Flashback Friday…. Tuesday, April 10th, 2001. Have you thought back to a particular day and something about it brought a smile to your face? It could be the all the things you got to experience on that day from all the food you ate to something as small as throwing a coin or two into a fountain. The day that continues to bring a smile to my face whenever I think of it would be the time spent in Rome. How can you not think of Rome and not think of the Vatican or the Trevi Fountain? How about all the food that this place has to offer and I am not talking about pizza; I am thinking of cannelloni. I know these are some of the reasons I continue to visit this city whenever I get the chance which isn’t as often as I would like. It’s just that it holds so much history that there isn’t anyway you will be able to see it all the first time you are there. You have to go back if you want to see what you might have missed on your last visit.
Or you visit it again because you believe in what you have heard about throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain. You know where you hear that if you throw a coin into it with your right hand over your left shoulder then you are sure to return to Rome. It must be true since I have visited it at least three times. Yes, that goes for visiting the fountain the three times I was in the city…..
I am getting ahead of myself since this is all about how I felt and what I did back on April 10th, 2001 when I found myself spending the day in Rome with some friends I met on Busabout.
One thing I remember clearly about this day was how busy it was; we packed so much into the one day afraid that we would miss something if we didn’t see it when we were there. I am sure it didn’t help that I would only be in Rome for two days before heading off to my next destination. Kay, Renata, Ye and I decided we would walk as much as we could and not take the metro. We felt we could see and enjoy the city more in walking instead of taking the subway. It truly was the best way to see the sights instead of being stuck underground and not seeing anything until we got to the next place we wanted to see. So metro was out and walking was in.
Let me clarify one thing though only because we did need to take the train to get to Vatican City. You see we were not staying in the center of Rome but more on the outskirts of it. With Busabout, they have hostels they partner with whereas they will pick up and drop you off at those hostels. You do not need to stay at any of these hostels. It does make it a lot easier when you need to catch the bus heading out of the city to the next place you want to go to on their route. Thus, the reasoning for staying at Camping Seven Hills. It takes the guesswork out of trying to find a place to stay and then figuring out how to get to the bus before it left. So we did need to take the train and then the metro to get to the Vatican.
I remembering getting there early because we wanted to beat the crowd and get a start to our day. I think we should have gotten there even earlier then we did; the line getting in was at least more than a block. It wrapped around the wall and took us at least twenty minutes to get through. I know where my focus was as soon as we made it inside. Can you guess? If you guessed the Sistine Chapel then you were right. That is all I wanted to see. It didn’t disappoint. Can you imagine being Michelangelo and trying to paint something on the ceiling. It was an amazing piece of artwork and all I wanted to do was take in all the detail he put into it. Only wish I didn’t need to crane my neck to see it or that it was as crowded as it was for this one piece.
After seeing the Sistine Chapel, we headed over to St. Peter’s Square to see where the Pope would be giving his speech for Easter. I wish I could have seen this but we were heading out of the city before this would happen. In order to take it all in, we sat outside for a while and let it sink in that we were in Rome. Of course while we were here we had to go inside St. Peter’s Basilica.
Onto the Pantheon which is where we heard singing coming from the inside of the dome-shaped building. I can see that since it has great acoustics for singing. Not that I am a singer, not by any means, but I know amazing singing when I hear it.
Now no trip to Rome would be complete without seeing the Trevi Fountain. I am not sure what I was expecting but the fountain was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. While there, I had to throw a coin over my shoulder into the fountain. That would ensure my return; must work since I have been there two more times since this first trip.
It was time to find a place to eat after all the walking we had done. I wish I remembered the name of the restaurant we ate at since I had ordered cannelloni and it was melt-worthy. After we finished dinner, we decided to try to see the Spanish Steps before we headed back to the camp. Amazingly enough, we did find the steps but by the time we found them; we were too tired to climb up to the top. That would need to wait for another day.
Of course, we needed to take the metro back to the train station, in time, so that we wouldn’t miss the last shuttle that would take us back to Camping Seven Hills. Wouldn’t you know it. We did miss the shuttle and had to talk back to the camp. It ended up not being as far as we thought it was. We could have walked from the camp to the train station without needing to take the shuttle.
What city brings a smile to your face when you think of it? Is it any one city or a cluster of cities? Is it because of the people you met along the way, the sights, sounds or food you ate when you were there? What was it that conjures up these memories for you and makes you wish you were right back there again?