Via Appia aka Gimeno death march
So I got it in my head that I wanted to stroll along the Appian Way on Sunday morning. Commence two hours of trekking along a walled road with no way out other than forward. Crazy Italian taxi driving whipping past, their tires deafening in the death chute created by the walls. Marital tensions flared. Feet hurt. We saw nothing cool.
Because…we got off the bus at the wrong stop and had approached the Via Appia Antica from the wrong end. Doh!
Finally we discovered the more pleasant part of the road, with ancient mausoleums and grave markers, and no walls. We rested a bit, kissed and made up (I hope!) and then tried to figure out where the hell we were so we could get back to the city. Because at this point we were in countryside dotted with sheep. Sorry Òscar – my baaaad.
And then, pizza
Òscar found us a bus that took us to a metro station that took us to the city center. He is my hero. We exited the subway at Piazza di Spagna, where we found a fantastic pizza vendor who sold take-away slices by weight. We took our crusty, gooey treasures and went to eat and sun ourselves on the Spanish steps. This was especially fun because the Rome Marathon was passing right by the steps! How delightful to eat pizza while others run a marathon. It was also fun to watch runners stop and take pictures of the steps!
After pizza comes gelato. We got two scoops each at the gelateria next to the Trevi Fountain. I had mint chocolate and orange chocolate. Out of this world. Even better? Enjoying it while sitting next to the Trevi Fountain.
We quickly saw the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, and the Piazza di Fiore. Then, the surprisingly active Jewish ghetto and synagogue – we’ll have to dedicate a whole day to the area on our next visit.
As the temperature dropped, we walked across the river to try to visit the Bocca de la Verità, but we got there fifteen minutes after closing time. So we strolled back to the Colloseum for one last look in the fading light.
And then, more pizza
For dinner we went to a noted pizzeria located three doors down from our hotel. Great success – this meal was one of the highlights of our trip. The pizza, the pasta, the relaxed family atmosphere, the excellent service, the fascinating Dutch life partners dining at the next table over – it all came together for me. And at 32 € for the entire meal for two, it must be one of the best deals in town.
A short flight the next morning and we were back in Barna, ready to begin our work week. Not a bad way to spend a weekend if you ask me.
GO TO ROME!