Roman Style

Civitavecchia Travel Blog

 › entry 12 of 19 › view all entries
Early morning cappuccino
To me, religion and philosophy and are like coffee and olives. I used to dislike them when I was younger, almost to the point of abhorring them, but over time, I have begun to indulge them more frequently.
This is not dissimilar to developing an acquired taste: The initial encounter is not necessarily pleasurable, but as one consumes more, the product’s appeal intensifies.

Taoism is one such attitude to life that has inspired me in certain ways. The philosopher Lao Tse might ring a bell for some of you who have read around this Chinese wisdom. He is considered one of the forefathers of this movement and is also the author of a book entitled Tao Te Ching, which one can only describe as the Bible of Taoism.

The philosophy is simple, yet profound at the same time without being abstruse.
I recently came across these few words of enlightenment from Lao Tse:
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.


How many times in my travels now and in the past have I not followed this wisdom? I have often found myself scrambling around new places in a rush to complete a “check list” of must see places. Sometimes this seems necessary; after all, how can you go to Syndey and not witness the magnificent Opera House? How can you spend time in Los Angeles without visiting the treasured Golden Gate bridge?

However, and I guess this is what Lao Tse is saying, happiness from travelling can simply be derived from being in a new place and experiencing the surroundings without necessarily following a set plan.
But it was still with some trepidation that I decided to agree to Joey’s plan of “Screw Rome, let’s do a road trip” - this might not be Lao Tse’s exact implied intent, but I think Joey was on the right path.
Civi Coast

Our path started in the port of Civitavecchia. " Joey had only managed to convince myself and Kiri to join him on this last minute brain wave.

We indulged in an Italian cappuccino before heading straight for the car rental agency. Unfortunately they were fresh out of Gallardos and the Enzo was up on the blocks. We therefore decided to go with an American sports car instead, the Ford Fiesta.

Civitavecchia is located on the west coast of the Italian shin, the exact place that has earned many an Italian soccer player an Oscar nomination during the world cup (when any other player would come within a few cm of said area).
Civi is a quaint port brimming with smooth Italian men and their animated female counterparts.
The language seems highly expressive, as it is combined with unique gestures and facial expressions. One could probably make conversation simply by using ones hands in this country!

The road led us out of town in the direction of Rome - fancy that...
We discovered a small castle en route and after some exploring were soon back on the road. We were interested in the town of Bracciano with it’s famous volcanic lake. The town is home to another grandiose castle and after indulging the views we journeyed on to the lake.

What followed, was perhaps one the most relaxing and enjoyable days of this trip so far. It consisted of lunch, beach and sunbathing, which is a recipe for satisfaction in most people’s books.

My only gripe is that the restaurant, which was a pizzeria, did not serve Pizza for lunch. (I did eventually get my Pizza in Cannes and it was superb!)

What made our afternoon so tremendous was the authenticity of the experience. There were few if any tourists and the locals spoke little English. We were thus in a truly local holiday spot and also not subject to inflated tourist prices.

The hours passed too quickly and we were soon back on our way. It was now Joey’s turn to drive and had I not joked around earlier “nothing revs like a rental”, he would perhaps not have been so heavy footed.
Anyway, if it was not for his nippy driving, we would have been late and I made it back to clinic with no minutes to spare. There were a total of 9 cruise ships docked in the harbour and it must have been a busy day in Rome. But we certainly did not miss out.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Early morning cappuccino
Early morning cappuccino
Civi Coast
Civi Coast
Castle en route
Castle en route
Lake Bracciano
Lake Bracciano
Lake Bracciano
Lake Bracciano
Civitavecchia
photo by: anabananas