Tuesday, 16 March 2010

There's no place like Rome

written 15th March

Rome was fabulous! Having been once again warned about low-level crime, we forearmed ourselves with campsites details and found a place on the beach which promised Rome by public transport for a euro and less than an hour - when the buses work maybe, didn't take account of the one mile walk along the uninspiring beach road (flat, carparks on both sides, can't really see the sea or ayway of getting to it) to get to the station out of season when the buses don't run but hey, it's no Nice to Beaulieu and all part of the quest for inevitable fitness :)  and other than that it worked just fine

So in our Roman experience so far we have:

Seen the pope - sunday morning papal address.  We had expected a brief look out, wave, blessing, done, but no, you get some sort of sermon in Italian thne the papal version of 'everyone in the house say 'waaaayaaaay' in several different languages.  Like going to the pantomime at christmas, it seems that if you warn them you are a particular group on a certain performance, you can also get yourselves a special shoutout in your country's welcome - nice touch

Strolled the banks of the Tiber

Eaten pizza on the Spanish Steps

Lingered near the Trevi fountain

Gaped at the perfect hemisphere of the Pantheon

Wandered through the Piazza Navona - sadly Four Rivers Fountain out of action

Deciphered the ruins of the Area Sacra di Largo Argentina and seen the steps where Julius Caesar was assasinated (just behind the pillars)

Climbed the steps of the Vittorio Emanuele monument.  a simply massive edifice built in the early 1900s as a memorial to King Vittorio Emauele II  who, in 1970, was the first to finally unite Italy since the Romans - as with spain, it is hard to believe that it is only relatively recently that these places have been the countries we know today. 

Makes you think really, technically, these "old world" countries are younger than america, the usual yardstick of "new world" youth.  (overheard on a punting trip through cambridge from a university student punting guide with a boatload of americans "this building was built before you were born..."  sage nodding, yes, I am only 50ish of course it was, "...as a nation").  The triumphal statue is massive, so much so that half way through construction, the new king came to inspect progress and the had a sit down dinner for 12 in its belly!  it really is the horses bollocks...

Peered at the Forum - didn't go in but did watch a video talking about its history

Admired the view from the Capitaline Hill

Seen the spread of the Roman Empire

Marvelled at the Colleseum and triumphal Arch of Constantine - a nice setting for the mother's day call home

Seen columns and ruins at virtually every turn

Drunk apperitivi of prosecci  in a pavement cafe in Campo dei Fiori whilst watching people passegiata through the square

Eaten a three course (antipasti, primo piatti, dolci - couldn't manage all four so forewent the secondo piatti or meat course on this occasion - don't knowhow they fit it all in!) italian meal in a bustling pavement in Trastevere

Missed the last train home... must get better at public transport!  but thankfully found a night bus this time 28kms too far to walk!  And a proper knightbus experience it was complete with hair raising corners, sudden stops and seeming apparation in between cars and down side roads - never been so grateful for plastic public transport bucket seats!

Possibly been propositioned by a prostitute on the beach road back to the campsite - don't actually know what she said and she was wearing more clothes than the rest of the girls we later passed further down the road (thigh high boots, pants, vest top under open mac) so she may have just been asking for the time, or a light or something...  There was a lot of traffic on a road which, we discovered the next day, didn't actually go anywhere much beyond the campsite....  again, as with spain, you then start looking suspiciously at any woman or groups of women standing by roads, even those you later see are actually at bus stops... :)

Not bad going for 2 days!  And the sun has shone and it has been warm!

We had planned a day off today (haven't really "stopped" since spain, either been seeing things or driving massive distances, both of which are more tiring than you would think!) and Basilica and Sistine Chapel tomorrow but on leaving the campsite mid afternoon, we decided rather than hang around, we are going to press on south to Pompei, Vesuvius and the Amalfi coast as the weather is nicer down here, and call back into rome on the way back north.

so, Rome, to be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment