Rome! Yes, Rome, Italy.
Our separate arrivals were seamless, JP from Sydney and me from Madrid. No border control so with carry-on it was easy. JP was visible among the hoards as I emerged from the non-existent border controls.
We had booked a car driver from the airport to Trastevere. We were out and on the road in minutes.
Into Rome: to Trastevere
Yes, Rome. And the area between it and the airport looks like most cities, not especially interesting. Passed Paul’s gate, St Paul’s and the city started to look more interesting.
Then we were crossing the Tiber River. Yes! The repository of bodies, rubbish and everything else over the millennia. Now with a central island. Well for the past few thousand years anyhow.
And then we stopped nearby, at a small plaza, to meet the mother of our Airbnb person. She is delightful and we had the best tour I’ve ever had of any Airbnb apartment in any country. JP chose well: good location and a lovely place. I feel as though I need to wash everything after the Airbnb place I had in Madrid with its dirty shower, god awful mattress with plastic cover and horrible sheets. Ugh. Moving on…..
We are in the suburb of Trastevere. Down the river from the Vatican and over it from lots else. An archetypal inner city suburb where people live and work around the tourists and many restaurants. More on Trastevere later.
Not far from the area called Ancient Rome with its iconic Colosseum, Constantine’s Arch,
and various ruins. Places like the Forum and the remains of the buildings on the Palatine hill, unused for nearly a couple of millenia, subsequently pillaged for marble and other building materials for centuries, grazed over, neglected for a long time are ruins.
Thursday night in Rome, then off to Venice, by train, for Friday night. Then back to Rome on Saturday.
The countryside travelling north from Rome to Florence is beautiful: gentle rolling hills; villages up on hillsides, often with their own castle; crops of yellow canola; cereals at the early green stage; grape vines with early soft green leaves and shoots; and, no stock and no fences.
Definitely worth travelling by train if you are going north. Also avoids having to confront Italian drivers! From how they drive in Rome, I’m guessing they are still brake reliant on country roads.