Organic Roma

Yesterday was one of the most amazing days of my life!  I got a full night’s sleep, showered, dressed, and had coffee and a pastry at the cafe across from my hotel, and then headed to the Forum and the Coliseum.  Those are breathtaking sites that I can’t even begin to describe.  It is so amazing that Julius Caesar walked those streets.  I saw his tomb, and there are fresh flowers on it.  I can’t get over the history.  The Coliseum was dedicated in 80AD, and yesterday it was covered in tourists admiring its grandeur.  I listened to Rick Steves’s free podcasts and he walked me through both sites.  I learned so much!  After I finished with those, I decided to rent a bike and go to Appia Antica, which is one of the earliest and most important Roman roads. As I approached the bike rental location across from the Coliseum, there was a backpacker there inquiring about a bike for himself.  I heard him speaking English, so we started talking.  He had no plan on where to go on his bike, and when I said that I was going to Appia Antica, he asked if he could join me.  We spent hours biking down the road and then back.  We stopped on the way back for a cold beverage, and decided we weren’t ready for the day to be over.  We went exploring around the old cobblestone streets, and while crossing an intersection, my bike got a flat tire and I was thrown from it–in the middle of the sidewalk!  I only have a scratched up foot and a wounded pride, thankfully.  We walked the bikes back to the rental place, and decided to go for a walk along the Tiber River.  It was an amazing site.  When it got dark, we saw St. Peter’s Basilica and Castle Sant’Angelo glowing in the Roman sky.  Breathtaking.  We dined at a restaurant recommended to us by two old Italian women, and we were the only English speakers in the restaurant–no other tourists!  Yes!  I had canneloni and he had spaghetti carbonara–both were divine.  After dinner we went back to the river and shared a bottle of wine with a lovely view of Ponte Sant’Angelo…while we were talking, an impromptu fireworks show took place over the river! Unbelievable!  I was so excited to have someone to share these experiences with…I took very few pictures because my camera battery was dead, but it was kind of nice to just experience the day instead of photographing it.  I hope that I have made  a true friend in Arturo, who is originally from Brazil but now lives in London, where he had to return today.  I was so very thankful for his company and the organic progression of the day.  That day was how I hoped this trip would be…I can’t wait to have more experiences like those!

Today I hope to visit the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica.  Crossing my fingers for a manageable queue!

Love to you all…