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Published: August 3rd 2006
I spent several hours here after taking a 30 minute tour with a particularly handsome Italian guide.
"Which of the cities visited did your highness enjoy the most?"
"Each in its own way was unforgettable. It would be difficult .......... ..............Rome, by all means Rome. I will cherish my visit here in memory, as long as I live."
Yep, that about sums up my five days in Rome - absolutely the perfect "Roman Holiday".
For those of you without my passion for this movie, "Roman Holiday" starred Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn and was the story of a princess who escaped the restriction of the royal life for a day in Rome with Gregory Peck, a journalist. A lovely story and the sights which they visited, I attempted to emulate to the best of my ability.
A wise man told me that I would never see everything in one visit to the Eternal City and he was right. However, I did take in the Colosseum, the Forum, the Palatine, Vatican Museums and St Peters, many piazzas, fountains, ate at some great places, consumed excessive amounts of wine and gelati.........plus took in my "Roman Holiday" sights.
And the photos I have posted, may not technically be my best, but do reflect well
In spite of the heat, and developing blisters from my new shoes, it was great wandering about this place and the Palatine.
my time in Rome.
I arrived in Rome early on Wednesday morning, checked my bag into the hostel and had breakfast at a cafe near Rome's terminii station where Tony, an Englishman living in Rome for the last 26 years, took good care of me. Nothing like knowing that I just needed some good coffee and English conversation to start my day.
I spent the rest of the day roaming around the Colosseum (no queuing, bought a "tour" ticket and walked straight in), the Palatine, and the Forum. Each was fantastic to photograph and also had places to rest and get away from the crowds. For example, there was a series of sculptures of the Muses in the Colosseum that most tourists skipped. Not me, it was fascinating.
Now that I have genuinely entered into the hostel/backpacker world (since Chamonix, really), I have enjoyed some great company. No exception in Rome. I met Jade that night. She is an Adelaide girl who has lived in Japan for the past 2 years and is on a 1 month European vacation before heading back to reality - and Canberra!
Jade and I spent all day Thursday wandering around
The Eternal City
Looking out from Tomb of the unknown soldier monument.
the Vatican Museums (impressive but not really my kind of thing), St Peters (awesome and included a free tour - Dave and Lisa, I am sure it was the same American guide that you described), had a great lunch in Piazza Navona, went to the Pantheon, the Trevi fountain, the Spanish steps.....etc and finished with buffalo mozarella, salami, chilli ricotta, crackers and wine in the beer garden at the hostel.
After that, I slowed down on the tourist stuff and spent more time just soaking up the ambience of the city relaxing at cafes and restaurants. On that, my arteries and waistline were most unhappy, but my tastebuds loved every minute of Rome. I can't get enough fresh buffalo mozarella with tomato, basil and olive oil. Follow this up with gnocchi with calamari, risotto with porcini mushrooms, black fettucini with salmon and stone bass or fetuccini with black truffles. Dessert (before gelati, that is) - tiramisu, of course!
And the wine accompanient, you ask, mostly Sangiovese. Tried this varietal from a few areas of Italy, all were good.
Apart from visiting the "Mouth of Truth", wandering along the Tiber river (over and under its various bridges), and
Early morning at St Peters
It was a lovely place without a crowd!
meandering through one of Rome's few patches of greenery, a park north of the city centre, one other highlight was simply crossing the road! As those of you who have been here before know very well, one takes their lives into their own hands crossing Italian streets. I really enjoyed the challenge.
Sadly left Rome for Naples on Monday afternoon.....what a contrast. Stay tuned for that update!
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