Thursday, May 17, 2007

Roma-Do You Need A Place To Stay?

Amy's family at St. Peter's Me and Amy at St. Peter's

Spanish Steps
My favorite, Trevi Fountain
Quiet street in Rome

This weekend, I visited Rome. I took the train on Saturday morning, and arrived in an hour and a half! A very short and pleasant journey on the Eurostar for 33.00 euro. Rome’s train station is very large, as is Rome. Rome is the largest city in Italy, and full of all of the hustle and bustle that you find in any large city, plus about a million scooters.

I took a taxi to the apartment where I was staying, which belongs to a friend of mine, who I met in Rome in November. I was with a tour group at the Trevi Fountain, after our Farewell Roma tour, when Bruno and a friend of his asked me why I was looking so serious while taking pictures of the Trevi Fountain. I laughed and asked them why they were speaking to me like they knew I was an American. We started a conversation, and before I knew it, Bruno and I had a date for the next night. Well some of you know the story of me and, dinner, all around Rome at night on a scooter, etc etc. Suffice it to say, that we became friends.

Bruno lives in Boca Raton now. He went to Catholic University on a soccer scholarship, but didn’t like it and transferred to Philly and Temple University were he graduated. He moved to Boca Raton for his Master’s Degree at Lane University and works for an aviation parts supplier as the European Sales Manager. He is originally from Rome, and has an apartment which he now rents out to tourists, when he is not there. So, when I decided to meet Amy and her family in Rome, I decided to stay there. You can stay there is you visit Rome also. Go to for information. If you are interested in renting it. Contact me and I will put you in touch with Bruno, or you can contact him through the website.

I met Andrea (a friend of Bruno’s) at the apartment to get the keys, and then took the bus into the city. Saturday afternoon, I was on my own since Amy and her family were not arriving until Sunday. I headed straight for the Trevi Fountain, visited the Spanish Steps, spent some time at the Antica Enoteca, Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon. I had lunch near the Pantheon, and spoke to Amy just before she got on the plane. The best thing about visiting a city like Rome more than once, is that you really get all of the "tourist" things out of the way, and can focus only on the things you really enjoy seeing over and over. Or, just enjoy the people watching.

The Trevi Fountain is one of the most beautiful and romantic things that I have ever seen, so I spent several hours there on Saturday evening. I still haven’t gotten the photo that I want of the Trevi Fountain at night, but maybe it just doesn’t exist. Part of the magic of the fountain is the sound of the rushing water, which just doesn’t come through on a photo. I had a late dinner and made it back to the apartment by midnight.

On Sunday, I got up and walked into Piazza Navona, where I spent a big part of the morning people watching, and looking at the art for sale in the piazza. I managed to buy 3 more watercolors, since the 1000's of dollars of art work that I have in storage just doesn’t seem to be enough!

Amy’s family arrived around 11 a.m. and I met them at the hotel. That day we spent walking the city, and had a wonderful dinner at Vecchia Roma in Campo Di Fiore that evening. It was so much fun spending time with Amy’s parents, Amy and her son Brent! I’ve missed that "family" atmosphere and it was good to share it with them. Of course Amy and I talked a mile a minute getting caught up with all the latest!

The next morning, we visited the Vatican Museum, and as I have said before on this site, one of my favorite things, The Sistine Chapel. I wish I had photos of it, but it just isn’t allowed. We spent the entire morning at The Vatican, and then went into Trastevere for lunch and shopping. We found a wonderful little restaurant in Trastevere for lunch and had a fabulous meal. Amy and I shared a caprese salad, gorgonzola gnocchi, and a fritta pesce mista (fried mixed fish). The fish consisted of octopus, calamari, and shrimp and had the finest batter on it with salt and lemon. It was all terrific, with white wine, and lots of good conversation!

I left for the train station at 6:00 for a 7:30 train, which was delayed, and was home by 10:00 p.m.

Amy, Brent, Meryl and Jimmy.....thanks for letting me join you in Roma! I had a wonderful time!

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