The River Tiber
When in Rome be a tourist. But first we have to undertake one very important task. On arrival two days ago we used some valuable New Zealand dollars trying to find our apartment. It was our intention to get an Italian phone or SIM card at the airport but that failed. This morning we found a mobile phone company a short walk from our apartment. Within twenty minutes of walking into the shop we were leaving again with new phone numbers. This must be the first step towards Italian citizenship. Anyone wanting to contact us on our NZ numbers will need to wait until August.
Today we decided to take a trip into the city centre, about twenty minutes by Metro. Buying Metro tickets is fun. Today we received a lesson in pronouncing numbers up to ten. We now have another friend.
We thought we could catch up with our other friend, Francis, but by the time we reached St Peters thousands of Francis’s friends were there before us. We’ll have to come back on another visit. The area around the Vatican is swarming with tourists all with a particular reason for being there. The other group of people
Waiting for a lunch date
are the thousands of hawkers trying to sell tours, scarves, hats, bottled water, the list goes on. For us it was on the way to a delightful lunch date in a narrow street near Piazza Navona. The street wasn’t quite narrow enough to prevent larger Mercedes cars or small trucks from driving past. We made sure our toes and knees were well tucked in.
We have enjoyed this area around Piazza Navona on previous visits so we didn’t need to spend too much time photo bombing or being accosted by hawkers. We found completely ignoring them was best. After trying English, French, German, or even Russian they soon gave up trying to get our attention. Now if they had tried New Zild that might have captured us immediately. We took the opportunity of visiting the basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle. This church had at one time the third largest dome in Rome. It was a pleasure to be welcomed in such a friendly way by the local church helpers.
We rubbed shoulders with the thousands of tourists enjoying Rome on this very warm sunny day. It is only the middle of May and the streets are swarming with
people. It will only get busier as the summer holidays start. Armed soldiers are everywhere in readiness for any sign of trouble. Back home in New Zealand we feel so safe. We can only remain vigilant and look after ourselves. Our walk took us past the ruins of the Forum and the Colosseum. It was here we ended our short but interesting tour of Rome.
The ride back to our apartment was uneventful. Our only thought was of the promised gelato, cold beers and nibbles. Dinner tonight was very simple but interesting fare. We had to eat everything we had left over because tomorrow we head off towards the South.
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