these posts about our trip?
totally not going to be in order.
we flew into rome on saturday evening around 5 pm. we settled in to the room we'd booked through airbnb (more on that later) and walked out to a nearby restaurant that was recommended to us - osteria dei pontifici.
ummmmmmmmmmmmm, it was delicious.
PLUS, the giant difference in the price of food was like the perfect cooling salve to our wounded wallet souls. we ordered with a bit of abandon (OMNOMNOM - squash flowers!) and drank a liter of red wine. hello, tipsy on italy!
we went to bed, happy and sated.
we awoke on sunday and walked out to the bus stop. umm... bus? hello? *birds chirping*
i deciphered the taped sign and realized that the bus wasn't running that day - but why? we soon found out.
it was the day of the roman marathon!
i mean, partly it was exciting. we're here for the roman marathon!! look at them runners go! look at random people cheering them on!
but then also, if our experience and this website is to be believed:
On March 20 2011, when the last version of Rome Marathon – or to be exact, Maratona di Roma – took place, a record number of 12,596 runners finished the race......the crushing crowds were kind of like our personal hell. not just a record number of runners, but you know, also their families and friends were in town.
According to tradition, 15 minutes after the bold marathoners are sent on their way, 85,000 children, adults and seniors head out for the non-competitive Stracittadina Fun Run.
the picture of the trevi fountain (top) was taken without any people in the image (cops patrol the area with shrill whistles for those who climb on the rocks or in the fountain), however, i have NEVER seen so many people at the trevi - it was extremely crushing and not at all romantic.
i think the fact that i took this video with the 8mm app detracts from the crushing number of people there... because they're just a loud blurry mob. but take it from one who's been to rome approximately 5+ times in her life - it was shockingly and distressingly crowded.
some parts of the race weren't quite as congested, which was good. usually the race area was roped off with caution tape and the aisles where you were supposed to walk were just a slow-moving clog of humans - and of course, the run covered all the big tourist spots.
i'm assuming the sponges were for the runners. i know i can't run for 5 minutes without needing a shower and a 3 hr break.
the good is that we got to see a LOT of the city on foot - we must have walked 5 miles, minimum. this is a lot of miles for people who only walk from their cars to their homes. it was advantageous that we had walking in paris to "toughen us up". (god, we're such wimps.)
definitely still enjoyed seeing the sights (and i always appreciate being in italy), but thank goodness for quality cheap wine and good coffee - it may have been what got us through the day.
we hightailed it out of rome and headed for orvieto the next day to neutralize the buildup of tourist in our systems.
to be continued...