We left Tuscany yesterday morning, taking the coastal route toward Roma. We stopped at two seaside towns for bar, bagno & a little exploration. The first town is called Follonica. I reminded me of Misquamicut, seemed very touristy by Italian standards. I would assume it’s a place where Italians take their families to vacation. The next was Orontelle which appeared more upscale, also a place for the older set. It was absolutely gorgeous.
It became IMMEDIATELY apparent when we arrived in Rome where my father advised that we drive with caution because when he was here a taxi driver said “they” play Russian roulette with the tourists. Romans are the craziest drivers we’ve ever seen! Yes, including New Yorkers. My husband has formally graduated from the Mario Andretti school of bobbing & weaving through the most chaotic traffic we have ever seen. He would say his favorite terms of my navigation would be “be careful, it gets squirrely, here” and “there’s a jiggy jog coming up ahead.” The rotaries in Rome have no rules. Traffic in Rome has no rules. The GPS went haywire while we were driving there. It kept saying that our route no longer existed. I imagined us driving in circles for hours never finding the drop off point for our car. When we did get there, there was no parking. We literally parked on the side- walk. Don’t drive in Rome; we never will again.
But..ah… We are in Rome. We begin with a moonlight tour of the Coliseum and surrounding area of Rome. Christina, an informative and adorable Italian guided us through this part of the city.
This morning we rose before the sunshine to make it to our Vatican City tour. All three tours have been booked with City Wonders tours & they were fabulous. This one was no exception. Our tour guide, Oroz, was equally as informative & very outgoing. I was awed by the whole experience, just being in this sacred place, this pilgrimage is something I cannot describe.
Next, we moved onto the Spanish Piazza, especially with the intention of seeing where some of the Romantic Poets (Keats, Shelley & Byron) lived and worked. I visited both their home and a cafe where they wrote..I love walking in the footsteps of British authors I revere.
Last stop for today is the Trevi Fountain which I’ve always wanted to see & I’m glad I did.
When we returned to the hotel, we found my favorite restaurant of the trip… a little covered, outdoor cafe right next to our hotel called Mattarello. We’d eat there for dinner & lunch the next day. The food & service were outstanding, also very reasonably priced. A good find, for sure.