“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

TravelHaven Journal: Italy 2013 – Rome

Rome, first destination on our Italian vacation.

On this leg Arnold and I are joined by my daughter’s family – Lisa and Mike and their lovely daughters, Kaley and Torrey. Our flights were good and we arrived on time to be met by our guide, Andrea, of Tiber Limo. He took us to our hotel, Hotel Abruzzi. The rooms are small, but with a great view of the Pantheon. Our first meal is at Rosa Rosae on the piazza at the Pantheon – caprese salad, mussels, clams, pasta, and pizzas. And, of course, vino!

yummy mussels at Rosa Rosae

We’ll only have two days in Rome before driving up to Tuscany, so we have to move fast to see as many sights as possible. Our first stop is the nearby Pantheon, a temple to all the gods, originally built in the reign of Augustus Caesar. I marvel at how they built this structure without the benefit of modern technology. After spending some time at the Pantheon, we walked around the charming streets near our hotel, enjoying the shops, the sidewalk cafes, and lots of people to watch.

Arnold in the Albert Bar

After about thirty hours of airplanes and Roman sights with very little sleep, we head back to our tiny (9 square meter, about 10’ x 10’) room to rest for a couple of hours. Then back to the Pantheon steps for a little wine and stargazing before sleep.

The following day, we’re up early to meet our guide at 8:30 for another day packed with sightseeing – the Trevi fountain and the Palatine Hill stand out in our impressions. It is so thrilling to see these places that we have only read about or seen in movies. The food and wine never disappoint either.

Arnold at the Trevi Fountain                              view from the Palatine Hill

Tomorrow will be a travel day as we head north to Tuscany.