After being up for thirty-six hours plus and overloading our senses with wandering around Rome waiting for our room at the Hotel Forum to be ready we quickly passed out for a good three or four hours. When we woke up it was time to shower, change and head out to see the town!
Stepping outside the hotel we turned right and went up the small side street running alongside the ruins of the forum. We were trying to get to the Trevi Fountain which, according to the map, wasn’t very far away. Near the top of the hill we saw a taxi drop someone off. With a little quick thinking I leaned to the window and asked the driver how far away it was. He smiled and told us to get in. When I asked him how much he said five Euros. At the time that was about seven dollars. We both shrugged and said okay. We were both annoyed that we had napped so long so paying a little extra to make up some time seemed like a good idea to both of us.
The taxi driver couldn’t take us all the way to the fountain but he got us as close as he could before we got out, paid and thanked him. He pointed us in the right direction and sped off for another fare. We wandered down the old cobblestone street and marveled at all the gorgeous architecture along the way. It opened up into a larger piazza and directly in front of me was the Trevi Fountain and about a thousand other tourists.
I pulled up a seat on the rock near where the man on the left is sitting and let my wife wander around to the front to get some pictures. I was window shopping in the shops across from the fountains and people watching. Directly across from the area I was sitting in is the first place I ever tried gelato. For those of you who don’t know what gelato is, it’s a softer creamier version of ice cream and Rome has thousands of gelataria’s. This plaza alone had like two or three of the wonderful shops.
Once Christina found her way back to me we wandered over to the closest shop and got ourselves a cup of gelato to sit and eat while we enjoyed the fountain. We watched as people tossed coins into the water in hopes of getting their wishes granted. If I remember correctly we tossed a couple in ourselves, but to me I had already had a wish come true just by being there.
Across the street, into another piazza and down a winding side street that was about as wide as an alley, we came to the Pantheon. As you can see by the picture I’m looking a bit beat still. We had sort of just wandered over and it was getting late in the day so we decided to come back another time to actually go inside this beautiful church. (More on the Pantheon in a coupe days.
We followed the crowds back out to the main street and hopped in a taxi since it was starting to get a bit chilly. It dropped us off exactly where we got into the first one since we hadn’t eaten dinner yet and we had seen a tiny little restaurant near our hotel with Al fresco seating. Mario’s is where we ate our first dinner in Rome, learned to order in Italian, was introduced to sparkling water for meals and met some wonderful people from Chicago.
Under the awning they have three or four tables in the evening and we happened to be able to grab one that night thankfully. It was a wonder to watch the traffic and people stroll by as the sunset and the evening rolled in. I don’t remember now what we ate but I do remember that it was delicious and there were zero complaints.
The couple next to us were from Chicago and we sat and chatted with them through the whole meal. They were boarding a cruise the next day and wanted to know if we would use a couple of hop on hop off bus passes that were good for the next two days. They had gotten the three day passes and wouldn’t need them anymore. We happily accepted and toasted to meeting new friends.
After the very lengthy and relaxing dinner we strolled down the hill a block or two before finding ourselves back at our hotel. We sat outside for awhile, gazing at the ruins and soaking in the vibrant energy of the Roman nightlife before heading down a side street and across Via Cavour to a small cafe to get something sweet to take back to our room. Seeing as we were in Italy we picked up a Cannoli and a piece of Tiramisu and headed back to our hotel. We wearily stumbled out of the tiny elevator and down the hallway to our room where we enjoyed our scrumptious desserts before quickly falling into a deep restful sleep.
Day two coming soon!