Saturday, June 2, 2018


Roma, a tumbling mass of humanity… It’s also a tumbling mass of antiquity. We were met at the airport by Gianluca and squished into a compact car. As soon as we got settled into their home, we were off for a walk to a nearby restaurant. Izzy and I shared a pizza. I learned from Egle’s plate that it’s possible to order food without bread or pasta. She had fish and a salad.
Wednesday we jumped on the metro and went to Circo Massimo. We wandered around and ended up at a fantastic theater called Teatro Marcello. Not only was it a great ancient Roman site, it had a nearby café with Panini and extremely good red wine which they poured into a paper cup for us. We just carried it over to a stone ledge and munched and sipped. I will tell you about this wine because it has stayed our (Izzy and me) favorite. We went back to this café again just for the wine. Then we went back again to buy a bottle. I have a feeling a bottle will return to California with me. We tried to find someplace with wifi… the pub’s didn’t work, the gelato shop’s didn’t work. We had a problem because Gianluca was meeting us downtown and we couldn’t connect with him. 
It was pouring down rain and we trudged up to the Colosseum past the big white building with the fancy statues… and suddenly the rain stopped and there was Gianluca! That was crazy good luck.
We left the next morning with a new tour company called Italy Indeed. The purpose of this tour was to write about it, bringing attention to the area south of Rome. Vanessa whisked us away in her Alpha Romeo for a three day whirlwind tour of this unknown area of Italy. It was such a spectacular area that I’m going to break it down over several blogs. There’s just no way to squeeze in all of our stops into one blog entry. Stay tuned for great unique places to visit, like Monte Cassino the abbey for the original Benedictine monks, or the 1.5 hour trail between two castles, or the truffle hunt with Spillo the truffle dog.
We returned to Rome to a change in plans. To make a long story short, their puppy (Duca) got very sick before we arrived and spent some time in the hospital. He’s much better now, but imagine his surprise when a house full of guests arrived on Saturday! Trying to keep him calm has been difficult… he’s so excited that he licks our legs compulsively. He sneaks under the table and looks up sweetly with his tooth sticking out (he’s an English Bulldog). Unfortunately Egle had to go to northern Italy to check up on her father… he broke his arm. So Gianluca did his best to entertain us while keeping Duca calm.
Sunday morning we took the metro to Circo Massimo. What we encountered was pure chaos. A major bicycle race was just getting ready to start. There were police everywhere… I mean everywhere; on foot, horseback, in cars, jeeps, helicopters, on rooftops… everywhere. 
We made it to Teatro Marcello for more wine of course. J In the spirit of Gladiators Izzy and I staged a mock battle over the paper cup. The bike race went right past us. We went past the big white building again and Izzy got dragged into a photo shoot with gladiators (they must’ve heard about her skills with the wine cup). We scurried back to the security of our house.
Monday was more of the same, but this time we needed to take the bus. Gianluca warned us that the bus times are more of a suggestion. We got out to the sidewalk five minutes before the bus was scheduled to arrive… an hour later it showed up. 
We tried to find some of the landmarks, like the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. We walked all the way to the Piazza Popolo. That was a disappointment. We had more fun going into every church that was open. We kept thin scarves in our purses so we could enter the churches because we were wearing tank-tops (not Joe of course). After eight hours of wandering around, we met our friend Veronica for dinner at a restaurant right in front of the Colosseum (We met her in the Bahamas, and she was the one we came to visit in Florence the first time here). We were exhausted, but felt triumphant that we learned the name of the big white building—Piazza Venezia. Fortunately we’d packed for our early trip to Florence, so we could just fall into bed.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed touring Rome with you. Our impression about Rome is much the same.We liked countryside of Italy more than its cities. I am waiting for the day you write blogs about India ! Love Bharti