Roman Holiday

Trip Start Nov 14, 2011
Trip End Feb 28, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mary's Impressions:
It was by chance that we found ourselves spending a day in Rome. Originally we had hoped to take a direct flight from Sicily to Prague but due to several flight cancellations we ended up having to spend a night in Rome (not too much of a hardship!).  As it turns out our day in Rome fell on our Wedding Anniversary – what a perfect way to spend it.  When we arrived in Rome, we took a bus from the airport (the stop was very close to where our hotel is located near the Vatican).  The area was very quiet with most places shut down.  We quickly realized that of course August is the month when most Italians take their vacation – many businesses are shut down for the month (I had heard of this but never truly experienced it).  Since we were only in Rome for a day – this didn't worry us too much as we would find things to keep us busy in the city.

It’s been a long time since I was last in Rome.  My first introduction to the city was when I was backpacking with my friend from my "jeune-fille-au-pair" Paris days.  I loved the city and everything that it had to offer.  Since that time, I came back to Rome many times for work visiting a company that was located outside of Rome.  Arriving into Rome again after so many years, I was surprised at the things I had forgotten when I was here.  This city is where I fell in love with Italy – the culture, history, art, music, food and people.  I remember how I especially enjoyed walking around Piazza di Spagna (The Spanish Steps) with my colleagues and that each time I came to the city, I would make a point of going to the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) to throw my coin in to ensure my return to the city again.  After so many years, I was looking forward to visiting this lovely city again, this time with Jeff.

For our day of adventure, we made the most of it by walking throughout the city and revisiting the sites that Jeff and I have seen in the past but this time we were seeing it together.  Our walks around Rome and visiting and discovering the city again felt like the movie “Roman Holiday” where Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck set out to explore the beauty of Rome.  We definitely covered a lot of ground!  One site that was a new experience for me was the Pantheon.  For some reason, I never visited this site in my previous visits to Rome.  Parts of the Pantheon has been restored (more work is on-going) and the place has now been converted into Church of St. Mary and the Martyrs.  I don’t know if the tourists visiting the site realized that this area is now a church as there were numerous signs posted to be silent as well as announcements made in various languages to keep silent all to no avail – the crowds visiting were still a noisy bunch.

As Jeff and I were in Rome, we had to partake in one of the things Italians love to do – have a gelato.  There are so many gelateries located in Rome it was a difficult decision to pick the one we would have.  Our choice in the end was one where we both agreed it was probably the most flavourful gelato we have ever had.  I picked a coffee flavour gelato and it tasted exactly like a coffee – very creamy yet light.  Jeff’s pick was pistachio and hazelnut – nutty and not too sweet.  We were both in heaven joying our gelatos.

Before Jeff and I left the city, we did manage to get to the Trevi Fountain to throw our coin in.  We’ll have our memories of our day in Bella Roma to stay with us while enticing us to come back and fall in love with this wonderful city again.
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