Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Rome Day One

Judy said, “I’m gonna go ask. This doesn’t look right to me, there’s nobody else at this gate.” A minute later we were race walking to the other end of terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport. Arriving at Gate 17 with minutes to spare, I had just enough time to gulp down a bland fat-free frozen yogurt with blueberries. In London it was about 7 a.m.; in our bodies it was five hours earlier, Boston time. Neither one of us felt the plane take off, we were both sound asleep.

Three hours later, in Rome’s airport, we met up with Tim and Scott and our Vacane Roman began. The four of us had a late lunch around the corner from our Hotel at the Spaghettaria and then returned to the Hotel Trestavere to rest and re-group. Later in the evening, after a two hour nap, Judy & I took a left, instead of a right, out of the Hotel, to follow Rick Steve’s Evening Walk from Campo de Fiori to the Spanish Steps. What seemed like three hours later on what was supposed to be a fifteen minute walk, we accidentally found in the northern tip of the Jewish Ghetto, the Cat Sanctuary, the Teatro Argentina and the Area Sacra, a set of ruins.

It was a pleasant walk even though we were never sure where we were. We meandered through narrow winding streets that looked like alleys, dodged cars and motorbikes along the way and poked around in shops selling some really nice textiles. We eventually crossed the Tevere River via the Ponte Mazzini. We ate supper in a pizzeria in the Campo di Fiore. Following along the river under a canopy of giant Sycamore trees, we walked through the bottom end of the Jewish Ghetto and came back into Trastevere over the Ponte Sisto, the bridge we were supposed to walk over to begin with. We never did get to the Spanish Steps, having walked in a circle by making a few lefts and then a right instead of a left, but it was a nice walk nonetheless.

As it was Saturday evening, everyone was out. The bars, pizzarias, trattorias and ristorantes were all open, there were street vendors selling jewelry and in the Piazzo di San Cosimato we watched a fire eater perform to a large crowd. From there we made it back to the hotel and passed out in our room. Looking out our window, I said a silent good night to the homeless guy and his dog sleeping under a canopy on the street below us.


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