I landed in Rome and learned a few things.
First, Italian flight attendants are evidently as concerned about passengers eating as Jewish mothers are about their children. Our flight took off at 5:15am. I can’t imagine that anyone had slept before the flight, and as soon as I boarded, I put on my eye mask, took the cotton ball that they put a cover on and call a pillow behind my head, unfurled a surprisingly soft blanket and tried to sleep. I couldn’t really sleep, but I was trying. Until 45 minutes later when the flight attendant poked me in the arm and woke me up to give me breakfast. Keep in mind that I was sitting in the window seat. And I’m pretty sure I have a bruise.
I landed and decided to take a bus to the main transit station in Rome. About five minutes out from the airport, the bus driver pulled to the side of the highway and started to yell at someone on the phone. I couldn’t tell if it was his mother, his girlfriend, or someone from the bus company. The next thing I know, everyone is sticking their hands up in the air checking to see if their air vents were open. I’m guessing it wasn’t his mother on the phone. A few minutes later we took off and I got an unnarrated tour of the city.
Rather than figure out where the bus stops were, where to buy a ticket and where to get off the bus, I decided to walk to our hotel. It was about a mile and at least kept me awake. At this point I should be honest and say – I packed too big a bag. I don’t think I could have packed in a carry-on suitcase, but my new duffel bag is just too big. It’s not full by any means, but it’s still too big.
The food pyramid doesn’t exist here – it’s just a few columns, mainly pizza and gelato. At least for the first day and a half, those have been our staples. I once was in Israel where our goal was a falafel a day. Here, our goal is pizza and gelato at least once a day, if not more.
Our expectation today was to visit the Coliseum and the Forum. We finished the Coliseum and then met a woman who gave us a map to a market she and her friend had visited in the morning. How we met her is another whole story. We went to the Forum, and then decided to walk to Campo de Fiore, where the market was. The market had very clearly closed for the day. But while we were walking around, we saw signs for a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit that featured real, interactive machines built from his designs. It was a great exhibit that featured models of his flying machines, tanks, printing press, odometer and a lot of drawings.
And then we decided to walk to the Pantheon via the Piazza Navona. And then to the Trevi Fountain (we’d walked there and to the Spanish steps last night). It was a lot of walking. Mainly, I think Rome is full of statues and fountains and way too many tourists, us among them. After all of this, we made the wise decision to take a bus back to our hotel.
Two last thoughts:
1. I need a straw for my Nalgene. Mimi – I shouldn’t have given the straw back to you!
2. I need to remember to put sunscreen on the tops of my feet if I’m going to wear my Teva’s again.