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The Colesseum, The Forum and a Thousand Narrow Streets

Our third day walking Rome

sunny 83 °F

On the second full day, we didn't have any organized tour, just tickets to the Colosseum. We found a bus that took up there with little effort other than we were criminals, not having mastered the system. Bus tickets are bought at tobacconists, but they are not at every stop, and we raced to get the bus. After you buy your ticket, you must validate the ticket in a machine. That activates the ticket. We validated no ticket because we had no ticket, having already used our tickets the day before. We promised to make up for our larceny.

The Colosseum and Palatine Hill were fantastic. At the Colosseum, we encountered the largest crowds so far. Wandering through the Palatine Hills certainly brought the sheer scale of what Rome had built to reality. The engineering of the Colosseum was astonishing. Certainly, the brutality of the games was evident.
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After the Palatine Hill, we found an alley lined with cafes. We had a delicious lunch with some beer and then took off walking. We were not nearly up to our daily quota. After having our vaccination verified, we walked to the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore for a thoughtful exploration.

We walked to the central train station, checked on trains for tomorrow to Bologna. We took another bus using my phone. After a nice ride, it was obvious we were headed in the wrong direction, to the Vatican, not our area of Trastevere. We rang the bell for the next stop, walked back to a street we knew, and headed back through the neighborhoods. As we passed, cafes were opening up, setting out tables, writing on chalkboards.

At a food pantry we had seen handing out food earlier, I stopped and donated five euros to compensate for our larceny of bus rides. My guilt addressed, we decided to stop for wine, so we turned down a street to find eight or ten cafes. We couldn't decide but finally sat down at Bacco en Trastevere.
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We had a lovely bottle of wine which was hard to select because they had pages of possibilities. The staff was terrific. After the wine, we walked a while, then turned around and went back for supper. It was getting dark. Lights were out, and people collected on the streets, in bars, at cafe tables along the sidewalk.
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Children played in the little piazza, dogs barked greetings, scooters beeped, and people laughed. All three of us wanted to move. While it threatened to rain, sprinkled a bit, that vanished and our placed filled. The girls at the next table were from Milan and celebrating an exam in a master's program as data analysts. They were going to be working in police or military security. They had one more exam to take. When we went to pay the bill, they gave us a discount for being so friendly,

After dinner, we wandered back down the alley, through the crowds, past people eating and laughing into our piazza where boys were playing football(soccer).

Another great day and eight miles of walking.

Posted by Deuxenvacances 19:52 Archived in Italy Tagged rome roman cafe colosseum forum Comments (0)

Rome Day 1

Jet Lag

sunny

Our flight to Rome was boarding as we raced across the Newark airport. Sally stopped at a gate. I said, “Keep going, quick, C128.” Sally shot back, “No, C138, 138, now, here, they are almost finished boarding.” We made it just under the wire, but we made it. Close enough counts.

It is now 6:40 PM (Rome Time), but it’s 40 minutes past midnight back home, and we have not been to bed for thirty-two hours (someone, check that math, I am drinking wine). Someone check my spelling.

We arrived at Leonardo de Vinci Airport of Rome just after 7, forty-five minutes out of Rome. The signs were clear, train this way. We found our train, but the high-speed train does not go to Trastevere, our neighborhood. 0d60f2e0-0f3a-11ec-8ebe-dbb48aed5da0.jpegThe local train took a few minutes longer. We emerged on a bustling street with various bus stops, tram stops, parking lots, honking, motor scooters, and an honest-to-God neighborhood. Not a fanny pack in sight. We were the only ones with suitcases. 0e8ca1a0-0f3a-11ec-8ebe-dbb48aed5da0.jpeg0de14670-0f3a-11ec-8ebe-dbb48aed5da0.jpeg

I found the tram stop with my phone, and with gestures and pointing to my phone, we caught Tram #3 closer to our apartment. Off the tram, we risked life and limb to cross a treelined boulevard and vanished into a narrow street full of stalls and people haggling over clothes.

We followed our phone to the address. It was near a small piazza with a playground in the middle. Massive double doors in a nondescript building opened to a cobblestone courtyard stacked with balconies. Texting with booking.com gave us the codes, and we were in. 0b3f4b60-0f3a-11ec-8ebe-dbb48aed5da0.jpegff9881a0-0f39-11ec-a7bc-e77fade4790e.jpeg

After washing our faces, we were off. After stopping at a small restaurant on a narrow street for lunch, we walked to the Tiber River then to our Hop-on and Hop-off bus. 0c25b3c0-0f3a-11ec-8ebe-dbb48aed5da0.jpeg10aa0360-0f3a-11ec-9d46-63283520a82e.jpeg Unfortunately, it seems our tickets were a scam. The company didn’t exist, but another bus was glad to sell us tickets. We spent the day riding around the center of Rome, listening to the audio tour, and getting off a few times. We finally wore out, walked from Circus Maximus to our neighborhood and our apartment. It was hot, but along the way, we stopped at the ubiquitous water fountains, spouting water. The water is good to drink, and they are everywhere. We picked up a bottle of wine, pizza, and a fried rice/cheese/bacon ball.
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We have been communicating with the people who manage this apartment but have yet to pay. They seem a bit nonchalant about the money.

We are winding down, but it has been a good day. Tomorrow we begin with the Vatican.

Posted by Deuxenvacances 17:41 Archived in Italy Tagged italy rome trastevere Comments (0)

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