Ah! It's almost like another vacation, just going through the photos. I started out with over 400 and have culled down from there. That's why it's taken me so long to post about the trip. I'm going to show you in installments, friends. So be patient. Today I'll cover the first day. If you need more, go to Finished! and see what I knit on the trip.
We arrived early in the morning. This traveled on the plane with us.
My goodness! What a bag! (The shoes were pink, too.)
The good news: we figured out the train from the Airport to Stazione Termini.
The bad news: the apartment we'd rented wasn't available, as the landlord had missed his flight back from Sicily. They had another apartment in Trastevere where we could stay for one night...wait, no, that one wasn't available either...but they had another that was just five minutes walk away...well...it.took.a.little.longer.than.that. But we finally got situated at a little place on Largo Arenula, near Largo Argentino.
After we settled in, showered, and changed our clothes, we headed out for Piazza Navona. But we found the Pantheon first. It's an amazing place! It's the only Roman building that has been in constant use since it was constructed (some time in the first century A.D.). I don't know why I didn't take any photos of it, but go here to get a sense of it. I'll wait. Remarkable, no?
Then we wound our way through the narrow streets to Piazza Navona:
It's a large, oval piazza with three fountains, two by Bernini. I used to hang out here every morning with toddlers and other au pairs when I lived in Roma. I don't remember it being so crowded, though. You hear the babble of the crowds before you see it. And you can't hear the babble of the fountains -my oh my! But I wasn't here during tourist season, either.
By this time we needed a pick-me-up, so we sat down at Tre Scalini for a treat. We got more than we bargained for:
This is another thing I don't remember. Gypsy musicians, all men and boys, are everywhere (the gypsy women and children are allegedly notorious pickpockets). You can't sit down at a sidewalk cafe without hearing "Arrivederci Roma" or "Volare"...many...times...I'd had my fill after the first day.
But to get back to the treat:
Cappucino and the famous Tre Scalini Tartufo, a chocolate gelato bomb, baby!
And, yes, I did have coffee. Coffee is different in Italy. They give you less, and...well it's just different and it didn't bother me.
Stoked by the coffee and chocolate, we decided to walk along the Lungotevere, following the the loop that the river makes around the center of Roma. I thought this would be a good way for Ron to get a sense of the geography of the city.
The Tevere is surprisingly beautiful and traversed by many beautiful bridges.
The Lungotevere, the road that runs beside the river, is lined with trees, which makes for a cool walk on a warm day. We crossed the river a couple of times, stood on the bridges, and watched the river flow. Not much boat traffic.
Woo Hoo! We found Italian rice cakes (just like the rice cakes I can get here in California!) in a little shop by the river:
And stopped for beer and a knitting break near the Spanish Steps:
Then we found the Trevi Fountain. This is the three coins in the fountain fountain and it's another spot where the babble of voices drowns the babble of the water. My goodness! There were five hundred people crowded into this piazza!
We walked a lot that first day because we were trying to stay up as long as possible. We shopped for anti pasti and wine at Antico Forno Roscioli:
Italian goat cheese with truffles, stinky French goat cheese, wrapped in a leaf, and the best salami I've ever tasted. We went back to our apartment-for-a-day and had a snack. Here's the view from the front window. Everyone's waiting for the tram, presumably headed home after their Roman work day.
Roma is much bigger and even more beautiful than my recollection from thirty-four years ago. I realize now that I trod a limited pathway when I was young. Limited due to my youthful inexperience and lack of funds. It's great to be older, have money, and have the experience to know what we want to do.
There was something interesting to see in every narrow street:
or tiny piazza:
We just savoured the city.