It’s been over a year since my honeymoon. John and I spent two weeks traveling around Italy, and so far it stands as the greatest trip of my life. Rome is probably my favorite city in the world, and I hope to go back again soon. But I have a seriously embarrassing admission. I took – literally – thousands of photographs on our trip, and have only post processed maybe… 20. Tops. And I never actually wrote about any of our adventures here. High speed train rides; navigating the Italian highway; how we climbed a giant, winding staircase in a garden in Florence in the rain – assuming we’d be rewarded with a spectacular view or some amazing Italian artwork and found… nothing; gelato for breakfast; the time I thought we ran over a WOMAN’S CHILD in Siena. (It turned out to be an empty shopping cart, but it was the scariest ten seconds of my life.)
So last night I dug the unedited photographs off my external harddrive, and decided it was time for them to see the light of day. I spent the evening wrapped up in them, editing and reliving those perfect two weeks. Thinking of chocolate gelato, drinking wine in Tuscany, long walks back to our hotel after dinner at night, and Italian coffee (when I taste good Italian coffee at a restaurant now… sometimes I cry. Seriously. John gets really embarassed.)
I was afraid of never writing any of them down, of the photographs languishing on my harddrive. Of the whole trip disappearing into the fog. So this is late. A year and three months late. But better late than never.
Photographs interspersed with stories of our trip. So I never forget. First up… Rome.
We stayed at the top of the Spanish Steps. The hotel had the tiniest elevator ever; I held my breath every time we took it to our room on the fifth floor. The hotel had at the greatest coffee in the world, and I kind of couldn’t wait to get out of bed everyday and run downstairs for a pot.
The Spanish Steps were always packed with people. Tourists and men handing out roses for change. They kept pressing the roses into my hand, and I kept pressing them back. “No, no, no.” I did not want to trade a euro for a rose. It was a lesson I’d learned the hard way at Sacre Coeur in Paris two years earlier. We would walk out of the hotel, buy gelato from a cart at the top of the steps, and find a place to sit on the stairs, eat our gelato, and people watch. Watch the tourists fight a losing battle with the rose men.
I think it was our second day. The jet lag was starting to come down like a hammer. We were wandering around, and found ourselves in Piazza Navona. We found a table at a cafe and spent the rest of the day eating pasta, drinking wine, and watching the street performers. An escape artist, a seemingly homeless man with a boom box who lip-synced opera, a quartet of old men musicians, a young kid with a guitar. We sat and talked and it was one of my favorite days.
We visited the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, threw a coin in Trevi Fountain, and looked through the Knights of Malta keyhole to see St. Peter’s Basilica. The history nerd in me freaked out. It was surreal, and all much larger than I’d expected for some reason.
I liked the sometimes narrow, winding streets. Little secrets tucked away. I did not like feeling like I was going to be run over by a scooter every time I crossed the street there. Rome was smaller then I imagined it to be, and easily walkable.
On our fifth day we took a train to Florence. My second time on a high speed train. I went to the bathroom and accidentally dropped my sunglasses in the toilet. Obviously I left them there.
Next week… photos from Florence!