Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 10 - Roma! the eternal city

Our wake up call came even earlier on this ferry! Oh my...4:45? Our ferry was
scheduled to arrive at 7am, but we arrived at 6am. Civitavecchia is a very industrial,
serious port...no napping on the beach here. We waited at the ferry dock for about an
hour for a bus to the train station. We had coffee and a pastry at the train station and
caught a much earlier train to Rome than we had expected. It is hot. Hot.

The train from Civitavecchia is a commuter line, so it was pretty crowded. As we were
climbing onto the train we had to step up a big step and as I hoisted myself and my
backpack up the step the guy in front of me stepped back and my glasses were slammed
down onto my nose, then flew off my face! Oh no! But I caught them! pshew! But the
nose pieces are bent...Oh no! Need to add "find an optical shop" to the list of things to do
in Rome. ;-)

We arrived in Rome's crazy busy and huge Termini train station. We walked about two
miles in the train station and called Mario at our B&B to see if we could leave our bags

there since we were so much earlier than we expected (9:30am vs. 12pm!). He said he
couldn't meet us until noon, so we had to find an alternative or just hang out until then.

so, we bought a guide to Rome at the book store and found the tourist info office and
a really nice spot to sit and studied up on Rome for a couple of hours. We bought
our Roma passes, then headed out to catch the bus to our B&B...on the way we got
sidetracked by the sales in Coin...a big department store in the train station. So, we were
running a little late...but I thought "one bus and a short walk...can't take us that long".

Oh, how wrong I was! First we had to find the bus in the craziness of buses outside the
train station, then wait for the bus, then rattle around on the bus through crazy Rome
traffic, then find the stop...easy enough...Ministirio de Instructione...or something like
that. Hmm..except there are no stops called that! Ah! We went too far. Off the bus,
find the stop going the other way. Back on the bus, but asking the bus driver this time.
He answers in Italian and I don't understand him. So, we end up passing the stop. I ask
the bus driver and he waves and fusses at me in Italian. Ack. We get off at the next stop
and after a bit of wandering around finally find the hotel. Tired and hot, we are so happy
to be in our happy and cool "black and white" room with its zebra striped duvet and silver
lame headboard. Ahhh.

Mario, our host, is great and recommends restaurants and orients us on a map, then leaves
us to rest, and we put our feet up for a little siesta.

Cooler and rested we head out to find the shopping street! Via del Corso...and Tally
Weijl...Josie's favorite clothing store in Europe. We took the tram from Trastavere into
central Rome and buy a bus map at a Tabac and stop at a little (super touristy) cafe for a
drink...we are hot and tired and hungry (already!). After our little stop we were fueled for
Saldi! Saldi! Saldi! Sales! Sales! Sales! It seems like Italy does the same thing as France
with all of the shops having sales at the same time.

Wandering through the shopping district was good fun...window shopping at Prada, Dior,
etc. etc.

Josie and a pretty cool Prada hand bag. But some of the other Prada styles weren't quite
so amazing...like these...

and these...

Seriously? They probably cost 1000 euros! They look like Truffula bags...like you made
a purse out of a 70s barefoot bath rug. Hee...okay for all of my making fun of them, that
green one would be a really fun purse to have.

Some other fun fashion shots...

these are some serious sequins!

and this one was a full pant suit by Prada...I wish I had taken a photo of the full effect.
Truly amazing.

We accidentally found the famous Spanish Steps...

After an apperatif of prosecco...yum...we had an amazing dinner at .... some restaurant
that I can't remember the name of, in a courtyard off of a street not far from the spanish

steps. The food was wonderful...bruschetta, a big plate of veggies (spinach!!! lots and
lots of spinach! and green beans and zucchini...we were so happy). It took forever to get
the bill and by then I was about the fall over and I nearly had to stand on the table and
wave my arms. Note to self...ask for the check sooner! The owner/manager woman had
the most amazing giant daisy earrings...wow...she looked spectacular with her died red
hair and these giant daisies swinging around.

Then we stumbled upon Trevi Fountain...us and about 5000 other people....

But it still felt pretty magical...in Roma...the eternal city.