37 Rome in a day


37 viva Roma …. Rome in a day

October 7, 2012, disembarkation and good byes.  We gather for breakfast in the Windjammer lido restaurant for a last meal with Sarah and Sergei before departing.  Already we are feeling the sadness creep in and wonder how long until we get to spend time with them again.  Packing is complete, some difficulty sleeping anticipating the trip ending and wondering about the things to do when I get home.
Stop, take a breath and be present to the day.  This day will be a full adventure ….  Roma!  Ahhhhhhh.  It has been just over a year since my last and first visit to Rome.  At that time there were 5 women traveling together and we spent two days covering all the major attractions.  This year, we have one day.  Steve has never been before and Marilyn and Alex will be our guides.
Sarah and Sergei decide to take the train with us to Rome to further extend our visit and time together.  They have earlier flights back to Moscow.  We take the cruise complimentary shuttle to the pier gates and with no taxis in sight, walk pulling our luggage to the train terminal at Civitavecchia.  The train is crowded and lease right away … We rush and we get on board, the last to get through the doors!  In fact, Steve struggles with his luggage and I run to get in another door so we are separated, but I know he is on the train.  I find a seat for three, and Marilyn and Alex and I get seated.  Steve and Sarah find us sometime on this regional train.  Frequent stops and blue skies, we get a good view of the landscape coming in to the city.  
Arriving at Roma Termini, we pull our luggage to the section of the station called “left luggage”.  Interesting choice of words, we have planned to check our bags so we can tour the city and this evening come back and make our way to the airport.  There is a long line and we join it.  We also pay the euro each to use the clean facilities.  Leaving my luggage seems like a leap of faith but one I am going to try on the recommendation of my friends.  Off we go to the metro and we say good bye and have last hugs with Sarah and Sergei as they make their way via shuttle to the airport and begin their journey home.
We start our one day tour of Rome at the colosseum.  Walking out of the metro station we see the sight ….  Huge, ancient and fantastic.  Historic Rome.  We decide to take an English speaking tour inside as it promises to get us through the line faster.  Tour starts at 1145 am.  We have already been on the move since before 6 am …..  So not exactly fresh, but very excited for the day.  
We take pictures and enjoy the sights.  What an impressive place and great views of other ruins from the heights.
Then we walk to the forum.  I have kept the Italian map of Rome so I can list the names of the sights we visited.  Arco di Constantino, Arco di Tito, Palatino, Circo Massimo, Santi Giovanni e Paolo are all around our first stop.  I know we walked to the Pantheon and St Peters Basilica, Trevi fountain and the Spanish steps.  We saw the Castel Saint Angelo, piazza del Popolo and the mausoleo Augusto.  We walked along the river taking in a few of the fabulous bridges and piazza del Tribunal.  Campa de Fiori, palazzo delle Esposizioni, Santa Maria Maggiore and Piazza Navona.  I won’t remember the names of the places but I remember the sights.
  We stopped for a light lunch outside The colosseum area and it was lovely.  A small glass of white wine, sparkling water, and some solid food.  We also had a meal around 6 ish at the Spanish steps area before deciding we had walked enough cobblestones and were done with the exploration.  We were all tired and sore when we stopped, exhausted and complete.
Rome is beautiful and to fully enjoy the sights, one should really give it a few extra days and take time to venture inside.  However, the way I travel, seems to lend itself to a day at a time in the special places and a commitment to return another time.  In Trevi fountain, we tossed a coin and this sealed our fate to return once again to this place!  A photo taken of our faces looking up to the perfect round opening atop the pantheon is a memory now repeated.  Taking extra time to enter the coliseum really was a highlight and with still fresh eyes on this trip.  I really enjoy the large piazza del Popolo and glad we made that walk.  The Spanish steps were just lighting up for the evening crowds and that was our plan for timing.  Nothing left undone and all satiated with Roman offerings.
Another day I will return.  
For now I have the map, the log, the pictures and my memories of the day.
Love to all from Roma.

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