03 November 2012

Rome, Italy


While sitting with my family at Lindsay's fabulous bridal shower in mid-October I heard my niece Abbie say that she was going to Italy- alone- because she couldn't find anyone to go with her.  I said she didn't ask the right person ;-) 

I called Art a little later and we talked about it and assuming I could work out frequent flyer tix and keep my budget in check it was a go!  I was in between any big projects, my birthday was coming up, and Art was at the store almost every day now anyway.  So I scoured the internet and called United to check my ff options.
 I could get into Rome within two hours of Abbie and out just after her on the same days.  I was able to book and join a once in a lifetime (maybe) event with my niece.  She had already set up hostels along the way so our hotels were going to be affordable.  I knew she had also set up public transport between cities so I knew I had to pack light. 

I packed and repacked each day between the day I booked and the day we left! lol!  I also started a walking routine so I could build up a little stamina to try to keep up with my 20-something niece!

The flight over went smoothly with the plan to connect just outside of customs in Rome.  Upon arrival I stepped outside the customs to the main airport to wait while Abbie was waiting just off the customs line inside customs.  So, it took us about an hour to connect.  Not a big deal though. 

We found our first hostel with relatively little issue, then changed and took off toward the city.  We walked around all afternoon and evening.  We saw the Pantheon first with it's great domed ceiling that was open at the top and the drains built into the wonderful marble floor.  We came across a great excavation site in the middle of the city that was full of cats.  We would quickly learn that cats held a special place in the heart of Rome. 

We found and walked up the Spanish steps to a wonderful park and cathedral above the city with fabulous views as far as the eye could see.  We then wandered down and came upon the Trevi Fountain and Caesar's Forum.  There were countless ruins, churches and fabulous buildings in between...  We stopped for dinner at 8:00 and had our first delicious Pasta and Wine meal.  Abbie was fresh off of two red eyes and no sleep so we headed back home to crash.

The next morning we got up early to walk across the Tiber River and into town to take the dungeon tour at the Colosseum.  We got a little turned around and ended up walking the long way around Palantine Hill, which was gorgeous so it didn't really matter.  We got out tix for a later tour so headed off to the Forum first.

After the dungeon tour we were starving so we stopped for a "quick lunch" before we wanted to see the Sistene Chapel and Vatican City.  Long story short, good wine, good meal, good company does not equal short lunch.  We did manage to walk "around" Vatican City but honestly the walls are so high that was all you could see! lol!  Better luck next time.

Off to Florence!

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