Traveling alone and the things we forget
27.07.2011 - 04.08.2011
I've been back from my Italian adventure for a while now. But as it usually goes, there were stacks of mail and emails and work waiting for me. I am rested and remembering my trip, but haven't had much of a chance to work on photographs yet.
My trip was wonderful. I started out in Philadelphia, spending a few days with friends. I'm originally from Pittsburgh but haven't been back since....well, it's been a really long time. To be honest it has been decades since I've been in Pittsburgh. Philadelphia is my chance to be in the same state at least. Flying out of Philadelphia was uneventful. Unfortunately my friends were traveling back home and we all rode to the airport together so I was at the gate six hours in advance. My only complaint about the International part of the Philadelphia airport is that there were not nearly enough electrical outlets. In fact, they were scarce.
Once boarded I found my seat and it happened to be in a row of four with a mom and two little kids. Dad had a different row so I happily traded with him. The flight went by so quickly thanks to my Kindle. I'm reading "Venice: Pure City" by Peter Ackroyd. It's very colorful and nicely written but seems really long.
I arrived at the Rome airport, found my way out to a taxi and headed for my son's hotel. It was nearly 10am before I got there and I was convinced Clay and Alesia had been sitting around waiting for me for hours. They were asleep. Ah the life of a 22 year old world traveler and his girlfriend. My hotel was pretty close by so we walked, I checked it and we started our day. Unfortunately jet lag started to set in but my son would have none of that so off we went, up and down hills on cobblestone streets seeing the sights of Rome. It was warm that day and I must confess to being extremely proud of the fact that I was sightseeing until midnight without a single nap.
We only had two days together in Rome so we wanted to make the most of it. The second day we spent the entire day at the Vatican Museum and St. Peters Basilica. This is my third trip to Rome so I've been to both twice before, but always on tours where we were rushed in and out again. To spend hours walking through the Vatican Museum was such a treat. Buy tickets online in advance. They will give you a reservation for a specific time. We took a break mid-afternoon for a wonderful lunch in a sidewalk cafe. I am not a beer drinker but I have grown to love Peroni and pizza. We felt refreshed and then spent an hour or so in St. Peters. I'm sure you all know, but make sure shoulders and elbows are covered or they won't let you in.
I got an email from my sister that day. She follows Giada on Twitter and Giada had recommended Al Moro in Rome as a 'must eat' restaurant so we dressed nicely that evening and I took the kids out to dinner. The food was incredible! I had a Proscuitto e Melone salad and their version of Spaghetti Carbanaro, tossed with freshly grated Parmesan. Absolutely delicious. We didn't have dessert because we had a gelato waiting for us by the Fontana de Trevi. I have to agree that Al Moro was the food highlight of our time in Rome.
That night we threw a coin into the Fontana de Trevi. Left hand tossed over your right shoulder. It is done to guarantee your return to Rome someday. I've always done it and it's always worked. This time it worked a little too well, but that's a story for tomorrow.