Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Final Days in Rome

Rome has been fantastic!  We're off to the Amalfi tomorrow.  The train system was a bit tricky to figure out, but the people at the Termini train station were quite helpful which was a big plus. We got our Eurail Passes validated, paid our 10 Euros, and booked our seats.  At this point we're good to go for 10 days of travel (as much as we want each day).  We ride to Naples Centrale and then hop on the Circumvesuviana (scenic train) to Sorento.  From there we either grab a bus or hire a car to Praiano.  Really looking forward to the change of pace at this point.

However, this said, Charles and I both agree that Rome ha been spectacular!  The city always offered something new and amazing.  Today, we toured the inner parts of the Coliseum, the Forum, the Palatino Hills, and a number of temples and archeological sites, some of which are digs in progress.

The food has been great from dinner venues to simple bars that offer great cappuccinos and gelato. Above all, the city offers unlimited and incredible churches and basilicas, vistas and views to die for.  And, for those willing to put in a little sweat equity, all within walking distance of one another.

Yesterday, was a down day...marvellous!  Actually, it was the first day I really felt that I was in Italy.  Not just Rome, but Italy, as I had envisioned it.  We had a leisurely lunch at a lovely out of the way pizza bar near the Via della Pace.  It was very quaint and offered a very typical view of a quiet Italian side street in the middle of a busy city.
View from our table at the Pizza bar along the Via della Pace
One thing that struck us as kind of funny as we were having lunch was a driver who pulled up and just parked right there in the middle of the street.  Too funny!  No worries about traffic getting by... The Romans are totally inscrutable when it comes to driving.  You just can't figure them out.  They drive like maniacs, yet they are truly fantastic drivers, negotiating the narrowest of streets and sharpest of turns, they whiz by pedestrians, but never seem to hit any, and seemingly park wherever they want without being in the way.  Nuts!

Car parked in the middle of the road 
One interesting structure that has become a point of orientation for us is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Victor Emmanuel Memorial). Charles and I were completely blown away by the grandeur of this monument.  It's so immense that it can easily be seen from many locations throughout the city.  Interestingly, many Romans perceive this monument as a vulgar and ostentatious display of nationalism.  Let's just say that our tour guide, Sergio, a Roman through and through, was not so impressed with it.  But, we touristas, hey, what do we know?

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Victor Emanuel Memorial) Piazza Venezia
Closer view of the Monument
So, tomorrow, it's off to new adventures.  Can't wait to see and smell the sea :)  Costa Amalfi, here we come!
Before signing off, we'd like to thank our hosts at the Hotel Sonya for a lovely stay.  Clean rooms at reasonable prices, breakfasts included that are about as good as it gets for protein loving Anglos in a European city, and great location that was walking distance to pretty much every destination we set our sights on.

Also, it's great having peace of mind afforded by our house-sitters, so thanks to Larry and Heather for looking after things  back home.


  1. I just wrote you a comment and somehow erased it. FML

  2. Enjoying your blogs and all the updates. Looks like you guys are having a blast :) It's always wise to plan the bikini portion of the trip near the beginning and not near the end. Have so much fun!

  3. PS - embrace the stairs. And you thought Rome was good for your butt... HA!

  4. Happy Birthday. Special day, special place. Enjoy the day. There is a lot to be thankful for. I echo Elaina's comments on the stairs. Butt and legs will be in great shape when you leave there. Try to get out on the water. It is beautiful.

  5. Happy Birthday Mom!! Hope you guys have a fabulous day celebrating fabulous you. Limoncello shots for the birthday girl! Splurge on something great. Lots of love from Giorgio, Olivia, Hali, and me! xoxo

  6. BTW, will post on the Amalfi soon :)

  7. I seem to have lost my last comment! Argh!!! Here I go again...

    Thanks for the B-day wishes everyone. Having a fairy tale B-day. Amalfi is amazing, weather is perfect, Casa Angelina is fantastic! Gorgeous views, best breakfast spread ever and Charles booked a one star Michelin restaurant for dinner... table with a view :) If it gets better than this, I don't know how! xoxo Stay tuned...

  8. Happy birthday! I've really been enjoying reading your blog, and hearing all about how your trip has been progressing so well! Be sure to take a picture of some stairs so I can see what everyone's talking about!

  9. Thanks, Joe! I posted one picture of some stairs, but it's just the tip of the iceberg! It's not just stairs, but climbing up slopes and down again. When we get home, you'll see lots more pics that may give you some idea of what's involved :) TTFN!