I am so overdue to be in Italy it’s not even funny. We drove to JFK, which has become our norm, to insure that we make our overseas flight. What was different this time is that we rented with Hertz. This is important because the rental return is right at the base of the airtran and eliminates a bus ride when we rent with enterprise.
We were on Alitalia for the flight to Rome. It was a MUCH older plane and business class was still a treat, but very worn out. I told the flight attendant that I have been learning Italian, (Sto studiando Italiano) so she was kind enough to speak slowly and ask me a bunch of questions. PEC would be quite proud.
We landed very early and from past experience, I had reserved our room for the night before, so we could check in immediately and not have to wait until 4pm.
As it was 7am, we headed out for a long walk to find the Trevi fountain and Piazza Navona. We are staying at the Hotel Minerva, a recommendation from Sean Finelli, my best Rome vendor. It is right next to the Pantheon, where I usually place my clients anyway.
I love this location. The only challenge is one needs to know that there is only one set of elevators that go to the 3rd floor. We found this out the hard way.. It is famous for its roof top restaurant and bar, overlooking the city. Spettacolare. We desperately needed to nap and with shades drawn, nestled in. What we didn’t realize was, apparently there was a concrete block throwing competition from a height of 5 stories into a metal dumpster. This proceeded every 5 seconds for at least 2 hours. We don’t know who won, but we sure know who lost.
We took a cab to the Vatican to wander around with hopes of just walking into the Basilica, as we have done before. There are now metal detectors and a line just to enter, which wound around the block. I am used to this for entrance to the Vatican Museum, but not for the St. Peters. Yet another reason to hire a private guide.
It is a long walk back but a beautiful day. We went to the Piazza at the Pantheon to have a drink and people watch. We witnessed a professional pick pocket, a guitar man playing heavy metal with a woman, all alone, dancing with her selfie stick and an ice cream cone.
You can’t make this stuff up.
We ventured out to dinner to a recommended spot only to find out the reservations were required. Oh well. We wandered around with hawkers calling us out, ringing bells, complementing either of us-just to get us in their restaurant. We kept going and Tim chose the Hostaria Brunello. Good call. I ended up with lobster and pasta and because we are so accomodating, we moved and I got another glass of vino rosso. We met Faith from Tennessee, who fell in love with Italy and hasn't returned. She seemed (maybe for a tip) impressed with my Italian. Self centered idiots are abound in any culture. Faith asked us about the move to accommodate a larger family in our spot. I'm happy to oblige, yet said family were oblivious to those that went out of their way to help them out.
Had a night cap on the roof top bar with a fabulous view of the "wedding cake". Buono Sera!
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