by Melinda Gallo

Enchanted and exhausted

Dave and I got a taxi ride from the northern area of Rome, Cassia, to the Termini train station. We went to the deposito bagagli to drop off our luggage so that we could visit Rome. We ended up not checking in our portable computers after I saw the men throw the luggage onto carts to take them downstairs. So, unfortunately we had to lug them around town with us all day.

Living in Florence :: Enchanted and exhausted

It was noon when we walked out of the Termini train station and got onto an autobus a due piani "topless" (open-top double-decker bus). At first I was going to get a taxi, but a man asked me if I wanted a taxi and wanted to charge us 26 Euros to go to Piazza Navona from Termini. After talking with him a little bit, he said, "Potreste prendere l'autobus 64 e vi costa solo qualche Euro" (You could take bus 64 and it'll only cost you a few Euros).

For 13 Euros each, we could get on and off of the bus at any of the eleven stops on the tour. We were taken to all the main tourist spots, like Piazza Venezia, Colosseo, Bocca della veritą, San Pietro, Piazza della Repubblica, and many others.

We wanted to get off at the Colosseo, but there were long lines to get in and we'd rather visit it during the week when there might be fewer people. We got off at Piazza Venezia to take a few pictures of the Palazzo Venezia (shown here), which is just awesome. There is no other word to describe this prodigious building. We got onto the next bus and went to Piazza Navona for lunch.

We ate in a small ristorante on a side street and then walked to Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and the Fontana di Trevi. We basically did the same tour we did the other night, but backwards; however, we didn't go to the Piazza di Spagna.

We got back on the bus at Piazza Venezia and then then got off at San Pietro. We took a few pictures of the cattedrale and piazza and saw people lining up to get in. We were afraid of going too quickly through the church and didn't really want to walk around with our computers on our shoulders. We got back on the bus and were taken through the Piazza del Popolo, which looked like a great area to visit.

I loved that there are so many terraces at bars and restaurants in almost every piazza in Rome. Dave and I wanted to find a spot in the sun to sit and have a drink until our tour was cut short when the bus wasn't permitted to go on the via del Corso because there were manifestazioni (demonstrations). When we bought the tickets for the bus, the woman told us that there might be problems, but we didn't think they would just park the bus in Piazza Cavour. We took a taxi to the Termini train station and caught the next train back to Florence.

I fell asleep on the train and was just happy to be sitting down and to not have to look around any more. I think I might have visual overload: Rome is so beautiful and we tried to take in so much in just a few hours that I am just exhausted.

We got back to Florence at around 7PM. It felt great to be back to our cittą provinciale (provincial city). Florence seemed quieter to me even though there was the normal commotion of people, buses, and cars. I was so pleased to see the narrow one-way streets, the motorini surrounding our taxi, and the Duomo that seemed so huge to me before now seemed just right.

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