Or…a blonde American wandering the streets of Rome alone.
No, not Rome, PA…which is incidentally the location of a campground at which a family reunion was held in 1980 (give or take a year)…but Rome, Italy. After a long couple of flights, I arrived in Rome on Wednesday morning, around 8am. Despite the extremely cramped quarters, the fact that I did not sleep for even one minute, the hideously awful food and the one hour delay in departure, the flight was not too terribly awful. I was in the middle of a 3 seat row, but I had the pleasure of sharing the row with a hippy Californian and a sophisticated Italian…so despite not sleeping at all on the red-eye flight, I was at least engaged in lively conversation.
To make a long story short…after my flight landed, I took the train into Rome, was incorrectly directed to get off at the Colosseum, then incorrectly directed to get on bus #60, and then finally, correctly directed to simply go on a 20 minute trek across the heart of Rome, while dragging my luggage across cobblestone streets. Needless to say, by the time I arrived at my hotel in a full-blown sweat, I crashed for a good three hours and had to drag myself out of bed in order to get something worthwhile out of the day.
After the adventure of finding my hotel (that will teach me to forget to write down the directions sent via email by the concierge), I was ready to write off Rome. It was too big…too many people…too many tourists…too little English spoken. But after a good nap, I showered and hit the streets, determined to become a little more acclimated to Roman life.
I immediately fell in love with and consequently purchased a ‘must have’ skirt…had a light dinner and continued the search for Piazza Navona. While walking down the crooked streets of Rome, I came across a grande structure – – enormous columns…an immense rotunda. I marveled in the splendor of the vast columns bathed in nighttime lights, all the while wondering why Piazza Colonna was not discussed more in my guidebook. I later realized that this was not Piazza Colonna, rather it was the Pantheon. And *that* will teach me not to do more research before my arrival!
After arriving at Piazza Navona (maybe it was the weather or maybe it was the season, but the nightlife there was not as colorful as my book mentioned), I treated myself to tartufo "Death By Chocolate" ice cream. Words simply cannot describe it, but it I can quite honestly say that this may have been the most delightful food to ever cross my lips. It was so divine that despite the hundreds of pasticcerias and gelateria’s that I will likely come across over the next week, I may just have to go back there for another scoop of heaven.
In my chocolate-induced euphoria, I strolled back to the hotel, fell into my glorious bed with intentions of planning out my next day, but promptly fell asleep…only to awake at 2am, fired up and ready to go. Ah…the joys of jet lag…