WHEN IN ROME…

So a writer, an artist, and three Catholic priests get into an airport shuttle…sounds like the beginning of a groan-worthy joke, doesn’t it? The only thing groan-worthy about it was how long it took to drive from Fiumicino Airport into Rome. Mama Mia!

That and the fact that I was a little a’feared for my life. It was very much like a grown-up version of Disneyland’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Thankfully, our very skilled driver was able to read the map and drive at the same time. Win!

First look at the Colosseum

Since my brother Jon and I only planned one day in Rome, we decided our best bet would be to drop off our luggage and hit the pavement right away. We were so jet-lagged though, we very nearly opted for naps. Of course, neither of us were up to the berating we would have gotten if we slept our whole day in Rome away.

Obviously, we were going to need to get refueled.

The concierge at our hotel told us that Pompi’s was the place to go. And so we did.

The most awesome sandwiches in the world.

If you look at the back row, three sandwiches from the left, you will see the best sandwich I ever had in my life. No exaggeration. I could eat here every day for the rest of my life. *sigh*

Though their sandwiches are divine, Pompi’s is actually best known for their tiramisu. But there’s lots of other goodies to choose from.

Don’t see anything you like? How about over here?

After I wept over my sandwich and the state of coffee back home, it was time to hit the pavement. Literally, as it turns out.

Okay. So one of the things you really have to pay attention to in Rome is the sidewalk. Firstly, the Italians love their puppies, so there are dog bombs everywhere. If you’re not careful, you could easily find yourself slip-sliding on a canine tootsie roll.

Secondly, the sidewalks are full of potholes and cracks and uneven surfaces, so it’s really not a good idea to walk and read a map at the same time…which is what I did. Thankfully, the woman I did a swan dive in front of wasn’t too frightened — come to think of it, she hardly acknowledged it — hmph! — and my bloody knee didn’t seep through my jeans. Another win!

Thirdly — and most importantly — BE CAREFUL CROSSING THE STREET! Roman pedestrians just go — ain’t nothing gonna break’a their style. But the same holds true for Roman drivers…ain’t nothing gonna slow them down, oh, no!

Anyhoo, we decided we’d walk part of the Appian Way, “the queen of the long roads,” on the way to the Colosseum. According to our guidebook, it wasn’t far. So off we went through the neighborhood.

I have to admit, I love Italian sensibilities. Check out the dozens of rabbit ears on the roof. They just run the wires down the wall. Almost all of the apartment buildings sported this look.

Their neighborhoods are so beautiful. I love that everything is just mixed together. And no matter where you are, there’s a cafĂ© nearby.

Ahh…ancient wall…we must be getting closer!

This way?

Say, “Formaggio!”

I think it’s this way.

Okay. Now we’re in wilderness. The Appian Way may be the queen of the long roads, but getting there is no jaunt in the park either. For now, it will have to remain a mystery.

Let’s go see the Colosseum!

From here, it looks like a wall at the end of the street.

Pictures don’t do it justice.

Victory Arch of Constantine (side view)

Segway Chariot — just like the ancient Romans used.

Gladiators on caffé break.

Belly of the Beast

View of the Palatine and the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument in the distance.

The late afternoon sun loves Rome.

Across the street from the Colosseum.

Walking back to the hotel.

This place is lousy with gorgeous architecture.

Rick Steves says you can do Rome in a day — and we certainly tried, Rick! — but alas! Clearly, we’re going to have to come back and give it another go.

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12 Responses to WHEN IN ROME…

  1. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Ang.

  2. Marian says:

    I love the pics! And the desserts…..those look so yummy…*tummy grumbling*

    I have no idea how you would even see any city in only a day…and Rome in a day? I’m just imagining throbbing feet :-P

    • Ang says:

      You don’t have to imagine them, Marian…I’ll show you the blisters, you lucky lady! ;) The food is probably what I’ll miss the most…and the caffe!

  3. Sonja says:

    I think I just exploded looking at all the awesome food! I’m loving the pictures. Rome is breath-taking. Hope you’re uncovering new and exciting secrets to put in your novel!!!

    • Ang says:

      Oh, Sonja…the food, the food, the food…I don’t know what to eat anymore. Nothing sounds good back home…except maybe authentic Mexican food. Didn’t see that over there. ;) As for the novel, I’m so glad I went…so much to do, so much to rewrite!! Maybe the Ninjas are going to have to have a field trip, eh?

  4. Andrew says:

    These are fantastic and your blog is so fun to read! I hope I can someday see all of this in person. I can’t wait to see all these modern chariots in action.

    • Ang says:

      Thanks, Andrew! LOL! I think you’ll be seeing all of this next Carnevale. We kept talking about how all our friends would love it…especially you. The photography opportunities…the food…the pretty Italian girls…you’d love it there. It’d be even more fun with a big group. I’ll post about Venice soon. It was pretty much a non-stop party. Whew! Still recovering. ;)

      • Andrew says:

        This absolutely needs to happen. My camera and I need to make our way to Italy.

        • Ang says:

          I agree…this absolutely needs to happen. I can’t wait to see what you and your camera will come back with. ;)

  5. [...] starting at the second-floor level. About as crazy-cool as all the rooftop TV antennas in Rome. I love Italian [...]

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