Showing posts from November, 2008

Walking Rome at Night

We spent most of our first full day in Rome either walking or standing. Having spent hours waiting on line for our tickets to the Papal audience, and flying through the Vatican museum before it closed, we stopped for some refreshments at a small cafe at the base of a long flight of stairs leading to the Metro. As Bill had never eaten gelato before, we ordered cups of mocha/chocolate gelato. Bill was so smitten that gelato in different flavors became an afternoon tradition for the rest of our journey. Photo of a Roman Soldier out of his elementConcerning Gelato: “Let’s Go: Italy,” one of the most helpful of the tourist guides we’d brought along, described the difference between homemade or factory produced gelato. Gelato served from plastic containers is factory produced. Stainless-steel means homemade. Checking the color of the banana gelato is also a good clue. If it is bright yellow, it is factory produced. Slightly grayish banana gelato means homemade. Same …

The Vatican and a surprise encounter

Along the stairway leading to Piazza del Popolo from the Borghese Gardens
We woke late on Tuesday, the morning after our arrival -- though considering the time difference of six hours it was not late but quite early: nine a.m. in Rome equals 3 a.m. in Minnesota. It didn’t take Bill long to figure out how to make a great cup of coffee in the small espresso maker at the apartment and the butter, peach jam, and dry tostinis, (what we think of as Melba Toast), comprised the balance of our breakfast. Then we were off to the Borghese Gardens and Piazzo del Popolo for a two hour morning walk.
Piazzo del Popolo as seen from above in the Borghese Gardens.

The Pizzeria on Via Babuino where we had lunch of 4 plates of different roasted vegetables.Our parish priest from Grand Marais, had written a letter to the Vatican recommending us for an audience with the Holy Father for Wednesday. We had been subsequently notified that we were to pick up our tickets at the “Bronze Doors” between two and 4 p.m. …

We arrive in Rome

My husband Bill and I have just returned from a three week journey to Italy. During that time, we traveled through Rome, the AmalfiCoast, the Italian Riviera, the Italian Alps, Tuscany and Umbria. We met with 24 of my deceased husband Vittorio’s family members and network of friends, got hopelessly lost, made innumerable mistakes, encountered several unexpected acts of kindness, ate incredible meals, and everywhere were surrounded with scenes of great historic and artistic resonance and of unutterable beauty.

Our first four days were spent in Rome in an adorable apartment (Casa di Stella on Via Mario Fiori) only a block away from the famed Spanish Steps. From there it was an easy jaunt to most of the important sites in the city, and the Metro and bus lines were nearby for longer trips within and without the city.
We encountered our first challenge at the luggage pick up. We could not rent a luggage dolly which cost 50 centavos because our lowest denomination euro was € 100 bill. Lesson …