Monday, 30 May 2011

Italy: Day 1 Rome

We got up at a ridiculous hour of the morning to board a flight with a cheap airline. Yup one of those I'd promised never to fly with again. In my defence there doesn't seem to be a way to get from Scotland to Italy without using a cheap and nasty airline. 
We packed light - we only allowed ourselves hand luggage and knew that we would need to be carrying all of our belongings for at least a couple of days of the holiday. I don't really know how to pack light. I still managed to come home with one clean t-shirt, a pair of shorts and a jacket that more or less only got worn in Scotland to and from the airport and then carried around various places in Italy.
The bus from the airport deposited us at Roma Termini after which we were on our own. It was Sunday and there were no tourist information offices open. Luckily two lovely people had lent us guide books which came with maps. That and the fact that my husband is amazing. He basically navigated us out of the station and on to the right road by the position of the sun. He appears to have an inbuilt compass. This internal compass doesn't work so well at night apparently it is harder to navigate by the moon. 
We wandered aimlessly slightly dazed by the early start and the dramatic increase in heat. Italy is warmer than Scotland – who’d have thought it. We came across a little park outside the Quirinal and studied the map. Then we wandered on through tiny meandering street coming across beautiful Piazza’s, screaming mopeds and fashionable people. Almost by accident we stumbled across the sound of running water and rounded a corner to find the Trevi fountain. How can the street leading to the fountain be so quiet and yet the Piazza itself hold so many people? We took photos and watched people throw their coins. There was a champagne cork floating in the water, I wondered if someone had recently gotten engaged. 
(I seem to have become I little obsessed with the effect on my camera phone)

We kept going and found the Pantheon – most of this time I thought we were just wandering turns out that O was wandering in a deliberate manner. Outside the Pantheon we bought a sandwich and discovered just how expensive things are in Rome. We sat on a wall and ate reading what the guide book told us about the Pantheon before we headed inside to look. I tried and failed on several occasions to take a picture of the roof and the Oculus. The guide books say that the Pantheon is particularly spectacular in the rain or the snow where the elements come into this ancient building unashamedly. Conveniently for us it started to rain while we were inside to demonstrate this wonder! So we spent a little more time inside than we expected.
Deciding that it might be time to go somewhere else to avoid the rain we took advantage of a break in the showers to head towards our hotel. After a nap and the rain had stopped, we went out to enjoy the rest of the day. We headed towards the Spanish steps – another must see tourist attraction, via the Piazza Navona. It isn’t exactly a peaceful city Rome and it continued to amaze me that so many people were crammed into all of these places. Thinking of the films that have been shot in Rome how did they ever get rid of all the people? We took pictures from the bottom of the Spanish steps, we climbed the steps and took pictures from the top.
We went to see the Trevi Fountain by night and still there were the same huge crowds. I wondered if it was simply the same people and perhaps they never leave.

We ate, we gave our feet a rest for what was going to be another huge day and we slept.

(if you can't tell - all photos taken by me on my camera phone)


  1. the best part of traveling is wandering! glad to hear you saw some awesome sites too! have an awesome rest of the trip + please keep us posted :)

  2. Glad you had a wonderful time, the trevi fountain is amazing stuck onto the back of a building like that. You're making me want to be in Rome again. And navigating by the moon, who knew it couldn't be done?!

  3. Sounds fabulous, I do love the fountain and the Pantheon.

    The first time I ever went to Rome was with uni when I was doing an architectural history course about Bramate & Rome! As you imagine we got dragged everywhere!

  4. p.s look I can comment again; I found a fix on a blogger help forum!

  5. Rome! It sounds like you had lots of fun just wandering. That was my favourite way to explore it. :) We sang in the Pantheon, actually. We saw it as part of a guided tour (I was there with my uni choir), and our guide asked for a song as his tip. Gotta love impromptu concerts!

  6. Sounds lovely! Dave has an inner compass too. It's most usful when you have the direction sense of a fly.

    I am oh so jealous of your Rome meandering.

  7. I am desperate to go back!!

  8. Oh dear... N has no internal compass so we might need to bring an actual one with us! And noted on the no taxis... And prepare for business! :)


Your Spare Thoughts