Return to Roma

Friday was a travel day. After a restless night’s sleep, with some pretty weird and dramatic dreams, we had breakfast at the hotel, finished packing and then walked down the road to the station.

Yesterday’s guide told us about the express train – the Campania Express – which only takes 50 minutes to get from Sorrento to Napoli and is a nicer train than the Circumvesuviana.

We got into Napoli just after 11, bought our tickets to Rome, had some food and then hopped on the train. We were in Rome about an hour or so later and then catching the Metro down to Piramide.

The pyramid is initially a bit of out of place in Rome but considering Egypt was part of the Roman Empire at one point, perhaps it’s strange there aren’t more Egyptian influences here. We were staying at an AirBnB place near the station owned by two guys called Fabio and Massimo.

Fabio let us in, showed us around, gave us coffee and then he went back to work. Meanwhile, Glen and I took the opportunity for a mini-stroll around this part of Rome.

We walked up the nearby hill which sported a number of old churches, looking very picturesque on their tree-covered hill. They looked more suited to the Tuscan hills. The great thing about them though is that even though they’re still in Rome, they’re relatively under visited.

There are some great views from this part of town and a beautiful garden too – Giardino degli Aranci – that, as the name suggests, has a lot of orange trees. It’s enclosed behind old walls and would be a lovely place to have a picnic or read a book.

From the garden we walked down the hill to the Bocca della Verità – the mouth of truth – probably made most famous from the Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck movie, Roman Holiday. When I’d visited in winter many years ago, I was the only one there and the monument seemingly ignored.

Today it had a line out the front that would have taken about 20 minutes to get to the front of. Glen was pleased to get to see it but was happy to not have to wait to put his hand in the ‘dirty’ mouth. We had a quick look at the nearby fountain and temples and then crossed the bridge into Trastevere.

Hungry again we stopped at Akbar which was offering a €10 aperitivi, with a small buffet of salads and cold foods with water, coffee and I think a drink (which was never offered). It took the edge off our hunger and we found a cool little bar in the process. (They have a glass-topped table that’s really a garden bed for succulents.)

We walked through a bit more of Trastevere, stopped into the basilica to hear a bit of singing and look at the gold mosaics again, then decided to head back to the apartment.

We did laundry, I updated my blog and then at 7:30 we went to a local restaurant called Da Bucatino recommended by the host. We managed to get a table – ours was reserved but they weren’t due in until later – and we ordered far too much.

There was the obligatory bread, and we ordered a pasta each, thinking they’d be small. They weren’t. And then Glen had steak, I had pollo alla romana (cooked to perfection) as well as asparagus and green bears.

We were full after the pasta. I finished the chicken and got through half of the beans. Glen couldn’t finish his steak so we asked for it to takeaway which the waiter, a nonno it seemed, did take away but also picked up the plate of unfinished vegetables and plopped them in front of Glen with a gesture that roughly translated to ‘eat your greens’.

We failed on this score too. ‘Non posso finire,’ I said. The waiter repeated it with a bit of good humoured derision. No dessert for us that was for sure. We waddled home.

Then we packed and we’re ready for our flight home tomorrow. The holiday hasn’t felt like it’s gone quickly; we packed in a lot. Work and our lives in Perth seem a million years ago. I suppose that’s a good thing. Looking forward to giving Smudge a cuddle, that’s for sure. Hopefully she won’t be too annoyed at us.


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