What is a trip without a little adventure? Rome is an amazing city with something new to discover around each corner and down each narrow, cobble-lined street. After getting to my hotel which I had so very cleverly booked on line, being told they were over-reserved, but that is all right, we found you another, I ended up going to Rome Sweet Rome which probably was a step up from the original one. This one had a real bathroom with a real shower and a king size bed. It was my reward for hauling my suitcase on a bus one way, only to turn around and haul and then walk it to this palace.
Of course then it was time to eat and drink something, so around the corner to a little shop where I had a great espresso and antipasti plate the kind fellow created. Feeding my belly was done, so it was time to feed my senses. Picking up the map I had pondered while eating, I headed up the hill toward a site that looked interesting - a little less so when I saw the soldiers with machine guns standing idly around the entrances. Perhaps this was not a tourist site. Putting that aside, a flight of stairs and a few twisted alleyways brought me to the Trevi Fountain. Seeing as I had thrown coins in years earlier, it was only right that I should be there again.
The afternoon was spent following streets, trying to find a bearing, but not really minding that I didn't, I made wonderful discoveries. I found a church with the tomb of St. Catherine of Sienna, one that held the chains that St. Paul was bound with, and even though I did not find the unfinished Michelangelo sculptures (mainly because I could not find the Villa Borghese, or was it the Piazza Borghese? I did find his exquisite statue of Moses. How talented and clever must he have been to make marble drape like cloth and curl like hair.
My dear friends Maria and Angelo and their two lovely daughters lived in Rome for two years but came back to Canada two months before Anna and I were to visit them. With my keen sense of detection and by the description of their house and a picture I had seen of the view of the Colesseo from their window, I tracked their apartment down. In celebration of that feat and as a toast to them, I had a fantastic gelato - amerena cherry e limone - at the gelateria across the street from their place. Walking up the Via Sacra along the Palantine at night with a moon, some stars, and the overpowering scent of jasmine was almost more than the senses could bear. But bear it they must as I am sure there will be more experiences along the way.
Some more wondering, some sleeping, some more eating, and yet more wandering found me heading back to the train station to catch a plane to Athens, where the next leg of my journey was waiting to begin.