After the LONG haul from Australia via Dubai (the most multicultural airport i have so far been in) we finally arrived at the Fiumicino – Leonardo da Vinci airport of Rome at about 1:30 pm local time. I was no doubt exhausted but that feeling soom morphed into adrenalin as my lovely driver (a non catholic man living near vatican city, with a dog named lucy and dreams of moving to Umbria and being a painter) drove me past countless iconic monuments and buildings as we wound our way to the apartment address in Rome’s Centro Storico
we were OFF! First stop the ridiculously large Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II) or Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) which celebrates the first king of unified Italy. Glaringly white and highly conspicuous amidst the generally brownish buildings, its stacked, crowded nature has lent it several derogatory nicknames like “the wedding cake” and “the false teeth”, while Americans invading Rome in 1944 labeled it “the typewriter”. Despite all this criticism, the monument still attracts a large number of visitors as we soon found.
Just around the corner we found Trajan’s Column which commemorates Roman emperor Trajan’s victory in the Dacian Wars and was completed in 113 – 1879 YEARS AGO! And had lunch overlooking the remnants of Trajan’s Forum – our first authentic Italian meal … mmmmmmmmmmmmm
It was then just a hop skip and a jump passed several statues of various Roman Emperors tooooo the Colosseum! Having seen it so many times before it was hard to fathom it in real life – so familiar yet so bizarre. The largest ever built in the Roman Empire, it is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering – quite understandably. Constructed between 70 and 72 AD, in it’s hey day it was capable of seating 50,000 spectators who would have gathered to watch gladiatorial contests, mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.
and made our way into cobbled streets and alleyways in our search for some basic food for the apartment. We bought cheese, salami, artichokes, semi dried tomatoes and wine from a tiny shop which sold only produce from Sardegna.
and then returned home with our goodies and created a delicious selection of antipasti for a quick and wonderfully authentic meal.
THAT WE ENJOYED ON OUR ROOFTOP TERRACE!!!!! With cruisy Italian music playing from my ipod, sipping on wine, sampling cheese and putting various delicacies on our olive oil soaked bread we sat back and watched the sun set over Rome