Friday, February 9, 2007

5 happy years

Friday was our fifth anniversary and unfortunately we planned it to be a travel morning. The bus ride to Rome would take about 3 hours, but we were excited to get to the Eternal City. We had a little trouble figuring out where to catch the bus. They all pulled up at this little piazza. People got on, people got off. Most buses were only there for a few minutes, so we were nervous about jumping on the wrong one. I asked a couple of other drivers where the bus would stop...

ME: um, scusi? dov'e l'autobus per Roma? (believe me it sounds worse than it looks)
HIM: (through a haze of cigarette smoke) eh,lautobusperromaelafermatasena (grand gesturing with arms off to the left)
ME: grazie? (confusion)

So the grand gesture made me think we should be on the next little block, where I see many other buses lined up. Only thing is, they all look parked, like they're waiting for a trip later. Our 10:30 ticket time is drawing near so I stroll back by the drivers again.

ME: um, scusi? dov'e ......
HIM: (interrupting, rolling eyes) LA. FER-MA-TA SE-NA. LA. LA. (pointing to a pole 10 yards away that says "Fermata Sena".
ME: Ohhhhhh. Grazie! (Smiling sheepishly)

So this wouldn't be so difficult if the stop were marked better than a pole with a little placard on it. And if they told you 10:30 was when the bus left the main station, then made 3 more stops before getting to where we were. Whew!!

Thankfully there was little difficulty after that. A steady drizzle started by the time we arrived, but we were determined to see some sights. Our hotel was incredible. It shared a piazza with the Italian Parliament building and was easy strolls to all of the sights. We followed a walk from one of our books highlighting many works of Bernini. Sadly the Fontana dei Fiumi in Piazza Navona was concealed by scaffolding, but we wandered around the Pantheon, Piazza Colonna and the Trevi Fountain. I think Wayne believed I had a plan for where we were walking, but I really just pointed us in a direction and we found beautiful things everywhere.

One of Wayne's favorite finds was ZaZa! This pizza place was about the size of 2 telephone booths, but man was it tasty. We got Pizza Bianchi, or white pizza. Basically it was focaccia with olive oil and herbs brushed on, topped with cherry tomatoes that had shriveled and burst while roasting in the oven. Did I say tasty? It was the best slice we had the whole trip.

The eating didn't stop there. Along our walk we found a mall right in the middle of Rome. It reminded me of being at the Forum in Caesar's Las Vegas, but the espresso and hot chocolate we had there were perfect to wait out the rain. Our next necessary stop was gelato which we first indulged in near the Trevi Fountain. Later we discovered that the historic Giolitti was about 50 steps from our hotel. Funny how every trip to or from our hotel went right past that indulgent gelato shop? We tried many flavors, but my favorite combo was fragola e limoncello (strawberry and lemon). Mmmmmmmm.

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