Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another year, and the only way to get it started was to book some flights. Not as many as previously but still, there is always somewhere new.   Now, it has been a while since we had done any true Roman ruin exploring, and a couple of months ago, we made our way into the British Museum to see an exhibition on Emperor Hadrian, and it was there that fueled the fire. A quick booking was made, and Rome was the destination. Not to the city, but just outside was the ancient city of Ostia Antica. We had heard good things, so this was the chosen site.
Before we go any further, just a quick report on the Italians. If there are three lanes, you can make five !!! Indicators? Decoration only. And no matter how small your car is, you drive it like a formula one. Trust me, it can be a little scary with the drifters, no it is fucking scary actually especially when you are in a car the size of a roller skate. Oh how I dream of the days back when we were in a big camper, everyone got out of our way then !!!
Ostia Antica
Paid, entered, and straight away, a guide hit us up telling us that we would not see the stuff without her help !!! She told us of the sites that she had visited, but we out boasted her !!! So she left us alone.   The site was kind of similar to Pompeii, but not covered in lava. There were loads of buildings with mosaics. They were not colourful, just black and white. They also looked a bit sun bleached, but after 2000 years, you can't expect much more. Maybe it's about time they were covered !!!
Along the way, we saw various walls with bits of paint on it. Other people were going ooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, but we had seen similar before.  However, in a couple of other buildings where the majority of the tourists weren't, there were some murals that had been uncovered.
As we wandered around, I decided that the site was impressive and I am glad I came. Not as good as some that I have been to but I am glad I came. Not busy, not really known, just the way I like it.
After grabbing our hotel, we drove into Rome. It was a little bit worrying, but after we parked up, we found a place to eat, which was pretty good. Now as we are in Rome, we had to at least be a little bit touristy, so we say Piazza Navona as the main fountain was covered in scaffold last time. The Pantheon was as usual, my favourite building in this city, fuck I love it, and then onto the Trevi fountain. Whilst there, we started speaking to the local flower sellers/picture takers and they told us that they were all illegals from Bangladesh !!! After we finished with them, we hit the traffic again. as it was now midnight, there was now twice as many cars on the road !!!
On the otherside of Rome is Tivoli. Set in the hills, and keeping with the Hadrian/Roman theme, there is Villa d'Adriana, or in English, Hadrian's Villa. He had built this on top of another one and then kept expanding it. It was so big, that various other people kept the show on the road after he had died. It was massive. There were a couple of different theatres, two bath houses and a running track Underneath it all were tunnels which we ran around in. It was pretty impressive, plus it was another World Heritage site to tick off of the list !!!
Up the road from there was Villa d'Este . Inside were loads of murals, but it is the outside that we really wanted to see. In the gardens are all these fountains of various sizes. There was one called the organ fountain, and at 16:30 it went off. Well the water didn't but an automatic organ did !!! Exciting. No not really, but we saw it anyway !!!
Back in Rome
Yes we went back to fight the traffic, and it was fun. We parked up near the castle and had a quick bite before we hit the road again. Fuck Rome is good
And Finally
Two things ticked that I wanted to see. Yes they are worth it. Yes you should go, but you should really try driving in Rome. No you should. Trust me, I know !!!


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starlagurl on

Yes, I know what you mean about the traffic in Italy. It's definitely crazy-insane.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

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