Buon Natale!

Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Sunday, December 18, 2011

Roma...so magical and so beautiful. We were here four years ago for less than two days and have been dreaming of coming back ever since. It truly is one of the greatest cities in the world, and our favorite thus far, and no one should miss out on seeing it in their lifetime. Every time you turn a corner you find yourself faced with an ancient ruin, fantastic fountain, or some other breathtaking sight. The Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Pantheon are all amazing, but the true beauty in Rome can be found just wandering the streets and taking in the Roman lifestyle. It also rivals Paris for most romantic in our book. Nowhere else will you see such a large number of intertwined couples making out wherever the desire takes them- sidewalks, restaurants, bridges, buses. On the other hand, we encountered more than one angry, crying woman shouting at the top of her lungs. As far as we can tell, the Italians ave very passionate people.

We were beyond excited to meet our wonderful friends Mike and Carmen at Termini Station two days after our arrival! We always try to get friends to accompany us on our adventures, but it so rarely happens! It was their first time in Europe, and I think we wore them ragged after 3 days of traipsing around the entire city by foot, and sometimes bus. Luckily, we had a funky little apartment to come back to for relaxing, only 3 blocks from the Pantheon. We had our own courtyard, with a fountain, and could fall asleep to the sound of trickling water and excited seagulls, which are surprisingly all over the city.

We did our best to hit up all the recommendations from another friend who used to live there so that we could sample some of the best food in the city. Oh, the food is so delicious! Especially coming from Zhuhai where the western cuisine is very limited. Pizza, pizza, pizza! And lasagna, and pasta, and caprese salads, and prosciutto di parma, and gelato....the list goes on and on. We managed to find the pizza restaurant we ate at during our last trip here, Dar Poeta, which people still argue may be the best pizzeria in Rome. Eating out for lunch or dinner was always a hunt for the best place we could find. Our little foursome had strict rules to follow: no English menus, no pictures of food outside, and listen for Italian-speaking diners. We managed to live by these rules for most meals and were rewarded with fabulous dishes. It was in the mornings that we felt most like locals as we stumbled down from our apartment to the bar below. Don't worry - bar doesn't mean what you think it does. We would fall into line with the other Romans heading to work to order a cappuccino and a cornetti and stand at the bar to drink it down. I've never had cappuccinos so heavenly...

On the 23rd of December we said goodbye to Rome and picked up our rental car. Peter put his name on the reservation and therefore had the responsibility of driving out of the center of the city. They say Italians are crazy drivers, but I think living in China has made us numb to the chaos found on the roads. With a little help from the GPS, and a diligent Mike as navigator, we made it out of town and hit the road for the Amalfi coast.

Stay tuned for more details and photos for the rest of the trip. And there are mass amounts of photos. We apologize for not being able to slim the album down anymore, but it was the first trip with our new camera and we are way excited at how they turned out!

With Love,
Melissa and Peter
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Dave Collette on

lookin good guys, I'm jealous for sure !

Lindsey on

excellent photos!

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