"" Writer's Wanderings: Rome In A Day

Monday, September 18, 2023

Rome In A Day

With a full night of rest we were ready to take on the day. Well, almost. The jet lag lingers a bit longer when you travel west to east. We chose to forget all the walking for the day and just ride. Rome has four or five hop on hop off bus lines. All of them offer pretty much the same thing. We chose the Greenline Bus service. It had three routes which were kind of the same but two of them extended out from the city center a bit.

On most any corner you can find someone in a red vest that says Hop On Hop Off. They have all the information for all the buses. The fellow who explained it all to us led us to a corner souvenir/news stand where we purchased tickets. You can also buy them on the bus but he was so good about explaining it all to us that we went with him across the street to purchase ours.

Since it was early, about 9 am, we were on the first bus to leave from the stop. We chose the blue line which was the longest of the two that were at this stop (Terminal A). The top of the bus was covered but open and we scored a front seat so we had a great view as we toured the city.

This, I believe, is the third time we’ve been in Rome. I do need to keep better notes. We have explored most of the prime places to see, the Forum, the Colosseum, the Trevi, the Pantheon, etc. The enchanting thing about Rome is that no matter where you go there is a piece of the past. From the moment you step out of the train terminal you are immediately immersed. We followed an ancient stone wall to the corner of the street to find our hotel the day before. Ancient baths were across the street.

The open sides of the bus made for a pleasant ride on a day that was a bit overcast but still promising to become very warm. While many of the sites to see were a little off the main route, there was a good commentary running about them and some of the things we could see.

The extension of the blue route that we’d chosen took us out to a more residential area with lots of beautiful flowering tree lined streets and pretty apartment buildings. This was an area where there were quite a few museums and the zoo. The zoo sounded interesting and I almost suggested getting off there but thought better of it. The route was only a little more than half done and the morning was waning.

We passed the Forum and the Colosseum and were back again at our starting point which was near our hotel. After a short rest stop, we weren’t real hungry but needed to stay on a schedule to continue to get used to the time change. We settled on McDonald’s. Yes, here we were in Rome going to McD’s. It was easy. We knew where it was in the nearby train station/mall and we could eat lighter than pasta.

Back at the bus stop again, we wanted to take the orange line. The orange bus showed up (it had an orange stripe on front) but it turned out to be doing the short green route that just hit the major points of interest rather than going out a bit to a place called Eatary so we found ourselves ending our afternoon early. That was fine. We were still tired and an afternoon nap was welcomed.

During one of our past trips that happened to coincide with an anniversary, we had eaten in a piazza that was full of sidewalk restaurants and a couple of fountains, one of which was very large but had been covered at that time for renovation. It had been one of the more romantic experiences we’d had in Rome with entertainers stopping to perform near our table.

With the realization that nothing is ever recreated quite the same as the sweet memories, we searched my blog to try to find the name of the piazza. I couldn’t find the reference. Some of my older posts were a little funky. I searched the net for famous Rome fountains and found the one I remembered. It is called “the four rivers” or Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. Google maps had it a 37 minute walk from our hotel. Considering we had spent the day riding we decided to walk it. The weather was not as hot as the day before and we knew it would take us mostly downhill. We agreed that we would take a taxi back if it seemed too much after we ate.

The walk was not bad and took us past the Trevi fountain again which was packed with people. After weaving our way through the crowd we started past the Pantheon which was also crowded but apparently more from a fencing exhibition or contest for young people that was going on. We arrived at the Piazza Novana and were pleased to see that even though it wasn’t quite six o’clock, the restaurants were open and yes, hustling people to come in. They are gentle hustlers though and quite engaging.

We settled upon one restaurant and had a nice dinner. As the evening cooled and we finished our pasta dishes, we ambitiously chose to walk back to the hotel. There would be a little uphill climb but Bob promised gelato halfway home and I wasn’t going to pass it up this time. We found a small place for gelato part way up an incline and stopped for our treat. There was a small area to sit and eat it so we could rest a bit as well.

Refreshed, we finished our trek back and sank into bed, satisfied with our adventure and ready to begin the next one in the morning that would take us to Civitavecchia and our ship to begin our cruise.

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