Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Italy - A Trip for all Senses - - Part 1 Rome

Intersection near Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain
On a recent trip to Italy we spent a few days in Rome, several in Florence and ended our trip with two nights in the enchanting city of Venice.  It was all fabulous.
 Rome is a striking city where past, present and future blend naturally on the city streets. Although taking the metro is quite easy I think the best way to see Rome is to walk the city. A good strategy would be to take the Metro to a certain stop like Trevi Fountain and then walk to the Spanish Steps from Trevi.  It's imperative that you take shoes that will protect your feet from the constant pounding against the cobble, uneven stones or you will find yourself sitting more than you had planned.

Rome is a city of fountains, of which, Trevi is probably the most famous. This is a glorious fountain but it's not on a park somewhere or on a separate block, it's actually a little hard to find because there are so many big buildings around it.  You turn the corner and say, "Oh, there it is.". The past is that easily woven into the fabric of  everyday life in the Eternal City. Years ago when first went to  Rome I made a wish and sealed its fate with a toss of a coin over my shoulder at Trevi Fountain.  One belief in the coin tossing is that you will return to the city.  It is kind of amazing that  my wish came true and that I did return to the city, although I would never have believed the possibility of either at the time. 

For me there are two main avenues to explore in Rome and I did my best to indulge both of them: architecture and food.  I took over 800 pictures and  will create posting for the Vatican Museums and the Pantheon when I go through my pictures. My love for Roman architecture began in high school in Philadelphia and  intensified while studying design  in college.  As for the food, every meal I had in Rome was superb.  The pasta was magnificent. The aroma of Italian cooking permeates the air so you are often hungry as soon as you enter the restaurant.  Often upon entering you will be greeted with the word, 'Prego'.  To us that is a spaghetti sauce sold in the supermarket but it actually means 'Welcome' in Italian.  One note about the wine, when you order you have the option of a glass of wine or a mid-size bottle that is about 2/3rds of a normal bottle.  Of course, you can also get a full size bottle. 

Individual Bottles
 If you are planning to visit Rome, Florence or Venice this year please feel free to email me any questions you may have: claremarie@asyoulikeitdz.com.  I will be happy to help out a fellow traveler.  I booked our trip online through European Destinations with excellent results.  Booking online is always a risk but our trip went as planned and I would certainly book through them again.  If you plan on driving in Rome, good luck.  The names of the streets are imbedded in stone on the buildings, not on street signs.  I suggest you take a rosary, a GPS and just forget the printed map.  The maps are good for where you generally want to go, but there are no street signs. Walking the streets is a treat to the soul though.

And added bonus for me when visiting each of the cities in Italy was all the little bookstores and most of them have books in English.  I am envious of that.  I'm a book lover and when I see a book store, I am home.

Postings over the next few weeks will be about Italy. My next post will probably be the cooking class we took with Giovanni's Italian Cooking Class by Food and Wine Academy in Florence.  That's a story all in itself and a must do when you are in Florence.


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