22 May 2013

European Vacation Nine - Rome Rome on the Range

Today I rode a train down the Italian coast to the capital city.
Today I walked in Rome.
Today I saw the Roman forum
Today I saw the Colosseum.
Today I saw Trevi Fountain.
Today I had the best salad I've ever eaten.
Today I had the best gelato I've ever eaten.

But the highlight of the day for me was stumbling upon the apartment once occupied by Don Pietro Pappagallo. His exploits were depicted in the Roberto Rossellini's classic film, Rome: Open City (1945) in a stunning performance by Aldo Fabrizi. Pappagallo was a priest who were worked with the resistance during World War II during which time he assisted Jews, partisans and others being sought by the combined Nazi and Italian fascist forces. He was eventually betrayed and executed in 1944. It was especially meaningful to come across his former residence as I'd never even thought to look for it. Amidst all the statues and monuments of Rome the plaque dedicated to Pappagallo is for me among the most meaningful.

We are staying in an Airbndb in the heart of Rome walking distance from all the sights I've mentioned. Airbnbs are rooms or apartments or even houses that people rent out to tourists for a day or two or seven or ten or whatever. We stayed in one in La Spezia and will again in Bologna. Like the one in La Spezia we are in a clean modern apartment in a very old building. There's plenty of room including a kitchen bathroom bedroom etc. For future travel plans be sure to check it out. (Not an ad just an opinion thougt I would welcome a check sent to me by anyone. Thanks.)

So this ridiculously marvelous vacation continues. A few minor bumps along the way but nothing unexpected or ruinous to a righteously good time. We do encounter far too many tourists and one cringes at the idea of traveling in these locales during the Summer. The Americans seem particularly obnoxious though that's in part because we can understand what they're saying. One thing they say far to often is "guys." In Paris some young Americans walked into a cafe we were in and asked a waiter: "do you guys serve courses or just coffee?' Not a hello or do you speak English but an abrupt question in which the recipient is referred to as "guys." Please. I know I know we are tourists too but nice quiet polite ones who struggle with the language and don't say "guys." By the way I have already successfully ordered a meal and made a complete purchase in Italian. So proud.

Final note: The Trevi Fountain is as lovely as I'd imagined though it could have done with Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni wading through it (circa 1960 of course.)

1 comment:

Colt said...

I'm heading to Rome Saturday. I loaded up the iPad with Fellini films, many of which I've discovered via your blog, making it odd/wonderful that I'm as excited as I am for the 20 flight.