Roman Holiday

Unfamiliar sounds drift up through the open shutters from the narrow street below; excited Italian voices exchanging greetings, motor scooters sliding over the cobbles and city cars squeezing into non-existent parking spaces. It’s my birthday and I’ve woken up in a dusky pink room with flocked walls, gilt mirrors and I’m in ROME! It’s wonderful! After years of yearning to visit Italy I’ve made it; we’re here! First, I open my birthday cards and have a good cry because everyone’s been so kind to me, then we head up for breakfast in the rooftop restaurant with its amazing panoramic views across the city.

There’s rain in the air so we book a bus tour so we can get a sense of the place. As we pass the Colosseum the commentary dryly informs us of the thousands of animals killed here, the 98% mortality rate for gladiators and then observes that the drink enjoyed by spectators would probably be distasteful to modern palates. What? Only the drink?

We hop off at the beautiful Ponte Sant’Angelo to cross the Tiber. Now, Tom and I are used to rain so - fending off the many folks trying to sell us useless ponchos, flimsy umbrellas and selfie sticks -we head for St Peter’s square.

Eventually, soaked to the skin, we retire to our glamorous hotel room to dry off. In the evening, we visit a wonderful restaurant with lovely staff, glorious food and I enjoy another birthday surprise!

 The next two days are fine and dry, so we make the most of every moment of our stay; it’s hard to pick highlights as it’s all so amazing, but the Trevi fountain is magnificent...

The excavations of Vicus Caprarius are fascinating...

... and catching the Hokusai exhibition at the Museo Dell’Ara Pacis is an added bonus.

It’s not just the ‘must sees’ that make this city so fabulous; it’s the colours, the buildings, the food and the wonderful, welcoming people. As a firm Bremainer, it makes me very sad indeed that we are shunning Europe and retreating into ourselves. Thank you, Rome, for a memorable holiday.


Angela Britnell said…
Lovely to share your joy visiting Italy for the first time and hope you get to return very soon! It brings back fond memories for me.
Kathryn Freeman said…
So pleased you saw Rome in the sun as well as the rain. Such a fabulous city, can't imagine a better place to wake on your birthday :-)
Chris Stovell said…
As you can tell, Angela, I loved it there and hope to see more of the country now. I'm glad it brought back good memories.x

Thanks, Kate. I had a wonderful time and felt very spoilt; it was certainly a memorable birthday. x
Flowerpot said…
That looks fabulous Chris - what an amazing birthday! Definitely one to remember. I've never been but it looks a place to put-on the bucket list X
Clare Chase said…
Great to read more about your visit and see these glorious photographs! x
Chris Stovell said…
it was, Sue. I felt very fortunate to have been able to visit at last - now I want to see more of Italy! x

Thank you, Clare! x

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