Bella Roma – Dolly Travels

Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome Early Tuesday morning, under leaden gray skies that seemed to hover over the nearby fields and the tarmac of Roma Fiumincino airport, our plane landed. The pilots had done a fine job, getting us to Rome 45 minutes ahead of schedule. After gathering our luggage, we took a a cab to our hotel. We were too early to check in, so we put our luggage in the hotel storeroom and set off to see the city. We walked to Piazza Venezia, found a table at an outdoor cafe and sat down to enjoy the never-ending show of traffic, pedestrians dodging the vehicles, a policeman blowing his whistle that no one heeded. We had a good view of the Vittorio Emmanuel Monument as well. Many Italians say that the monument is too ornate for this area, right by the Roman Forum and the Capitoline Hill. I like it, though. One can go inside, pay to go to the roof (Roma dal Cielo, Translated as Rome from the Sky). This is one of the best places to get a view of the entire city of Rome. There are plaques around the walls of this rooftop, to tell one what you are seeing, and remind you that you are right in the center of Ancient Rome. All those piles of rocks inside the fenced-off areas below are the remains of the buildings of the greatest empire of all time. When we tired of people watching, we walked back to our hotel. We stopped for lunch along the way, had a pizza and a salad, and a large bottle of water. When we arrived at our hotel and got checked in, it was almost 4:00 p.m. We had been up for about 30 hours by then; therefore, my rule to not take a nap on the first day went right out the window. We showered, got into our jammies and never left the hotel again that day. The next day, we were up early, had breakfast and kept our touring to the neighborhood. I needed to buy train tickets for the rest of our trip, so we spent a couple hours in the train station. Then we went to the National Museum, walked around neighborhoods that were familiar, and found some new places. In the evening, in one of the newly discovered (by us), we walked down to the Monti district. This area had some trendy boutiques and many restaurants. Eventually, we decided to have dinner at a restaurant in the Piazza dei Monti. We enjoyed pasta alla Vongole, a delicious salad of beet, strawberries, ricotta cheese on a bed of watercress, plus a glass of red house wine. DollyI was delighted that the house red wine was Rosso di Montepulciano. So many good memories of the month I stayed in that town, attending Italian language school. However, when I saw the bartender pour my glass of wine from a huge 2-liter jug, I was a bit concerned. No worries, though. The wine was delicious and inexpensive. We had enjoyed a good meal and a memorable evening and almost stayed within our budget. After dinner, we walked the 2 miles, more or less, back to our hotel, stopping once for a gelato. We did not attempt to see any of the major Roman attractions in these 2 days. We simply rested, got ourselves acclimated to the time change. Next, we will go onto Sorrento for three days, then return to Rome for a longer stay. Life is good in Bella Roma. Ciao for now, Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

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