|Nothing excites the soul like the faint smell of pizza margherita, red wine and a vespa zooming past you at break neck speed; Rome, a city of superb ancient wonders, beautiful people, fantastic shopping, delightful food and a romantic charm. As this was a return visit to Rome (coin in the Trevi worked) and it being Mediterranean country, I felt like being back in Athens, without the chaos!
I meet Sarah and Rachel, both long term friends from Canberra at Termini Station and settled into our 3 bed pensione near the Station. First order of business, coffee and food. A quick walk down into the centre of the city, we found a nice little coffee shop looking at the Vittoriano, a huge momument dedicated to Italys first King which could be mistaken for some kind wedding cake with an oversized pergola and considering the amount of Japanese tourist it could have been the pegoda of the West. However, this pailed in comparison to sitting in the glorious sun, eating panini and drinking coffee and watching the world go by.
Its important when in Rome to do a couple of important things. The first being the main tourist sites, the Colloseum, the Forum, the Pallatine, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Vatican and the Spanish steps. The second being, eat Pizza, Pasta, Bruschetta and drink wine, and lots of it. The third and probably more applicable to women, make sure you get chatted up by an over-confident Italian! Well, all three happened, every day...all day!
It never ceases to amaze me the confidence of Italian men. Even the most butt ugly man can still manage to charm some unsuspecting lady. ´No´ is not a word they understand and are hurtful if you even think of it, of course until the next piece of eye candy cames round the corner! Its quite a spectacle to watch. Take for example the charms of Alexander at the cafe across from the Colloseum where we had to stop for a glass of wine as we were so parched and our feet were sore. It was Alexanders birthday so in Med fashion, as the birthday boy you supply biscuits to your friends, or in this case your patrons. Well, Alexander, clearly jealous of me escorting two gorgeous women, and in high spirits felt it necessary to charm Sarah and Rachel to the point that he wanted to marry Rachel. Playing along with the joke, I married Rachel and Alexander in front of the Colloseum as dusk was setting. It was so romantic! Quite promptly as soon as he left, and by the same power vested in me, I divorced her. It was Rachels first and most likely her shortest marriage. We won´t be telling her boyfriend about this or else he might think she was some kind of skank or something, god forbid, not our Rachel.
We ate in lots of great little Piazzas (Navona and Campo di´Fiori) and found the best Bruschetta ever. We ate Tiramasu which came more like a custard than a cake, and we soaked up drinks and a good laugh in a bar called Jonathons Angels which has the MOST amazing toilet ever. Words cannot describe the experience you have visiting this quaint little restroom. Who would ever though that a fountain in a toilet could be so inviting!
The main tourist sites were great, although lacking in information, but the architecture is fantastic and the Pantheon in particular only inspires you to become one. This visit to Rome meant that I had to go to the Vatican Museum and St Peters, neither of which I had been able to get into when last in Rome. I throughly enjoyed the Vatican Musuem, the Sistine Chapel and St Peters. All are marvellous and full of wonderful treasures. It did amaze me though that such things could have been built so long ago. I know that they just used different tools to do it and the mathematics behind it has been around since forever. Just talk to the Egyptians.
On Thursday, Rachel and Sarah went to Pompeii for the day. As I had already been there, I took this as my day off and finished another book. This trip has been fantastic for reading. I´ve managed to finish 6 books, and now have had to borrow from Rachel for more reading material, and quite thankfully have dished my books out so that i don´t have to carry them everywhere. (thanks Rach - a beautiful book too).
On our last night we settled the bill at the great little pensione we stayed at as i was leaving early on Saturday morning. As I was departing I got stopped by the doorman who wouldn´t let me out until he confirmed that I had paid my bill. Fair enough - I gave him my room number and told him that the other guests were still in the room and would be leaving later that morning. The guy looked at me with a really dumb look and started to question if i had paid. I explained the situation again, and again and he still didn´t get it. Eventually he decided that he couldn´t use the computer and just opened the door. I mean this guy was so dumb that if i could drill into his head to extract and bottle stupidness I wanted exclusive drilling rights.
Anyhow, my time in Rome was well spent and I put some more coins into the Trevi so I´ll be back, next time on posting I think, as Ambassador. I could handle Rome in that sense!