Norm’s Overseas Odyssey 2005 – 2006 – Episode Eight

Our  “Roman Holiday”

Friday 11th November 2005

After some frustrating delays with our flights to and from Heathrow, we were whisked into Rome by one of those taxi-drivers whose intent seemed to be to frighten the living daylights out of his front-seat passenger – me! And he succeeded!! Our hotel, “Nazionale A Montecitorio” was central, comfortable and quiet, and I would have no hesitation in recommending it.

Saturday 12th November 2005

The Colosseum, surprise, surprise!
12 November 2005

Appropriately fed and suitably rested, we began our exploration of Rome in earnest on Saturday. It had dawned a beautiful clear day with the promise of welcome warmth – and that is how it turned out.
After a leisurely stroll to the Colosseum which we had visited previously (and for which the waiting queue dissuaded us from a return one), we moved on to the Palatine Hill and, later, the Forum.
I had no conception of the extent of the site or the number of structures it contained all of which contributed to the amount of time we spent there – though it has to be said that the shortage of helpful direction or identification signs slowed our progress somewhat.

Denise checking out the foundations – somewhere near the Jewish Quarter
14 November 2005

Later in the day we made our “obligatory” visit to the Trevi Fountain which was every bit as attractive – and crowded – as I remember it being. The day was rounded out with one of those Italian meals that is simply great because that’s how it is – “simple”! And in case you wanted to know – and even if you didn’t – the homemade tiramisu was more than matched by the roast wild boar that preceded it.

Sunday 13th and Monday 14th November 2005

Sunday and Monday, both of which would have earned an “Indian Summer” rating anywhere, saw us moving from galleries to churches to museums and to well-known (and less well-known) archaeological sites – just soaking up the history and culture that is Rome. That all of this moving about was interspersed with sustaining lunches and a couple of stunning dinners just added another dimension.

View over The Forum
14 November 2005

Tuesday 15th November 2005

As our plane didn’t leave until Tuesday afternoon, we were able to fit in a visit to another of the major galleries followed by a really special lunch at what had become our favourite family-run restaurant.
The taxi ride to the airport was as fast as the incoming one, but less hair-raising – and, as it turned out, less expensive!

There were delays again at both Rome and Heathrow and, in my case, a delayed suitcase, all of which meant a very late arrival back to a cold and wet Manchester! But not even that could dampen what really was a wonderful experience – for which my thanks to Roger and Denise for asking me to share it with them.

Photos: Roger, Denise’s and my Roman Holiday – 11th to 15th November 2005