Rome, Vatican City, a set on Flickr.
ROME. I wrote this entry already a week ago but accidentally lost over 1,000 words when I had a browser mishap. The place where I had been typing the entry was on Flickr right on the photo set page and it doesn't back up what you write so once you've left the page, it's gone. The worst part for me was that I was nearly done! I had a couple sentences left to write to wrap it up and then I would have clicked the button to post. I was |thisclose| and in one second, all was lost. I was so upset and frustrated. Even now, days later, I'm still reluctant to try again. I had written about most everything, both good and bad, about our time in Rome and to have to try and write about it once more, well, it sucks. Also, if I hadn't mucked up, the post would have gone up exactly one month after we had left Rome and arrived back in Canada.
Can I do this in point form instead? Please? Blah!
As mentioned before, we were tired of traveling by the time we got to Rome. Visiting Pompeii helped to reignite the wonder but by the time we left Rome to go home, we were certainly ready. Still, there were some highlights. It was definitely a city where one could get an idea of the layers of civilizations, what with the ruins that might be in a square with an intersection around it, across from a big modern bookstore. But Rome was mostly rain and annoying umbrella sellers. The guided tours were hit and miss. I think our first night there where we wandered the streets together and happened upon the beautiful Fontana di Trevi and noticed places for ourselves was best. Only regret is that we didn't have the time to go back and truly experience the Coliseum and Forum ruins (that experience was entirely restricted and ruined by the worst tour guide ever) and when we were driven to the airport as we were leaving, we saw even more beautiful ruins and gardens that would have been wonderful to explore and photograph but alas! It was another one of those 'can't see it all / can't do it all' moments that happened more than once during our whirlwind two weeks.
In the original post I had written about Rome, I was much more detailed, sigh. I said specifically why the tour guide was bad. I wrote about when we first arrived in Rome and how it felt to return to Rome after the overnight in Sorrento / daytrip to Capri. Hiding out in our hotel room because we were exhausted and there were protesters in the streets (helicopters in the air, police vans, etc!) and oh, of how we watched the news and the continued Rob Ford saga - couldn't even get away from it when we went to another part of the world, eh?
About that, the most recent scandal had blown up the news at the end of October, right before we left the start of November. For those two weeks, somehow the Toronto Mayor was on BBC News and then the comedy and late night talk shows. It was disgusting but hard to look away from, especially seeing as you could tell he was loving the attention. (And so he's become Newsmaker of the Year for many publications - spectacle of scandal if you ask me!) And I know this post should be about Rome but this was part of the experience. The headline news of a crack-smoking rich entitled lying mayor of the city I love in contrast to the unreported protests that were going on in Rome and other parts of Italy. I would have liked to have heard more about that but I have the feeling that as a tourist, I was supposed to just spend my money and stay out of trouble. We did that.
Except for that time we almost got in a street fight with some jerk who was trying to get us to sign something and didn't accept my "No thank you" --- oh man, it got nasty. I even turned video on for the last part of the confrontation, mostly because I wanted proof just in case things got really out of hand but it's too bad I hadn't already been taking video from the start so you could have seen how it began and the very graphic gestures that guy made at me. Extremely offensive. While mocking and yelling at me as we were walking away. It was enough that my much too passive husband (seriously, he's a very passive guy which is why I broke up with him years ago thinking it just couldn't work between us because I'm used to / drawn to more dominant personalities) but yes, when he stopped and turned around and walked back toward the guy, whoa. I would not have let it escalate to violence (if anything, I would have been the one to slap the guy across the face because he made me so furious) and I pulled my partner away (even though I was shaking with adrenalin) but I do have to say, I was touched that when it came down to it, he wasn't going to let a guy insult me like that. It surprised me because I didn't know he'd stand up for me in that way. I was moved by this and it was good to know he had my back. We had each others, eh?
I took a lot of photos in Rome when we were out, most of the time while carrying an umbrella (and getting soaked anyway) while trying to keep my camera lens dry. I foursquare'd all over the place and used MapMyWalk throughout our travels in Italy. Rome wasn't my favourite destination but it has so many iconic monuments and structures that one can still be impressed. Got lucky enough to find a good shop here and there (old bookstore! owner said he'd been there over 50 years! I couldn't buy books there because they were all in Italian but I have these lovely prints of nearby places and because he appreciated my enthusiasm about his store full of old books, he gave me a print drawing of his store for free!) but yes, not my favourite city on our honeymoon in Italy, but I would go again if but to wander through more ruins thoroughly.
On the plane ride home (oh god I hate traveling by plane for 10 hours) I watched 'Angels & Demons' (starring Tom Hanks) which featured many places and streets we saw in Rome (including the Pantheon) and Vatican City, which would have been better only if I could have been so lucky to see Papa Francesco. Before our trip there were shows and movies on tv that took place in Italy and after getting home, I read a few books that also took place in cities we visited and it added more resonance to the experience.
I swear, the first time I wrote this entry (days ago) it was far better. More detailed. Ah well.
related: an overnight stay in Sorrento with a daytrip visit to Capri & Anacapri -> click here!
quick stop in Naples and exploration of Pompeii ruins -> here!
then off to see Florence, Tuscany here!
& look at dreamy Venice, Italy here!
& I loved Como, Brunate, Lake Como here!