October 19, 2011

Weekend in Roma

ceiling of Vatican Museum
Stobby is back from Rome. She and her husband took a four day trip to visit the mother-in-law and her friends. Rome is not a place you can do in just four days, especially when you’re lugging around 70 year olds. But they were up for the challenge and some of us did manage to visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, The Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Borghese Gardens and the Spanish Steps. We lost some members along the way. It was feisty group that refused to use transportation even after it was clear I might have to scrap them off the sidewalk. And it’s funny how old you start to feel when you’re hanging out with people who are. There was a lot of repetition, fretting and bunion talk. No one wanted to hear about my running routine or watch me eat my third helping of cannoli. To stay relevant, I dazzled them with my twitchy eye and swollen knee.

Roman Forum

And what a weekend to visit Roma. Two steps out of the train station and my husband and I were wheeling luggage through a throng of protesters. It was at the hotel where we saw the tear gas and riot squad on television. We spent that day in the Borghese Gardens where the Maratona Staffetta, a 10km race, was going on and a more exciting event, Rex Murphy, a quasi Canadian celebrity walked right by me!!

I have been to Rome before so on this trip I was more excited about trying the food. I ate a ton of pizza, gnocchi and focaccia. I reached my limit the last night when I made the mistake of ordering dopo mozzarella di bufala instead of a Caprese salad and wound up with a plate of cheese that looked a breast implant. Despite walk around the Jewish Ghetto I never did find fried artichokes but at the airport I got to try San Crispino gelato….a little piece of heaven. I'd post more pictures but really, what can I give you that Google can't? 


  1. Rome is on my list of places to go. Thanks for the heads up on how much time you can sink in that place. Perhaps I shall need to plan two weeks to visit the city.

  2. @ Michael....also recommended to go during the off season, spring or fall, because even in October there were substantial line-ups.

  3. Stobby,

    You were so generous in commenting on my story that I wanted to come by and check what you were all about. :) And must I say -- wow! You went to Rome!? I've always wanted to go. It's such a whirlwind of history and art, and while I've never been out of the U.S., Rome has always been one of the places I've wanted to visit first.

    I bet the gnocchi there was *awesome.* I hope you had a fantastic trip. I would have lost my mind with all that food. I could see you writing more travelogues like this -- do you travel a lot, or is this a rare occurrence?

  4. @rddenton....yes, well I've visited your blog a few times and admire/secretly hate you at the same time. No hard feelings.

    Living in Europe, I get to travel quite a bit but still looking for my voice. One day, hopefully ;)

  5. I know that breast implant very well, it is far more than my mouth can accommodate, especially when it comes with the fifth course. I'm often faced with on my trips to see Vanessa and her husband's Italian family, the mother, just like you see in the movies, insisting that I eat all the cheese she proudly presents in front of me, yet eats nothing herself, insisting that she's watching her weight, and so Italian when she slung some in a paper bag across the balcony to an old lady dressed in black. I thought about you when I saw the news in Rome, but the Borghese gardens was a beautiful place to be (isn't that where Harry's Bar is, at one of the entrances?) I'm sure the old dears would have loved to have just sat there and people watched. Glad you got to the Cistine (interesting how there are so many spellings of that) I loved the tiny stairwell in the approach to it. Yes, Roma can be arduous anyway, in a good way, let alone with a group of elderlies, I can see them dropping like flies along the way, poor dears. I'd say a week in Rome is a great time to take in most of it in, and then a roadtrip along the Amalfi Coast to wind down.

  6. @ SP Mount.....so it's true? People really eat that much food? I thought I was going to be sick when I saw that ball of cheese. We never made it to Harry's Bar....in fact, despite having all your recommendations and a map to get to them, we ended up eating near the hotel every night...which was kind of disappointing. The Amalfi Coast sounds amazing!Maybe one day.