Wednesday, April 13, 2011

il secundo

Mom and I really only had four days in Rome, yet I have slightly more than 300 photos to choose from for this final installment of The Great Italian Adventure.

Our hotel, whose flag never hung straight for photos.

Wider view of the hotel and Via di Pietra, our pretty cafe lined street

Somehow a month has gone by since my trip began, and now that the jetlag and laundry and backlog of life has caught up, I can finally find the time to pore over all of those gorgeous photos and start to really miss Rome. I miss all of Italy, but Rome was something special to me. Being with mom, having free time as opposed to the scheduled conference experiences in Reggio, and just drinking in the wine city and all its glorious, eternal spirit. Mostly being with mom, who is so funny and game and steadfast and lovely and smart and generous and intuitive and fun. Can you think of a better travel mate? I miss my Roman Mama. And I am dying to see her photos!

Cafe on our piazza, our hotel is the building on the left corner with the light

After our operatic adventure, mom and I went back up to the terrace for a nightcap. (Mom, I can’t believe we didn’t get a photo of our buddy up there. You wrote his name in your calendar, what was it?)* He was so awesome. He was forever bringing us stuff like this:

*Mom's recollection of our favorite guy's name is that it was "something girly"... I browsed their online guest book to verify: Camillo

That night mom was downstairs checking in on the computer and I foraged ahead to get our libations. Camillo asked where mom was and how we had enjoyed the opera, and I gushed a little bit about how we felt that dad was there with us, although we’d recently lost him. He nearly leapt over the bar to clasp my hands in despair. A few minutes later, as I sat poring over soon-to-be-described surprising discoveries in my guide book, Camillo rushed over to me and asked: “Is your mama okay with the stairs? They are shutting off the elevator.” I informed him that while spry and agile as a fox, my mama was not okay with climbing the five flights of stairs to the terrace at that particular moment. He replied gravely: “I’ll alert Jacimo.” As mom tells it, the bellboy soon tapped her on the shoulder and told her she was needed in the bar, lol. My new favorite catch phrase? I'll alert Jacimo.

It was Friday night and we had the whole weekend ahead of us. After a day and a half of tooling around the city on our open air bus tour, we had a pretty good sense of what we wanted to do and we set about making a plan. We knew for sure that we would go to the Vatican on Saturday, because its museums were closed on Sundays. As I started to read through the Vatican section of my guide book, it occurred to me that I should look a little more closely at that paragraph about random catholic holidays (sorry, St. Joseph) that sometimes screw the plans of poorly prepared tourists.

Poorly prepared tourists, please wave.

Hi Mom! I’m waving too!

So yeah, that was dumb. The feast of St. Joseph was that very Saturday. Too bad there’s nothing else of interest or beauty to see in St. Peter’s Square.

We overheard a tour guide referring to this guy as an "important Pope". You know, as opposed to the chump Popes.


We spent hours exploring the basilica and surrounding wonders, had lunch, then nabbed another ride on the bus with the notion to explore our old buddy Victor himself. I had read about an Ascensori Panoramici (aka mom’s worst nightmare) that would take me to see Roma dal Cielo – Rome from the sky!

I ascended.

I took special note of the pantheon’s dome in relation to our home base, because we knew it wasn’t far but we had yet to visit. It was on the list.

Later that afternoon, we were strolling around our neighborhood looking at trinkets and novelties that we might want to bring back to the poor desperate bastards at home. We were chatting about our evening plans, which centered around exploring the Piazza Navona area and finding a(nother) great restaurant. Our strategy for choosing restaurants was to determine what we were in the mood for, then find it. We always gravitated to outdoor seating, with sun and good people watching. We’d generally want pizza, panini, or pasta, so we’d look at menus and walk a lot and then we’d always find it. So on that Saturday afternoon stroll we determined that it was a pasta night. We decided to finish the block and then head back to get ready for the evening. There were good shops to come back to, so in an effort to remember our location, we took note of their names. Pantheon market, right next to the Pantheon Hotel. Wait a minute…..what is at the end of this block?

Oh look, a Pantheon!

Later we found ourselves underwhelmed with that evening’s ambiance at Piazza Navona,

These guys are always ready to party, but the mortals were weirdos that night.

so we ventured into the surrounding area to find our perfect pasta spot. We chose a place with pretty pink lighting.

And toasted the end of another perfect day. No thanks to you, St. Joseph.

I'll alert Jacimo.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Wow. Magnificent, Jacquie. Magnifico. I love every one of those beautiful photos, and I love your spectacular writing.

Mom was actually emailing us, her stateside daughters, when she was summoned to the bar. I am eyewitness: she did not tarry. I love that your man Camillo took such good care of you and your mama.

"Oh look! A Pantheon!"

I love it. More, more, more!

Amor, mor, mor!

Mom C said...

I love it too Jacquie, what a treat first thing in the morning. Ellie, that was the only time I went near the computer - wasn't going to miss any more "cocktails on the roof terrace" time... Thank you Jacq.... love, mom

MB said...

Great recap, great pix, Jacq! Love seeing you & Mom in Rome! xoxo

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Love, love, love!

You two are the cutest travel mates ever. And I agree, damn that St. Joseph!