Sunday, October 14, 2012

~Roman Holiday~

October always reminds me of my trip to Italy.

As you open a scrapbook or photo album, 
memories come floating out
and I am happy to sit with them awhile.
So I thought I would take you with me on an armchair trip
back to ROMA

BFF and I went to Rome, in the first week of October a few years ago.
It couldn't have been more lovely.
In fact everything was PICTURE PERFECT.
A little back story here: we are NOT world travelers.
But we were determined to do this on our own.
Half the fun was PLANNING the big event. We spent months with maps and guide books spread out on the tables at Barnes and Noble planning our itinerary. Marking off the absolute "MUST SEE'S" and compiling  lists of '"IF WE HAVE TIME'S "
We did not go with a tour group, nor stay with friends, nor have any guidance what so ever.
No we were not Audrey Hepburn
but two crazy girls from the Midwest, on a romp through Rome.
Flying by the seat of our pants as it were. 
And if anyone knows me at all, they would tell you
"I NEVER fly by the seat of my pants. "
It was one of the best times of my life.
I spent the year prior to our trip learning Italian, with the help
of travel books and audio CD's.
So I felt comfortable that I could get by with my little bit of traveler's Italian.
But of course, almost everyone spoke English. However, they were so charming as I attempted to use my limited vocabulary. Always gracious, always smiling.
A moment's confession here:
Once Gail and I landed in Rome and arrived at our destination  on the Piazza Farnese
I had a little panic attack. I said to myself
"What the heck are you doing here, halfway around the world in a foreign country where you don't speak the language? Are you crazy?"
Yes. I was.
But thankfully my panic attack subsided,
and I embraced my Roman Adventure.

Our driver, Lorenzo,  who delivered us to the Casa Di Santa Brigida
Not bad huh????

Gail and I have the same philosophy about traveling. We don't like to cram our days with too many things to do, marking things off of a list on a tight schedule.
We like to take it slowly. Have a plan, but be willing to abandon it.
And savor every bite.
Running about from sun up to sun down and rushing from sight to sight was not on our agenda.
We wanted to LIVE in Rome.

So we structured our days with plenty of time to wander.....

and while you're wandering, don't forget to look UP

Religious artwork and icons are everywhere, no matter the degradation of the buildings or urban blight. Mary and Son look down with care over the city of Rome.

time to get lost.......

One of the beautiful streets we found 'WHILE LOST'
One thing I know for sure, is ALWAYS find time to get lost.
The best things happen when you're not expecting them.
What we thought was just an ugly alley turned out to be this charming place covered with ivy. And tiny side streets hide little 'trattorias' ( restaurants) that spill out onto every open piece of avenue. Some places only have room for one or two tables outside, but they are adorable.

time to sit and watch the world go by.....

We had lunch 'al fresco' overlooking this piazza with the Pantheon as a backdrop. We had 'tremazzini' , the Italian version of a club sandwich. It had a hard boiled egg, lettuce, tomato, ham and lots of mayo on crustless little wedges and it was delicious!! We sit and relax looking at the fountain and watch all the tourists taking all the same pictures we just took in front of the Pantheon.
(Notice more artwork on the building behind the fountain)

Speaking of the Pantheon, I was fascinated by it.

In a city where there is an historical site on every street corner, this still has the capacity to amaze.
Perhaps because it's so INTACT. It is not a 'ruin'.  When we came upon it on our first night in Rome I said " It looks like Dorothy's house from the Wizard of Oz, and it's just been plunked down here in the middle of this bustling pizza.

time to go home in the afternoon and rest.

Room with a view
I love the windows. Big open casements. No screens, but shutters. I open them up and all of Rome rushes in. Bells from the church next door ( Feels like I could almost reach out and touch it),the workers voices, scooters everywhere. Men are working on the building next door. There is scaffolding and hammering and SINGING. They wave to us through our open window as we lean out and drink it all in.

Looking to the left out of our window.
The French Embassy proudly anchoring our little corner of the world.

Like any city, a quiet spot is a treasure, but I think especially so in Rome. I look forward to this quiet hour each day to collect my thoughts. I would journal, while Gail would nap.  On this day when  Gail wakes up and we are preparing to head back out our attention is drawn to the window and noise below. It seems as if a delivery of dirt is in process. We can't figure out if the driver is a moron with no clue of how to dump this load of dirt or if this is just typical Italian business. It's hard to tell if people are arguing or not sometimes, because of all the gesturing and yelling. But for this scenario all hands are on deck. Everyone from the construction site is yelling and waving arms and the driver is waving them off. Workers from the upstairs windows hang out and offer their two cents. Finally the driver backs up again and dumps the tiny load of dirt from his little Tonka truck and all is well.
 The workers go back to singing
and Gail and I just smile.

Yes, this is life in our own little Piazza Farnese.

Stay tuned for Part II next week.

All pictures are mine ( except for Roman Holiday, of course)


  1. Our trip to Rome was one of the best times of my life. Every time I see Rome on TV I am still compelled to say to any unfortunate person present, "Hey...see that (fill in the blank)? I was there...I was there!" The only person who isn't sick of it is you! :-) Thanks for posting this and getting me all Rome'd up again!

    1. We are lucky to have each other to talk to about it! And even more lucky that we were able to go together and now have these wonderful memories to share. Love ya

  2. I love love love this post and cannot wait to see the next! Going to Italy was one of the best times that I had ever had as well... such a beautiful place to visit.

    1. Ah Roma, what's not to love? Hope this little post is bringing back happy memories of your own visit.

  3. Oh, even though I've only visited Rome once, I LOVE it!! So grand and full of history, beauty and excitement. The Italians are so warm and friendly....even to tourists. Thanks for sharing your trip, Terri. Wonderful photos.

    1. For history buffs, Rome can't be beat. Gail and I were in our element. I could spend hours ( and I did, ha ha ) walking around just looking at the architecture. Pure bliss. And you're right, the Italians couldn't have been friendlier.

  4. Oh I love this! I would love to go to Italy. Roman Holiday is my all-time favorite movie. I adore Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. mmm :) He was so incredibly handsome. :) Hope you're doing well!

    1. I'm not surprised that you LOVE Roman Holiday. It is a classic, and one of my fav Audrey Hepburn movies. I hope you get the chance to go one day, you'll love it.

  5. Hi Terri - I just deleted your link and added it back. Still showing your latest post as being on vacation from a few weeks ago.....strange. fyi. Hope you're doing well.


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