We had arrived in Rome!!!
We found the driver holding a sign with our name on it and we followed him out to the car. It was dark and the air was balmy. On the drive in to Rome I hung out the window looking at the sites, oohing and aahing.
Our a B&B was a beautiful room with 10′ high windows open to a courtyard below. I was too anxious to sleep so I would get out of bed just to look out the window. We slept with them open to the night air and awoke to the bzzzzzzz of mosquitos! I knew that an early morning market was usually set up in il Campo di Fiori, but my husband wouldn’t even think of it, and I knew he wouldn’t approve of me going out alone. How does he continue to sleep even after sleeping on the flight over? I must have slept because church bells ring – it’s 7:00 a.m. Rise and shine! We are in Rome, Italy!
Our first morning in Italy, and our first cappuccini – I love it! We have seconds.
We are out the door and on our way walking down the Via Nazionale. We get sidetracked by interesting doors, churches and so much to see! It’s funny how my carefully laid plans got put aside in my haste to hurry and just see Rome. We walk around and peer in the fences surrounding the Imperial Forum and, bam! there it is, the Roman Forum. We pop into a Tabachi and buy the Roma Pass and enter the Forum. But, this isn’t the way I planned it and because of that we never did get to San Giovanni Laterano where we were going to start and continue to San Clemente, the Colosseo, Palatine, and lastly, the Forum. I’m flustered, because we’re starting in the middle! (You know I hate to backtrack.) We head over to the Colosseum and there is a LONG line, but yeah!, there’s a short line for Roma Passholders, and we’re in! Thanks Rick Steves! I got goosebumps entering – it really is colossal!
We needed to eat before leaving this area, so I looked at my map and chose a restaurant on my “pre-approved” list and chose Hosteria Nerone. Steve was happy with his first Italian pasta, Spaghetti Bolognese and I with my Antipasti Misto. We tried not to think about the cost – 22.50 euros.
Reenergized we headed over to San Pietro Vincoli, but it was closed until 3:00 p.m. Oh-oh! Never made it back there either. But, we had an itinerary and we kept moving right along to the Mamertine Prison, Campodoglio, Piazza Venezia, Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Victor Emmanuel monument and Trajan’s Column. We’re tired, and instead of doing the Capitoline Museums, I decide to backtrack to San Clemente on the bus, then return to our room for a rest.
For dinner, we stayed close to the B&B, walking around an entire block looking for La Gallina Bianca for our first Italian pizza. Dismayed that they added 20% to the bill for tourists.
After dinner, we took the Metro to Flaminio and do the Rick Steves’ Dolce Vita walk through the Piazza del Populo where we hear a mournful saxaphone and see one of the 13 obelisks from Egypt. The passegiata is over, but we continue by the Ara Pacis, and the famous Spanish Steps where it’s just a crazy noisy crowd. But, it’s our first night and we decide to sit down and have a cappuccino and gelato. Remember, it costs extra to sit down and eat.
What a wonderful first day in Italy! Rick Steves’ warns that Rome can be intense, but I am left desiring more, much more!