Roman Holiday

We returned from our quick sprint through Rome last night, boarding our plane in Rome on Saturday night at 4:00 p.m., Maryland time, and finally arriving at BWI yesterday afternoon. We’re exhausted, and I’m nursing a weird cross between allergies and a head cold (and my ears have yet to unplug from the pressure change on the airplane), but the trip was a rousing success.

Despite the brevity of our visit and the time Barb had to devote to her conference, we still managed to hit all the big sites in the area, snapping lots of photos (a few of which I might post here) and dodging speeding Roman traffic.  Roman pedestrians, we found, are absolutely fearless about stepping off a curb into the whoosh of traffic, casually holding up one hand to slow oncoming traffic even as they step directly into the path of a speeding Fiat.  We felt rather wimpy standing there — in a crosswalk, no less — waiting helplessly for traffic to break, before finally following close behind an elderly gentleman who went around us and stepped in front of  a screaming milk truck, confident it would stop if he barely raised his hand.  And it did.

The weather was colder than normal — we seem to have a knack for hitting places during an unseasonable spell of weather — but the cold also kept the sites virtually free of vistors, so we were able to get into the Sistene Chapel and St. Peter’s with absolutely zero wait.  Our only real disappointment came when we located the church of San Luigi dei Francesi and found that the three Caravaggio paintings in the Contarelli Chapel were being restored and were therefore unavailble for viewing. 

But we’ll be back — we know so, because we threw coins over our shoulders into the Trevi Fountain.

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