A Pedacito Of Rome - Part 1
When I think of the perfect vacation destination for me, it always goes back to Italy, specifically, Rome. There’s so much to see, eat, drink and do that I don’t think even living there I could experience it all.
My first trip to Rome was a work trip, so I encountered some luxuries that I wouldn’t get on a solo trip or a trip with friends. I took advantage of all of them, especially our interpreters, to learn and see as much as I could during my downtime.
Instead of using a taxi on my first full day there, I decided to try and find my way to and from my work location using a paper map so that I could explore as much as possible.
It was 2013 and while my cell phone worked there for calls, I did not have an international plan and the data charges were outrageous. Hence the “old school” way of getting around.
Walking was the absolute best thing I did. After checking into my hotel my first morning there not long after landing, I decided to walk off the jet lag cobwebs and made my way through the Villa Borghese before crossing the Tiber River to get to the office. This was really my first true experience seeing Italian architecture and I loved all of it.
From there, I walked towards the Castel Sant’Angelo to meet up with the rest of my team. I was in awe of seeing so many buildings that I had only seen on TV and in movies. Our “office” was a trailer set up steps from the Vatican and once I arrived, I stood in awe of the Basilica di San Pietro.
Since most of my time was spent in this area, I had my interns/translators show me around to some great spots to grab food during our downtime. From pasta and a glass of wine during an afternoon break to the best sandwiches I think I’ve ever had, they showed me everything.
One of my favorite parts of my trip was being able to go into a small trattoria and order some prosciutto and mozzarella with a glass of wine to end one of my more quiet workdays. It was better than I could imagine and exactly what I expected of a late afternoon experience in this amazing city.
However, it was the little pizzeria where no one inside spoke English where I had an amazing meal topped by an amazing experience.
It was just enough off the main area near the Vatican that it had a very “local” vibe and obviously was a favorite of people in the area. It was so good that the only photo I took was of the entrance so I’d be able to remember it and come back on future trips.
I keep going back to my best and most memorable experience of my trip: being able to walk around Vatican City just days before and after the Cardinals elected Pope Frances to replace Pope Benedict. The buzz in the air was one of excitement and walking around outside gave me not only a sense of peace but an appreciation of the history the Papal Conclave offered to Catholics around the world.
There is absolutely no way I could capture my 15 days in Rome in one short blog, so I will be sure to post a few more in the future about my experiences.
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