We landed in Croatia last night and there’s no way I can summarize our entire Rome trip in one post. So in the spirit of brevity I’ll try to touch on the highlights…of where there are certainly a few:
Highlight #1: Scooter drag racing. Ok, we didn’t really drag-race, but given that we couldn’t sleep due to jetlag, Jason’s an amateur photographer and I was in dire need of scooter practice, we went on a 3-hour cruise of Rome from 1-4 in the morning. What an absolutely amazing experience. First, there’s literally nobody on the street. You can seriously haul (about as fast as 125cc’s can take you)
through the streets and not worry about getting jacked by a crazy Smart car driver. Second, you can cruise around to all of the big-time tourists attractions and visit when absolutely nobody is there. Seriously! We hit the Vatican at 2am,
the Spanish steps at 1:30am, the Trevi Fountain at 3am, and the Coliseum at 4am. And not a soul was there but us. If you’ve been to any of these places you know that standing room only crowds are the norm, all the time. Other than a couple of polizei guarding the areas it was just the three of us. Jason brought his tripod so we’ve got very cool shots of these places….with no people. And last, there’s something cool about cruising around Rome, on a bike/scooter, when nobody else is on the streets. An awesome feeling of freedom and excitement, especially when you’re cruising amongst some way old stuff. I highly recommend trying to pull it off if you ever get a chance to visit the city. (You have to check out Jason’s picture of Rome at night!)
Highlight #2: A guided tour of the city. As an ex-Expedia exec, my friend Russ knows how to travel right. He’s been to a ton of places and when it came to Rome, he was absolutely insistent that we rent scooters. He was also insistent that we hire a guide to take us around on the scooters during one of our days here. Great call. Maria, our cute Italian guide, took us to a number of different places and gave an insiders perspective of the different historical places. We found ourselves back at the the Vatican and the Coliseum, but this time, we were able to add some historical perspective. We were also following her on the scooters, were able to truly experience what it’s like to weave in an out of traffic, go the wrong way on one way streets, turn left from the right lane and pretty much do everything like the Roman Scooter riders do. I am proud to say that I’m no longer a scooter novice.
Highlight #3: An Italian Serie A match. There’s no hiding the fact that I’m a huge soccer fan (futbol). Our stay in Rome was primarily based around going to either a Lazio or AS Roma match during our visit. Not only did we have an opportunity to go to a Lazio game (and btw, most Romans either love AS Roma or they love Lazio…and there is no love lost between the two sets of fans), but our friend
Roberto set us up with corporate seats from his company. I’m pretty sure he made this happen for our own safety, as we entered through some VIP entrance and then took ourselves to a hospitality suite of sorts where we were fed and given unlimited alcohol. And thankfully, our seat section were protected by plexiglass and guards on both sides, so no fear on our part. The actual match wasn’t particularly impressive, but the crowd was incredible. Lazio lost the match to Cagliari
and their fans boo’d, hissed and whistled the entire game…I actually thought the fans might attack their own players at one point. Have to give the Italians kudos for their passion…it truly is unique.
I could have used another week in Rome. We did as much as we possibly could over a 3 day period, but there’s still so much to do and see. Took the flight to Croatia last night and the last 18 hours have already provided enough fodder for the next post!
Questions, Comments, Concerns. Feel free to comment below.