Roaming Rome, Italy

Posted by on December 22, 2015 in A Day in My Life, Accommodations, Advice + Tips, Italy, Rome | 4 comments

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Rome, the Eternal City – it was known that way even among the ancient Romans, because the Roman people thought no matter what happened to the world, the brightness of Rome would burn forever.

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One of my Travel Angels, Beth, made it burn even brighter, when she booked us into the Waldorf Astoria with her travel points, high up on a hill, a true room with a view. It’s a great city to share with a friend!

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There’s so much to see and do in Rome, it’s hard to know where to start. The Trevi Fountain is undergoing restoration, hence it’s dry, but it’s still worth a look. They say if you throw a coin into the fountain, you’ll return to Rome. I threw one in 20 years ago, and here I am, but what does it mean that the fountain isn’t flowing?!

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Beth was smart, and got tickets on line to the Colosseum, so we got in quickly, despite long August lines, and spent an hour or 2 with an audio tour learning that they don’t really know that Christians were thrown to the lions there, although gladiators did duke it out to the death, and lions and bears and other beasts participated, including 50 bears that came out of a fake whale once. Apparently the Colosseum was a site of many a spectacle, and the elite as well as the lower classes were allowed in, albeit in very different seating positions. Seeing the Colosseum in the rain was a treat, quite atmospheric, like a trip back in time. And then the sun appeared and I got some blue sky shots as well.

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From there, we visited the Forum, a busy place in peak season, and afterwards, treated ourselves to gelato – you really can’t eat enough gelato in Italy in my opinion.

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On the recommendation of a friend, we toured the Basilica of San Clemente, which is a layer cake of churches (our friend Sue calls it the lasagne church). It’s a church on top of a church on top of a church. Intriguing, although kind of spooky on the bottom layer. Sorry, no photos allowed inside.

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We wandered past lines of people waiting to get into the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel – I’d already been there years ago, and Beth decided it wasn’t a priority for her. But if you do go to Rome and want to see them, I highly recommend that you buy tickets ahead on line, especially if you’re there in the summer.

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After a peek at the exterior of the buildings we headed for a stroll through Trastevere, a lovely neighborhood full of old buildings glowing in the afternoon sun….

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…and we stopped at one of the small trattorias for lunch.

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One of my favorite things to do in Rome is to simply walk. Put away your map and wander, up this narrow street, down that alleyway. You’ll see lots of beautiful architectural details…

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…and some of the local non-human inhabitants.

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You’ll spy interesting graffiti…

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…and who knows what all else!

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Heading back towards our shuttle stop, we passed the Pantheon, so we stopped inside. It’s a place not to miss. The signs all say silence please, and a recording announces it in 6 languages, while hundreds of tourists keep talking. But despite the commotion and crowds, you still get a sense of the grandeur and spirituality of the place.

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I’ve only scratched the surface of things to do in Rome – there are countless museums to peruse, gardens to wander, piazzas to linger in, bridges to cross…

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…and of course, bargain shopping for the kitsch, as well as high-end haute couture for the rich).

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We only had a few days, but spend more time if you can, and enjoy the people, the food, the beauty and the history that is Rome.

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4 Comments

  1. Oh my, this all really brings back the magic of an astounding city full of 2,000 year old history…and of course, great friendship! Thanks for another wonderful tale.

    • Thank you, Beth, for sharing the magic, your continued support of my journey, and most of all your friendship!!

  2. So Beth, my husband and I are planning our trip to Rome & the Amalfi Coast in April. What I am wondering is shipping items home since luggage weight is limited. Hoping you know if shipping from Italy to the USA is safe or even cost effective…..any helpful hints is more than welcome.
    Thank you
    Sharon Lepore
    Levittown PA

    new to your blot at the suggestion of Beth Hughes…..another wandering gypsy of life

    • Hi Sharon,

      I hope you have a wonderful trip! Italy is such a beautiful country. As far as shipping goes, I can’t really say, as I haven’t done any. I’ve heard people say in several countries I’ve visited that shipping things back to the states is expensive, takes a long time & sometimes never arrives, but that’s not from first hand experience. I do know people who pick up an inexpensive extra bag and pay the airline fee, they say it’s cheaper & more reliable, but it also means hauling your purchases around with you until you leave. And I have one friend who bought exquisite pricy Murano hand blown wine glasses, but when the shipped glasses arrived they were cheap factory imitations. Luckily she had paid with an American Express card and was fully reimbursed. If you’re sending anything valuable, you might want to look into insurance, or see if your credit card covers any losses. Hope that helps at least a little!

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