Wednesday, October 1 - Rome, Italy

We slept a bit later this morning and found the breakfast room quite crowded. The cappuccino was still quite wonderful though. We caught our last ride on the hop-on-hop-off tour before our 24 hours pass expired, and went the Trevi Fountain to begin our day. We arrived there with no coins to throw over our shoulder but enjoyed the early light on the fountain, and then set off for the Spanish Steps. We had difficulty getting the streets to match our maps so joined forces with another North American couple and found it fairly easily. We climbed the steps, enjoyed the view and then toured the Trinita dei Monti church at the top.

We strolled along the upper road to the gardens overlooking the Piazza del Popolo. On the way down to the piazza we discovered an exhibition of Leonardo Da Vinci’s works – primarily his inventions modeled with his original drawings.

We couldn’t get into the Santa Maria del Popolo church, so strolled on to the Mausoleum of Augustus (circa 28 BC). There’s a lot of excavation around it and we couldn’t get too close, but it’s certainly impressive.

Across the Cavour Bridge we hoped to find a café for lunch, but no luck. Too much construction. Eventually we made our way to Castel Sant’Angelo where we lunched on street food. We climbed to the top terrace of the Castel, to take in the astonishing views of Rome from that vantage point. By the time we came down again we were ready for a rest, so made our way back to the hotel.

We’ve walked a lot here, and so have interesting street-level impressions of the city – the amazing smell of good espresso on nearly every corner — the insane traffic and proliferation of scooters and small cars ( “Smart Cars” are the norm here ) – archaeological excavations everywhere and amazing antiquities - many men in clerical collars and women in habits everywhere.

Today we saw a nun with a sun visor over her veil. Mostly friendly, helpful people with patience for non-Italian-speakers - marble cobblestones – women in crazy high-heeled shoes and boots. How do their ankles survive? – everyone eating gelato – How do their waistlines survive ?

After our afternoon break we walked to the closest piazza and had a gelato ( before dinner ! ), then sat at the outdoor area of the hotel’s café. We got chatting with an interesting couple, named Marian and Harry, from Glasgow. They’re off to San Giovanni tomorrow and we’re looking forward to hearing how their experience there goes.

Now we must pack so we can make a graceful exit out of here early tomorrow. We’ll have to beg to store our luggage here until 2 when our transport to the ship at Civitavecchia arrives. We are off to the ruins of the Colleseum and Ancient Rome in the morning. Selected Rome Photos

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