Rome was everything I had imagined it would be and more. I've always been fascinated with the idea of Rome. I was utterly addicted to HBO's gorgeous series with the same name. I love reading historical fiction especially when it is set in ancient Roman times. So it was very possible Rome would not be able to live up to my fanciful version. Rome not only lived up to, but far surpassed my imagined version of the capitol.
We made it to Rome after a restful 3 hour train ride from Venice. And immediately the atmosphere of our trip changed. We went from almost tranquil Venice to the bustling, alive, packed - nearly overrun - city of Rome. After checking into our apartment just off the bustling, happening Campo di Fiori we walked to the Pantheon.
Even with the scaffolding covering half the front facade and the stifling crowds, which we would later learn was nothing compared to the Vatican crowds, the Pantheon was awe-inspiring. It was a great start to our walk. For a little revitalization Richard found a great gelato find, Della Palma. The crowds, again, were crazy. They must have had about 60 flavors for sale. After our gelato refresher, we hit Trevi Fountain - another place absolutely crawling with people. Then we made our way around to Bourghese Park, the Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Navona. Piazza Navona is the setting for the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, which was unfortunately being cleaned therefore completely covered with plywood and scaffolding. Being thoroughly exhausted we somehow gave in to Angelos's charms and ate dinner at his touristy place on Piazza Navona. It was overpriced and definitely not the best food, but the atmosphere of the piazza at twilight was just perfect. And watching Angelo wrangle more tourists in made for quite a show. We gladly retired that evening after one more gelato of course. This time at Giolitti. My amaretto and caramel combo was delightful though it was hard to beat Della Palma's biscotti and Irish whiskey combination. Next up the Vatican.