April 13, 2007
You learn a lot when you are traveling. About yourself, your traveling companions, the place you are traveling in, the people who live there, as well as the other people who like to travel there, and yes, about travel itself. Yes, my recent trip was chocked full of such lessons. I hope that I have learned well from each and every lesson, and that the knowledge learned will be stored forever in my memory banks…to be pulled out at the appropriate time when needed in the future. The first of my (hard learned) lessons is to bring at least one change of clothes with you on the plane as carry on! Then the worries of lost luggage are for the moment, not so hard to take.Another lesson is Holidays; whose holiday is it, when and what do they do to observe/celebrate it. Is the whole country on holiday as well? Does this play some religious importance as well? Research and do some homework before, it will pay off. Did you know that the Monday following Easter is ‘Little Easter’ and also observed as a holiday in Italy? I do now.I am not a big fan of large crowds; you will never find me at Time Square on New Years Eve. The streets of Rome during Easter week were just a sea of people! Some of the major downtown streets were closed to traffic to allow the mass of people some free space to walk. It had a very carnival feel, and the weather was perfect! The temps were in the upper 60s.
Walking through the Borghese Gardens was breathtaking, the spring blooms on the trees and the sculptures everywhere. Watching the Romans at play and rest in the park was great fun; from the teens playing football (soccer), the sun worshipers, the young lovers kissing, older people reading on the benches, to the family asleep on a large air mattress in the shade. Vendors dot the scenery selling everything from sunglasses to gelato to balloons. We began all of our walking jaunts starting in the gardens.The famous sights were just packed with people.
The Pantheon was actually open to the public; they were having Easter Sunday mass there the following day. It is very impressive; the red marble there is the rarest in the world!
The Spanish Steps were celebrating April with a gorgeous blanket of azaleas in large terracotta pots. They were also covered with tourist, which made it tricky maneuvering down them with out stepping on any fingers.
I must say that I do want to go back to Rome again! Yes, yes, yes I did truly love it there! Equipped with my newly learned lessons and some tried and true old ones in my bag I will be set. There is still so much more to learn and explore! It is so large and lovely the short time that I did have to explore was just a drop in the bucket! I will check the calendar for any holidays that are coming up and miss them completely! Try not to go when there is a crush of people, and of course pack a change of clothes in my carry on!Arriva derche Roma…..I’ll be back!!!