05 November 2011


Dear 'The Loyal' and other raders,

We were off to Rome. One eight passenger van (the nine paasenger van we had reserved got robbed and recieved a broken window the night day we were going to get it) packed with five adults, two children, and one infant was begining its journey. It was a pretty uneventful drive until becoming driven off course by my GPS which I've come to call Gipsy. Why call it Gipsy? There are three simple reasons one: GPS sounds a little lik gipsy; two: gipsies travel; three: they'll take you for a spin before you find the right way.

I've driven in Rome plenty of times now and it can still get a bit confusing, especially to an American who is used to roads that make sense. Let me paint a piture for you. I was underneath a red brick arch to what used to be part of the Roman aqueduct system when I realized I was in the left turn lane and should be going straight. I checked all mirrors and looked back in preperation for reversing so I can move into the lane next to mine. The traffic is scarce and my mirrors are free of any cars, bikes, mopeds, and/or pedestrians. I wish I had the time to stop before the womn behind me in the tiny red car which fit perfectly into every blind spot I had finished honking. She was stopped so close behind my van I didn't even see her while I was backing up. Thank God there were no injuries and I paid for the insurance on the rental. My first car accident was in Italy and I'm the one to blame; makes me feel horrible.

Eventually we get back on the road and get the correct address input into Gipsy. Several minutes later we arrived at Camping Village Fabulous (funny name, I know). Just west of the city of Rome, the campsite is in a perfect place to stay and save a few extra bucks, if you don't mind the small living arrangements which are all to common in Europe. Or maybe it just seemed small with my entire family inside of it. Just remember to bring your own towels if you're staying for less than a week to avoid using a bed sheet to dry off with. 

As many of you may know I really enjoy meeting new pople and so does my father, but my father is great at it. Our second night there my father met a Scottish man at the bar. He was on vacation with the wife, three kids, thier friends and mothers. Our third night there My sister and I went tho the bar with him and my father's new friend was there as well. After getting a little tipsy we headed back to his campsite and talked of all the things new friends shouldn't speak of: politics, religion, work, war, and yes even sex. The good news is we left on good terms and are now even friends on facebook, but hey isn't everybody a friend on facebook.

Unfortunately, because of bad weather my family did not get to see the inside of the Forum at all, but did get to see the inside of the Colosseum (Flavian Ampitheatre) the second time we traveled to Rome on the trip. It was still a fun filled trip to Rome with new experiences, even for me. For example it was the First timie I went to the Panthenon, which by the way is walking distance from the famed Colosseum and ruined Forum. Also I went to the Cappuchin Crypt (Cripta dei Cappuccini) for the first time, just down the road from the Hard Rock Cafe.

After a few days we left for Tuscany (stay tuned for my Firenze, Greve, Toscana post) and eventually returned to Rome to an open Colosseum, so my family got to see what they wanted: the inside of the Flavian Ampitheatre with an hilarious tour guide named Roberto who had my little brother sit in an ancient bidet. Yes an ancient bidet where Romans used to wash thier butts during the games.

That was the same night my sister had to get to the airport for her long flight back to Australia. We got to our van a little after 6 pm (1800) and I guess the van went shopping for boots, because when we got to it there was a nice yellow boot on one of the tires. I was parked near the Monumento Vittorio Emanuele II and apparently you're not allowed to be parked there without a permit after 1800 and well it was 1815 or so when we got there. Luckily the company was quick to remove the boot for only 40 euro. We were immediately off to the airport and we hit some traffic, but one is bound to in a city like Rome. Fortunately for my sister we made it an hour and a half before her flight which is less than ideal, but managable for an international flight.

We left Rome happy to havve seen Rome, but saddened to lose one of our travelers and ventured back to Naples where we got ready for our long drive to Paris two days later.

As always happy to share,

Please follow and become one of 'The Loyal'.    

1 comment:

  1. Love reliving this journey...thanks Bridges!