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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 9
Europe 2007
London, Tuscany, Paris


Day 4
London - Rome

Woke up to another cold, grey, damp, dreary, delightful London morning. Caught breakfast at the hotel, then walked up and down a few of the blocks near the hotel. Every time we visit London, we can feel the "ghosts of London," as Mark Knopfler says.


We had a bit of a wait at Heathrow, but we enjoyed exploring the old airport.


We sat for about two hours at Heathrow waiting for a gate to be announced, so we caught up on the local, national and world news. None of it was good. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. One of the perks of travel is that you can lose track of the insanity that our leaders perpetuate.


Due to heavy traffic and other delays, the Alitalia A-321Airbus was more than an hour late departing, but as England receded below us we were airborne southeast towards Rome.


The two-hour flight to Rome was fairly uneventful except for spying the Dolomites or Alps, whose massive snow-covered peaks poked through the cloud layer.

Either the Alps or the Dolomites

We landed at Rome 's Leonardo Da Vinci Airport, cleared customs fairly quickly then waited for our bags at baggage claim. And waited. And waited. Our bags did not show up on the carousel, and all the folks around us had collected their luggage and left. It was about 15 minutes later that I realized we had been standing at the wrong carousel. I found the right one and there were our bags.


We met our driver, who did some very impressive white-knuckle maneuvering through the crazy Rome traffic and had us to the Arco del Lauro in Trastevere in no time. That guy was GOOD.


Our room at Arco del Lauro

We met Daniella, one of the proprietresses, who gave us an orientation. We settled into the contemporary, clean room in an ancient part of an ancient city.


We quickly freshened up and headed into Trastevere to explore. After about an hour, we decided upon Ristorante Traste.e me, where we enjoyed a delicious dinner of selections from the buffet such as marinated vegetables, peppers, eggplant, bean salad, stuffed mushrooms, then I ordered spaghetti alla vongole and Carol had risotto with fish and potatoes and Parmesan cheese. The red wine was a perfect accompaniment and we finished the meal with a very delicious tiramisu. It was a very enjoyable meal at a very romantic and quiet spot. Highly recommended. We truly enjoyed sitting outside at a candlelit table watching families, friends and lovers stroll by. Viva Roma!!


Quiet dinner at Traste e me

After dinner, we strolled toward Piazza Des Maria en Trastevere, and along the way we wandered through quaint winding alleys lined with candlelit romantic restaurants, shops, and gelaterias. Thousands of revelers milled and mingled. The square at the Piazza Des Maria en Trastevere was full of fun-loving folks of all ages enjoying the cool moonlit evening. Music, song and various fragrant aromas filled the air. Carol stopped at a one-of-a-kind shoe store where the least expensive pair cost $1000.


Interesting (and expensive) shoe shop

We enjoyed chocolate gelato under the full moon in the center of the square as we enjoyed world-class people watching. I played hide and seek with someone's five-year-old son, and we reveled in the evening's energy.

Santa Maria en Trastevere

We hated to leave the piazza, but it was 11 p.m. and we were all in. Tomorrow is another day, so we walked a few blocks and found ourselves back at the Arco del Lauro.


Enjoying the evening in Roma

As usual, Carol has found the perfect hotel for us. The Arco del Lauro is nestled in a quiet little corner of the Trastevere not far from the Tiber and within walking distance of just about every important site in Rome.


We washed off the evening's dust and fell into bed planning tomorrow's adventures.


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