Friday, September 28, 2012

Observations of Italy - Part One: Rome

On the plane over the Atlantic...
Well, here it is!  The start of my photos, notes, and observations of what has to be one of the most delightful countries in the world.  

My husband Peter and I spent an idyllic twelve days this month on our first trip to Italy - Rome, Venice, and Florence.  We couldn't have asked for better weather or a better experience.  Feel free to comment, especially those of you who've been to Italy often, since I'm eager to learn more and will definitely return!  Share with me!

Plane food!
After connecting in Charles deGaulle airport in Paris (a cavernous, almost eerie space- must've been quite the modern marvel in its day), we landed mid-morning in Rome on a Wednesday.  The flight was easy - I'm a nervous flier, but there was far less turbulence than most State-side flights I've been on.  Magazines, and Italian language lessons I'd downloaded on my iPhone, helped pass the time. 

The Aurelian gates - one of many arches to enter Rome
Once we landed in Rome's Fiumicino Airport (hot, crowded, and not the best signage - probably common to most international airports), we caught a taxi  for the 30-minute drive to the hotel.  Interestingly enough, the old Aurelian wall, built in the third century AD, still stands in many places around the city center.  (Standardized cab fare from the airport to any place within the Aurelian walls: 48 euros.)  Once you pass through the arches, you're in the heart of Rome. 

Our comfy room

Our brilliant plan to cross the Atlantic at night and wake up refreshed in Europe backfired.  We got almost no sleep on the plane and were so tired when we arrived that we unintentionally napped through our first day in Rome and woke up just in time for a late dinner.

Entrance to the Hotel Artemide
Happily, Rome is a city of night owls, and our excellent hotel (Hotel Artemide - thanks so much, Patti, for recommending it!) was right downtown.

Our hotel, seen from across the street
We strolled outside but didn't wander far, just up a few blocks to the Piazza della Republica and then a midnight pasta dinner at a sidewalk cafe.  First impressions were of gorgeous, well-lit buildings, "cheerfully frenzied" traffic, and the level of activity you'd find in a more relaxed version of Manhattan.  Busy, but not overcrowded or chaotic.  

Piazza della Republica.  There's a Metro stop belowground.

Here's the view outside our hotel's front door, on the Via Nazionale (taken in daylight, before we collapsed to catch up on sleep).


The next day, we dove in... and probably walked more than we had in the previous two months.

Ciao!  (which apparently means both "hello" and "goodbye" - somewhat like "Aloha" in Hawaii)


No comments:

Post a Comment