|Forget the rest of the trip–our time in Italy was defined by the past three hours.
It began on top of the Palatine Hill, overlooking the ruins of the center of the world: the Roman forum. We descended into a copse of ancient pines, and climbed an alcove that had been created several thousand years ago and renovated at least 200 years ago under Napoleon. We stood atop a Corinthian pillar and called up the powers of Rome through the soles of our feet. In that moment, we experienced the mystical pax romana, in a way they never could have imagined.
Ashley decided to take a tour of the Catacombs while we set out to find a scooter rental shop. Scooters, for those of you who have not visited Europe, sound like an invasion of wasps, that buzz throughout the city. So we took a 1.5 mile walking detour instead of the .25 mile road that led us to what ended up being the same shop we had looked at yesterday a block from our hotel. We rented a double-seater with a broken speedometer and began our Roman holiday. Our list of sights to see included the Circo Massimo, the Bocca Della Veritas, the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, and the Tiber river. What did we see?
In fact, we crossed it. Twice. Oh yeah. It’s green.
Oh! And we also saw the gargantuan monument to some guy named Victor Emmanuel II at least seven times.
In the course of two hours, we almost did not make two left turns, successfully made a U-turn, got honked at twice–once because we were going 5 mph in a 35 zone (don’t worry… we got faster as the time wore on) and once because we were so damn hott on that scooter–and saw everything that you never see in Rome. For instance, a cat sanctuary we thought was the Pantheon. A rotunda that we desperately hoped was the Pantheon. And a piazza that had four statues and an obelisk, but was not in fact, the Piazza Navona.
Overall, it was enjoyable. The way a rollercoaster without seatbelts or trained staff is enjoyable… FOR TWO HOURS! At the end, we skidded into our parking spot and we could not open the seat to get our camera until the very nice (and cute) Italian dude opened it with a simple click of the key. Then we got a picture which we will post as soon as we reach Oxford.
We love Rome.
“Which of the cities visited did Your Highness enjoy the most?”
“Each, in its own way, was unforgettable. It would be difficult to…. Rome! By all means, Rome. I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live.”