United Kingdom, Italy · 3 Days · 13 Moments · October 2017

Rome 2017

7 October 2017

We disembark at our starting point at the Colloseum and head up the hill toward our apartment. A young Asian girl is having her photo taken with the Colloseum in the background. Sorry, correction. A young Asian girl is having a catalogue of the same photo take with the Colloseum in the background. Extraordinary. We are so thirsty we decide to head to the Tea Room opposite our apartment on Santi Quattro. I order an Earl grey and and English Breakfast tea for Bill. Even though he's been drinking it every day since he arrived in Rome, he still thinks I'm ordering food. Bill steps outside for a cigarette and witnesses and man be arrested by 3 Plain clothes policemen. The man resists arrest and a fight breaks out. They manage to get him into the car, only for him to escape from the opposite door. They eventually subdue him and get him securely into the vehicle as other police turn up at the scene. Times like these, I wish I smoked.
The tour bus is empty as we board, so we go upstairs. The bus takes us across the water and to Piazza Cavour. 'Oh I recognise this place' Says Bill 'We've not been this far up and this side of the river' say I. Bill is puzzled. A brief stop at Piazza Bernini and Bill drops off. To sleep that is.
The plan this morning is to find where our boat leaves from this evening. Embarkation Point Sant Angelo. We navigate our way through the massive crowds of Piazza Della Rotonda, transverse the Piazza Navona, stop and buy ice cream at the Fridgidarium and sit under a tree at Chiesa Nuova to consume it before it turns back into milk. We head down Via Governo Vecchio and onto the Ponteland Sant Angelo. I figure that as the boarding point is called Sant Angelo it'll be across the other side. Unfortunately I am mistaken and we after walking down some very steep steps, we see our goal across the water. I look at the steps we've clambered down and wish there was some sort of disabled access.
Birthday breakfast in The Scholars bar. After what seemed and eternity, the Green Line Tour bus arrived at the Colloseum full to brimming. Luckily, another bus was behind and most of the crowd jostled to get on that one. It too was jam packed. We alighted at Piazzo Venezia and walked the 10 or so minutes to the bar. Expecting it to be full, it was near empty and we took a seat by the window and ordered an Irish Beeakfast Two eggs, two sausages, toast, beans, tomatoes and bacon later we get up to leave. ' don't know if I should put my jacket on' Bill debates 'Think about that outside' I suggest and walk outside. 10 minutes later, there is still no sign of Bill I realise that I've left my sunglasses and head inside. He and my glasses have disappeared A side door opens and I catch a glimpse of him puffing on a cigarette. We'd been at opposite sides of the building all along!
Happy birthday to me!

6 October 2017

Blimmin rain. 10 Euros for a brolly.

5 October 2017

We've spent what seems like a whole day in Rome. Bill, sick of travelling and not being able to smoke for what seems like an eternity, finally lights up a cigarette outside of Termini Station. 'I'll go and stand in the queue for a taxi' I tell him 'No. Let's walk. I need some fresh air' as he inhales on his fresh air production my ciggie. So, I grab my phone and plumb the address of our B&B I to Google. Stumbling over people and getting tapped behind people lost in their own world, we make it to Santi Quattro al Colloseo. Looking red in the face and sweat dripping off us from the 25 degree heat, we meet Fabrizio who shows us to our apartment at no 54. It's a room. It'll do. We shower and change and head out...Bill looking for cigarettes and the Colloseum Bar where we'll have breakfast. After purchasing the sacred ciggies, we head through the Domus Aurea and the baths of Trajan. To be continued.....
We are met with views of homeless people sleeping under the trees. Mountains of rubbish lying around so we decide to turn around and head towards somewhere else. We don't really know where we are going until we get to San Pietro in Vincoli. Now I have a rough idea where we are. We head towards Termini to get our barings as Bill wants to visit the Flann Obrien. We are stopped by a nice chap trying to sell us tickets for the Hop on Hop off bus. As we are hungry, we tell him, we'll find him tomorrow so he gets his commission. I let Bill find the way to the Flann where we spent our evenings with my sister and brother in law last year. We meet brother and sister, Brooke and Blake who are travelling Europe and stay more than we planned. They are good company and Bill finds a companion to share his ciggies with. I come back from the loo to find Bill with a handful of trinkets.... We force the items back to the hawker and say our goodbyes to our new friends. The hawker follows us
We turn off Via Nationale and head towards the Quirinale. There's a heavy police and Carabineiri presence, not just because we are at their headquarters, but something is a foot. Not sure what, but I doubt we'd be impressed if we knew, so we head to the Trevi. We wind our way through the crowds, admiring the fountain and its crystal clear water and head in the direction of the Pantheon. The Piazza Della Rotonda looms in front of us and I ask Bill if he wants to eat here are walk 10 mins to Piazza Navona. 'We'll go where it's less busy' he says We head out of the square and he asks 'Are we far from the Pantheon?' 🤦🏻‍♀️ We turn around and head back 'Ah bloody hell' Bill laughs. We have dinner at Napoletanos. Bruschetta, Lasagana for Bill and Pollo with grilled veg for me. A wonderful day topped off with the illuminated Colloseum.
We've boarded and I've kicked an elderly couple out of their seats. I've let the lady have my window seat so I can sit opposite Bill in the aisle. Bill is a little upset that he didn't have time to get a pint and smoke a tab. Well,that's his fault for waiting for me to come out of the Ladies and then going himself....for a No.2. He preferred to stand and whinge behind me as I bought a sandwich and a drink, instead of beetling off and sorting his addictions out. 'I normally have an hour' he grumbles. 'Well, you can't be having No.2's just as the gate is opening' Ffs As we came through security, he's getting himself all wound up due to the electronic security scanning. I pass him my phone so that he can scan himself him as I go through first. He's shaking as he comes through 'I'll have to have my boarding card when I go to Spain'. He's sketching already about his trip to Spain... We're all aboard and ready to go!!!
I don't think either of us slept very well last night with a Force 10 Gale blowing outside. The Gail inside wanted to sleep. Bill shot out of bed just before 5am in a panic. 'We've got to be there at 6!' Chill your beans Bill man. Last check in is 7:25. Packed the last of everything I own into my suitcase. I'm taking far too much, but 'I want to have a choice'. Liam didn't want us to wake him up before we leave 'Write me a note or send me a text'. How times have changed. We are having a cup of coffee before we go. Our dog Archie is trying to sleep while Bill is waffling on about Brexit and how crap David Davis is.