Well, I have returned and I am still quite exhausted. I am trying to make this a good trip report, but my poor old mind is still reeling from all the wonderful places that we saw and all the wonderful people that we met. And of course, the fact that I had to tip my wine glass so many times to all my wonderful forum family, made me a little starry eyed !!! Well, in a land where the wine, food, and hospitality flows like the sparkling water from the Trevi fountain, what else can one do??? Before trying to recap my magical journey, I want to thank all of you again---because without you, I would not have learned so much beforehand and I would have floundered at every turn. To Cinzia, Roma72, my Queenofhearts,Soloroma, SPQR, Em, Anemone,Jesse, Katie,Navarra, Sophie,Nolana,Tiber, Vivebene,Eylife, EnglishJane,Tabby,Domini,Anon in Florence,and to all the others on here--the list is sooooo long---you are the best of the best and I never forgot any of you while I was there. This site is so informative and the recommendations are wonderful and it feels like home for me.
Day One--November 5
Arrived about an hour and a half late in Rome. U.s. Air was really good except I thought the seats were not as comfortable as AA. We had a non-stop flight however from Philadelphia to Rome, so that was a treat. Our driver from the Hotel Centro's personal service was waiting for us at the airport. He was very friendly--spoke some English-and pointed out some of the sites en-route to the hotel, including where he lived. I was able to use my special learned phrase from Cinzia during the ride--Porca Miseria--which he was tickled over. Arrived at the hotel around 10:30 A.M. and they let us check in early. We dropped our bags and took off. My first goal was to see the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, and I was truly amazed. A beautiful church, indeed. We then took off walking with no particular destination and wound up by the Piramide--was a little worried that we would wind up leaving Rome on our first day(haha) so we changed directions(I think!) and went through part of Testacchio--caught a porchetta panini in a non-descript sidewalk bar--walked through part of Trastevere and crossed the river towards the Ghetto. We had a scrumptidelicious gelato in a Gelateria there--cannot remember the name of the place(sorry!!!) but it was just a few steps from a huge excavation site.Maybe I can find out the name when I look through my receipts or pictures.My hubby had two different types of chocolate(he is very boring!!!) and I had nicciola and pistachio--yummerific!!! So we walked through the excavation site--all around the area and then to the Victor Emmanuel building. We continued to just walk around until we went back to the hotel at around 8p.m. and grabbed dinner at the restauran next to our hotel on Via Firenze. I had fettucine with funghi and my hubby ad the penne all'arrabiata with wine and water. Wonderful pasta and wine in wonderful Roma. Perfetto--Buona Notte.
Day Two-November 6
Woke up and had a wonderful breakfast with cappucino at the hotel. Took a cab to the Vatican museum. Spent about an hour in line which was not so bad. We had the pleasure of talking to a wonderful couple from England and the time went by quickly--you have to love those English people!!! We have met so many nice people from England on our trips. Entered the museum and became totally intoxicated from all of the art. I am still reeling from the whole experience. I purchased a book, btw, at any major site that we visited so I could use it at home to re-focus on all that I had seen. There is so much great art that it simply boggles the mind. After about three hours in the museum we left, bought some water and relaxed outside. Next on the agenda we headed for St. Peter's. Again, I was totally unprepared for the beauty that awaited me. . .....I have come to the conclusion that there just are not any words that can describe all the feelings that one gets inside these museums and churches. I walked through the great halls and rooms with knees buckling and tears streaming down my face. I must go back again.......................We left St. Peter's and headed towards Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. Same emotions roiling through me. Next we walked to the Pantheon for our first visit after dark, which put it in a new light(no pun intended!!). It was awesome again. Then to the Trevi fountain--again a new experience for us after dark and absolutely amazing. Not too many people around but it wasn't deserted. So we threw in our coins and sat on the steps to admire it and get refreshed. From there we headed towards Piazza Navonna, grabbing a gelato ar Buccianti----THANK YOU SOLOROMA!!!!! Era squisito!!!!! It was exquisite!!!!!! I tried the walnut and the special Maria which was a rather spicy,nutty,pumpkiny delight. My hubby ventured away from norm a little by trying the white chocolate and the orange chocolate. OMG !!!!! All of them were divine!!! We always shared so we always had at least four flavors that way....................... allora, where was I ??? Oh, yeah----walked a little more and then went to dinner at Da Francesco----oh thank you, thank you SPQR!!!! I had my first prociutto and melone there---to absolutely die for--my hubby had the prosciutto and parmigianna--mmmmmmm, then we had pizzas, he had pizza margheurita and I had bianca pizza with prosciutto--washed it all down with water and a wonderful red house wine----PERFETTO again. Walked back to the hotel as content as a kitten sleeping next to her mama and had an espresso at the bar. God, does it get any better than this? Buona notte.
Day thrree--follow up coming........I love Rome--I really do........