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Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

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Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

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New York
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1. Re: Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

Will try to supplement what I wrote during the trip.

Flew Air Berlin first time. Their large international planes have uncomfortable narrow seats. Good food and drink service. You can't control the air flow like their short haul planes. The return flight from Germany to JFK was very hot. Next time I would fly in a bathing suit. The short haul plane from Germany to Rome had very comfortable seats and more room with nice air flow vents. On the flight leaving Rome, I could actually read the Italian newspaper. I guess one week in Rome increased my linguistic skills.

Day one after landing, the four of us collapsed in bed to take a four hour nap(see my other posting). Stayed at Ripetta 25 apartment and it was great. full size kitchen, two separate bedrooms, small porch, and the church bells ringing during the day. great view up and down via Ripetta. This was a college and medical school graduation present for our daughter and son. My daughter was supposed to make a trip to Italy four years ago with a girlfriend but they had to cancel at the last moment. My wife and I went to Venice, Florence, and Rome 27 years ago and Rome was my least favorite city. We are Italian American third generation. Woke up showered and headed to Trevi fountain at night to throw our coins in. We ate at al gran sasso a couple of doors from us and the food was very good.

Now I had been reading trip advisor like a madman and thoroughly researched everything. I knew where I wanted to go and had a list of restaurants. I knew that a bufalo mozzarella and prosciutto party was in the plans.

Every day on trip advisor I would read another post about gypsies and pickpockets. We live in NYC so we are not country pumpkins. I was thoroughly convinced we were going to be robbed as soon as we got there. I always keep my wallet in my front pocket and often pin the pocket from the inside if needed. I was going to make I wasn't a victim. I purchased one of those under garment carriers that loops around your neck. Many times I couldn't even feel it there and kept touching it to make sure it was there(probably alerting every thief in the area), but after a few days it was fine. We had a safe so our passports stayed in there with extra cash and credit cards. I know it maybe a law you have to have to carry it at all times, but I was taking no chances. We kept color copies on us. If we were detained so be it.

Will return after milk and cookies.

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2. Re: Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

Second day wanted to try to see campo di Flori market. We were a couple of blocks from piazza popolo which has beautiful statues and an obelisk. The main church is filled with great art. Found a great super mercado a couple of blocks away which supplied us with everything for breakfast. Eggs are much tastier in Italy. Wine was around four euros for a decent bottle. Large bottle of water with gas less than a euro. We walked to campo di Flori first stopping in the pantheon. This was a highlight from my first visit. Rome is a walking city. Go off the Main Street and find something extraordinary. At campo di Flori you can find anything, I found the largest lemon I've ever seen. Had good pizza at Forno bakery, I like how they slice it and fold the two pieces and you eat it like a sandwich. I've eaten a lot of pizza but never like that. Picked up different types of cookies for the apartment. We went back the last day in Rome and brought back five pounds of cookies to bring back to New York. I just had some.

Stopped by piazza Navona on the way back. This is another place we revisited a couple of times during the trip. They have a little store that sells stamps to seal in wax of nice quality. This is the nicest piazza we saw. On the way back on Ripetta we stopped at a small store and bought the best prosciutto I've ever had, don't remember the name or location but it melted in your mouth. An easy way to order if language is a problem is just say how many slices you want.

On Sunday we went to St. Peter's after passing the tremendous lines for free sunday at the museum and saw the pope(I wrote about this already) so I wouldn't repeat myself. Ate at spaccio on the way back and it was very good. I think in Rome you have to be unfortunate to get a bad meal.

Now I am not a coffee drinker. My wife and daughter inhale it. We made espresso since we had a pot in our apartment. It was constantly in operation when we were in the apartment. I'm positive I drank more coffee in one week than I have in my life. It kind of grows on you. I never saw so many types of expresso In the stores. We brought some back too. You wouldn't want to carry our luggage, we also had about ten espresso pots for gifts. Surprisingly we never had a problem with weight of our four checked bags. The trick was I weighed them before we left and since we mostly packed light, they were only 32 pounds. Plus we brought some empty fold up carry ons.

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3. Re: Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

Monday was the beginning of Ancient Rome week. One day we went to do the forum, palatine hill, and coliseum. We got to the coliseum at 1pm and the line was very short. It is better to go to the major attractions if you don't prebook in the afternoon to avoid the tours. I took my family next to palatine hill and it is called a hill for a reason, it is hilly. This was the least favorite adventure voted by the other three family members. Voices of discontent were heard even after visiting the house of Augustus. Let's see, how did the Romans quell a rebellion? Since we are in modern times, I promised another great adventure, The Roman Forum, site of history which has been told throughout the ages. We will march down the same via the great emperors have. Everyone agreed the arch was stupendous. As we walked upon the large stones on that great way, the next comment I heard was "you would think they would pave this because all the tourists have to walk here". Yes, let's pave a 2000 year old road so you can be comfortable. It was martini time for sure.

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4. Re: Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

Thanks for posting your report. I'm looking forward to reading the rest.

My fiancee is going back to Rome, Florence and Siena without me. She is taking her niece as a HS graduation gift, and they're flying on Air Berlin as well. Hopefully it will be a lot cooler.

I agree with you about not having a bad meal in Rome.

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5. Re: Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

Monday was the beginning of Ancient Rome week. One day we went to do the forum, palatine hill, and coliseum. We got to the coliseum at 1pm and the line was very short. It is better to go to the major attractions if you don't prebook in the afternoon to avoid the tours. I took my family next to palatine hill and it is called a hill for a reason, it is hilly. This was the least favorite adventure voted by the other three family members. Voices of discontent were heard even after visiting the house of Augustus. Let's see, how did the Romans quell a rebellion? Since we are in modern times, I promised another great adventure, The Roman Forum, site of history which has been told throughout the ages. We will march down the same via the great emperors have. Everyone agreed the arch was stupendous. As we walked upon the large stones on that great way, the next comment I heard was "you would think they would pave this because all the tourists have to walk here". Yes, let's pave a 2000 year old road so you can be comfortable. It was martini time for sure.

I mentioned this in the other posting, Sunday night we heard cheering from piazza popolo and lots of police sirens and helicopters. Lazio beat Roma. I have heard fireworks back home but these sounded like bombs going off. Of course we went out to i think trevi fountain to get night shots. I had to go to the piazza to see what was going on. Plenty of police but everyone was just cheering and flag waving. But those were some explosions. It did chase all the flower guys away.

Another thing, we wanted to make bloody Mary's, why was it so hard to get tomato juice? Plenty of tomato sauce of course.

Edited: 06 June 2013, 04:59
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6. Re: Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

Tuesday was Vatican museum, got there at 1pm and no line. I wrote about this already. Raphael rooms enough said. The family was happy. Their leader was praised although I was told by the two female members that the history portion of their vacation has ended. 2 days left were going to be devoted to shopping, like they didn't shop enough. in our apartment, I kept banging my toes on the low bed post. Well Tuesday night I caught it in between my 2nd and 3rd toe. The same foot all week. The next morning everything was black and blue, but I could walk fine. Today was the highlight of my trip, Ostia. I have been reading everything I could find about it. I researched the train route(this surprisingly was the only metro ride, everything was walking distance or short taxi rides) not even a broken toe would stop me. My son was enlisted to accompany me. Had my man bag filled with water and snacks. The first train was newer, I think it was the A line, we transferred at the infamous termini stop. This surely was where every gypsy, pickpocket, thief and kidnapper would besiege us. My son looked at me and said "dad you live in New York and we ride the subway all the time, what's wrong with you? He has a point.

The train was packed just like home. But the way everything was hidden on me they would have needed a crowbar to get to it. The second train was I think the B line to pyramid stop was just like the good old days in New York, old, hot, and filled with graffiti. Memories.

The train to lido was empty, we got off at Ostia and I wrote a long review on the Ostia forum. Top five days of my life. Use the Rick Stevens directions. We got back at 630pm and opened the apartment door and I thought I was in the wrong apartment. Shopping bags filled the room, covered the bed, I fell over one. My wife and daughter were missing. They showed up an hour later with more bags. They said they went back to campo di Flori and had so much stuff they kept banging into people so they had to take a cab back to unload. They didn't want to hear about my day. They shunned my 400 pictures.

The last day was low key, back to piazza Navona and of course campo di Flori. No more history for me. Only missed going to baths of Caracalla.

Spent the layover on Friday in Dusseldorf buying overpriced stuff with what ever euros I had left. Actually forgot to buy cheeses to take home in Rome but did pick up some at FCO. Came home with 9 euros in coins, I have nice ball markers for golf now.

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7. Re: Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

Great trip report Aces! Your comment on the Rome subway and NYC subways in the '80s and '70s was very funny. It's true though!

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8. Re: Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

Laughing......sounds like everyone got a little bit (or a lot) of what they wanted out of the trip.

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9. Re: Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

It definitely was fun. I can't imagine a more beautiful city. The colors of the sky during the day and night were incredible. We walked along the heights from piazza popolo to the Spanish steps and passed a bronze memorial of a man holding a pistol above a prone figure. At first I thought it looked like an American western. It had a crumpled long jacket with a rose on it. I thought the jacket was real and left as a memorial with the rose, that's how realistic it looked. I found the real story of the sculpture when I got home. That's what Rome is about. Anywhere you go you can see something that you will remember for a lifetime.

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10. Re: Rome Trip report 24/5/13 to 31/5/13

Great trip report, I really enjoyed it. Your family sounds like fun :-)