Every once in a while moms and dads need to get away on their own. Toss in a romantic, ancient yet modern locale, a mega yacht, Italian wine for lunch and you have one dream vacation. Such was my reality just last week.
Some 22 hours and 6,000 miles after leaving home our spirits soared as our Boeing 767 lightly touched down at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport. Passing immigration was a breeze and both pieces of our luggage landed down the ramp almost immediately. Stepping outside, our prearranged ride was waiting and in no time we were zipping through the Italian motorway on our way to our "Home in Rome", the Amaranto Romano.
With our trip being somewhat last minute, accommodations were a tad hard to come by in the areas of Rome that we most desired. A tip from a bed and breakfast contact sent me in the direction of Nadia's newly opened Amaranto Romano, and we couldn't have been luckier. Set conveniently on the Via Nazionale in the heart of Rome, public transportation is readily available but not really needed. In our four day visit out feet took us to all the major tourist attractions as well as delightful meals and of course a bit of shopping.
|The Amaranto Romano. Clockwise from upper left: An elevator built for two (or one and two big pieces of luggage!), the snack area, day room in our room (this was my favorite place to sit and review photos from the day!), Nadia and me, and our beds.|
Discovering a delightful restaurant, Gli Angeletti Ristorante, only a few blocks away we ordered the most Italian thing we could think of and within minutes a 1/2 liter of red wine arrived accompanied by a plateful of Bruschetta and a pail of Italian Salamis. Toasting the beginning of our vacation we clinked our glasses, smiled with anticipation and dug in to our first real meal in 24 hours. Fresh flavors of tomato, local olive oil and spices had us gushing to no end and fully enjoying our first taste of Italy. Thin slices of salami topped the remaining bread and we leaned back, already content.
Minutes later more Italian delights were delivered in the form of steaming, cheesy lasagna. Choosing two different varieties to share we smiled with pleasure at our first bites and knew we were not in San Diego any more.
Dinner finished and with the sun setting, we made our way in the direction of one of Rome's most recognized sites, the Colosseum. With vehicles zipping past at amazing speeds we took care to cross the streets teeming with scooters, motorcycles and cars as we made our way across the cobblestones. Turning the corner of a busy street we both gasped in awe as the street ended in the glow of the ancient Colosseum bathed in the golden hues of the setting sun.
I think this is when it really hit us that we were genuinelty in the Eternal City. Meandering around the site we took in the arena as well as the Arch of Constantine which is situated between the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. Fantastic structures in an amazing setting.
With the sun dipping below the horizon we made our way back through the busy streets just as most of the locals were headed out for the evening. Back at the Amaranto Romano we finally laid our tired and jet lagged heads on those inviting pillows with dreams of gladiators and Italian wine soon to follow. Tomorrow the Colosseum would be ours along with an eagerly anticipated tour of the Roman Forum.