The Farewell Party: With our friends in Siena
After bidding a tearful goodbye to Siena, Jen and I had one last adventure to live – Rome.
Jen and I initially had some trouble finding a hotel in Rome in both a safe and convenient location… without breaking the bank. At the recommendation of dear Susy, we found a bed-and-breakfast that we absolutely adored! It was near the premises of the heavily guarded Vatican! We got a good deal on it (even if we ordered a night extra accidentally). It was so clean! Our sheets were changed every morning. We were also served the largest and most deliciously filling morning breakfasts. It also got such a romantic vibe! Plus, we enjoyed the hotel owner’s dog romping around us for five days. What more can one ask for?
On the tourist bus…
Jen and I gave in to one of the touristic all-in-one grand tour packages in Rome. We were given a packet stuffed with bus maps, no-waiting passes, as well as an mp3 player installed with audio guides. We then had two days to conquer all the major sites.
It was a honor to just be standing inside this true surviving structure of Ancient Rome. Working our way from the ground to the highest level, we stopped every now and then to take in a new view of the half-ravaged and pockmarked walls and archways – imagining what it all could have been. We could almost hear the gladiator cries. We would both try to figure out where we were based on modern renderings, but because of some missing levels, we were never entirely sure. Yet, one thing was certain in our minds – we were touching a part of real history. And, we did witness quite a few weddings that day.
Now we are off to what used to be the heart of the vast and great Roman empire. Our audio guides came in handy at this point, because the forum would have required a great deal of imagination in the attempt to piece together what looks like a beautifully strewn pile of rubble. Jen and I spent a long time covering the entire archaeological site, even wandering into a gallery exhibiting the fragile glass remains of those splendid years.
Fairy Tale Settings
Being in Italy reawakens the child in me who still wants to live in a fairy tale.
Behold another fortress in Italy! This one was much smaller than the one we spent all our time around in Siena. Though named after an angel, the dimly-lit interiors was far from angelic. Eerie tunnels, shadowy rooms with barred windows, and intimate hideaways for firing cannonballs made for some very sinister yet cool features. Could you believe this current museum used to triple function as a fortress, residence, and a prison?
We found time to take a nice stroll through Rome’s massive central park. It was a perfect respite from all the sightseeing we were doing. It had quite a beach feel, with all the palm trees and white rocks.
We saved the best for last -
We first warmed up by taking small open-air trolly around the papal gardens, where the pope would have their quiet musings.
We were ready for this. We were ready for art overload. We were fully rested from the night before. We packed snacks. We wanted to just take it easy. But I don’t think we were both as ready as we thought we were. We walked on endlessly – room after room after room…
From the ornate…
…to the minimalistic.
We desperately needed a break after that.
Off to the Fontana di Trevi
Off the see a pyramid in Italy…
And off to EAT.
…One last meal in Italy, before heading back to New York in the morning…
And finally, one last look at a Piazza.
Thank You, Italy.