Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ancient Rome

At 8 am we meet Robin and Bjarne for breakfast in the courtyard of Domus Romana Inn and Residence.

Walk to find tickets for general overview bus tour like City Sightseeing in Florence.
A Bangladeshi salesman grabs us --- "I sell all tours. I give you just what you want. Any tour. Best price. Give me money now for ticket." Bjarne follows the young man to his travel office and we try to figure out what to do.  We get a one day tour bus pass and they charge extra 2%.

Another Bangladeshi salesman grabs me "This is your lucky day. Hat for $5, not regular price of $10."
I lost my sunglasses yesterday so need a hat for the sun. He wins.

Sit on top of bus and hold hat because it flies off in the breeze.  Traffic is horrendous in Rome, worse than Florence, so we sit a lot. I don't think we will ride it 3 X like we did in Florence. Bjarne calls the ride  "interminable".

On second time around we get off at the Roman Colosseum.

Bangladeshi salesman grabs us to say, "Skip the lines. Get a guided tour with expert English speaking guide."

We sign up and join a huge group of over 30. Guide is Italian but grew up in South Africa and  I can understand him when I can hear him. He has a little portable mic that doesn't seem to work. He 
guides  us through and is great. Then we are on our own until 2:30 when we meet our second guide at a different location for Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. Two women from Libya ask to stay with us so they don't get lost. Fun to talk with them.

We are at the designated spot at 2:30 but no Guide. It is HOT and we lean against the only wall with shade. At 2:45 someone spots Arnoldo, our first guide. We all follow him but he says he is not working. He calls the office and is quite angry that our guide is not here. He shouts in Italian. She finally arrives.

She is Italian and speaks English but I cannot understand her very well. We go to Palatine Hill, one of the 7 hills of Rome. . . . She wants to sell us a ticket with her as guide at the Vatican tomorrow but I fear I won't be able to hear her. Bjarne gives her our names for a reservation.

Then we are on our own. Walk on Roman Road, Roman Forum, etc

Listen to an excellent American guide explain the arch commemorating the fall of Jerusalem. Ask a person in the group what tour they are with. CITY WONDERS TOUR.
I go online and we book tickets for a guided tour of the Vatican tomorrow with CITY WONDERS TOURS.

I use my iPad and GoogleMaps to get us back to the hotel. We bring our laundry to dinner and stick it in the wash on the way to dinner and pick it up on the way home.

Dinner again at

Gioia Mia Pisciapiano

Via degli Avignonesi 34
00187 Rome

order prosciutto and cantaloupe again, and mushrooms and peas. Yum.

So so tired but want to read more about what we saw today.

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