strongly moved by it, but it was so much bigger than I had imagined, and so ancient.

Chrismas in Rome
..no other site in my life thus far has shaken me so deeply. 

We also circled the ruins of the Roman Forum, and again, there was this strong sense of having left reality; how could something so old, from a completely different time, be co-existing with me at this moment?  I felt like I must have ended up in some alternate universe, where paralel worlds had collided.

We ran back to the hotel to change, and then it was time to meet Dario for the evening.  We rushed from the hotel back over to the Coliseum, and met him at his car.   He took us to Piazza Campo De' Fiori, where we sat outside and drank Prosecco, which is a type of Italian champagne.  On glass turned into two, which turned into another... it was one of the best things I'd ever tasted.  We had arrived around 7:00, and now it was after 10:00. 

We then walked over to where one of his friends was having a party to say hello for a minute, then continued on to our restaurant, Trattoria di Roma.

Vatican and Christmas tree

Our meal was amazing.  The company was great, the food was incredible, the wine perfect and there is nothing that could have made it more fun.  We tried to pay for the meal, Dario would have none of it.    We left the restaurant and began to walk, and there is something surreal about wandering past the Pantheon in the middle of the night.  Do people that live in Rome know what they have????

We walked to Dario's favorite gelato spot.  I was way too full, but Michelle and Dario each tried some.  It was funny after I returned home from my trip to notice that our very own Eric had been to the same gelato place!!  This world is so small.

Once we left the gelato place, we caught a cab back to the Tiber, and walked by the river.

Vatican and a nativity scene
  Across one of the bridges, there were some small bars.  Dario seemed to feel that all the champagne and wine so far that evening was not enough, and that it was time for me to teach him how to do shots of tequila.  What's a girl to do?  I can't turn down my host...

So away the three of us went, to the bar, and began to do shots.  We were laughing and having a wonderful time, and finally it was time to leave.  There had been three men at the table near us, and Michelle and I felt sure they were brothers; they looked just like each other.  While I don't remember how or why this became important in our alcohol induced states, somehow Michelle and I ended up talking Dario into asking them for confirmation; mostly, I believe, because he didn't agree with us. 

So Michelle and I headed outside and waited for Dario there as he approached their table.  He came out the door a minute later, looking completely disgusted, yelling at  us, "They're not brothers - they're not even from the same town!!  Michelle and I broke into laughter, and we all started to head back to the Tiber.

The end of a great night.

We reached our hotel and went to sleep around 4:30 am that morning. 

Buona notte, Roma.

 

AndiPerullo says:
What a bellisima day!!! I distinctly remember sitting at a cafe with my Dad, sharing a pizza, and having the Coliseum in the background. It was SO surreal. An unforgettable memory. I see you experienced a similar feeling.

Prosecco and gelato in Roma...doesn't get much better than that!
Posted on: Nov 29, 2007
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Ancient Roma
Ancient Roma
So pretty
So pretty
More of the ruins
More of the ruins
Rome is like driving thru a city-s…
Rome is like driving thru a city-…
Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
Chrismas in Rome
Chrismas in Rome
Vatican and Christmas tree
Vatican and Christmas tree
Vatican and a nativity scene
Vatican and a nativity scene
The end of a great night.
The end of a great night.
Roman Forum
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The Roman Forum
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photo by: vulindlela