First stop, Rome. I wish I could say I loved it the minute I landed. However, I got a rude awakening when my luggage didn’t arrive. I don’t blame the country for this as it was an airline issue, and I won’t go into that. I will say, exiting the airport was a breeze. We had a taxi already booked and he was waiting for us when we arrived. We quickly got to his cab and were whisked away to our hotel.
The drive to the city was nice as I got to see some of the country side. This did not prepare me for the city though. Rome is not like other big cities that I have been to. The first thing I noticed as we headed to the main areas was the driving. I will say this, if you go to Rome, be very careful in the streets. There seems to be no real road rules and drivers do what they want. There are a lot of people on Vespas and they all feel they should be at the head of the line when it comes to traffic stops. There also doesn’t seem to be many stop signs or speed limits. It is total anarchy in the streets, yet it all seems to work.
As we headed to the old sector of Rome I became amazed. First thing we drive past is the aqueduct. This might not mean much to many people but I am a big history buff. Aqueduct’s started in Rome and is a Roman invention. To see this and to think that this could be the very first one is a historian dream. I quickly moved on in my mind as the next thing we hit was the city wall. Yes, there is still part of a wall that once protected Rome. I won’t get into a whole wall debate here, but it was very cool to see this history.
I sat in amazement and then had my mind blown. Coming up in front of me was the one thing I have always wanted to see….the Roman Colosseum.
I will get to that review in a bit. We continued on and I noticed how narrow some of the streets were. I quickly got disorientated as there didn’t seem to be a basic layout to the city. We passed numerous sites like the Vatican and the Trevi fountain and before I knew it we were at our hotel. Now I am used to staying at a big name hotel with some flashy lights and many floors. This was a small local place tucked into a building that looked as old as the city. I loved it.
After checking in and taking a quick nap, we went off to find lunch. Now I had always heard that pizza was an American thing. So imagine my surprise when every other building had a pizza place in it. I couldn’t believe that Rome of all places would give in to the tourist to give them pizza. I will quickly say they tried to mimic pizza from USA and it doesn’t stand up. Stick to their specialties.
So this leads me to the food. During our stay in Rome, we tried a new restaurant every night. We were never disappointed. Every meal was fantastic. The food tasted fresh and was bursting with flavor. In the USA we are used to chemicals and artificial flavors. Many of our foods are forced to ripen and are so massed produced that they don’t have much flavor. You can tell that in Italy, they take pride in the products they produce. I never wanted my meal to end. Most dinners I would even splurge and have some wine with dinner because, you know the saying, when in Rome…
On a side note, if you are from America, you are used to having water brought to you in a restaurant. Not in Italy. To conserve water, they will not bring any unless you ask and even then, 9 times out of 10 it will be a bottle of water that you have to pay for.
I will end this post here noting that there is so much to see here in Rome. I will be giving reviews on three places that I went to…the Colosseum, the Vatican, and the Roman Forum. There are many more places to go and I hope one day to get back and finish that journey.
Ciao for now.