May 23-Saturday-Rome
Beautiful day in Rome. We set out on a Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus (we had bought the three day pass which included all sorts of public transportation which we used extensively over two days) and rode it around to the stop near the Trevi Fountain. This particular stop is challenging in that crossing the street is a zoo but we did and did safely dodging the scooters that ran the light and ignored the crosswalk. Always important to watch out for the scooters. It is a real menace.

We did stop at Fontana di Trevi again. Absolutely covered up with people. Then we continued on to the Spanish Steps. I took many photos at both places and en route. I bumped into Chase Bryan at the Spanish Steps. He is escorting a Rome tour for World Travel this week. He and his brother in law are staying at the Hotel Lancelot where we are staying. Amazing that we would run into Chase at the Spanish Steps. People lining the streets and the steps.

Carol and I took the elevator and went up to the top of the Spanish Steps and then walked up to the Villa Medici Overlook of Rome. Awesome view and we enjoyed it. Passing an expensive restaurant at the overlook we agreed that there was no way their food could be good enough to warrant the prices listed on their menu. We walked the area thoroughly. I took pictures extensively. Carol and I walked back down from the Overlook to Piazza Del Popolo and then up the Via Del Corso to Piazza Augusto and caught the 117 bus to San Giovanni in Laterno getting off at the San Clemente stop and walking up the street to our hotel. Another wonderful walk in Rome. We relaxed and talked with several others at the hotel and then met Bill Bryan when he got in from the airport. Bill is our travel agent and was visiting Rome to help with several of his large tour groups. Bill has just recovered from a very serious illness. He is fully recovered and in excellent health. It was good to see him traveling again and we had coffee and conversation.

I went out about 5:00p.m. and walked up Via Labicana, taking a left on Via Merulana and walking towards Santa Maria Maggiore. A beautiful tree lined street with interesting coffee shops and restaurants. A changing neighborhood on the fringe of the Piazza Vittorio neighborhood. I returned to the Lancelot about 6:00p.m. and our friend and Rome tour guide, Carla Zaia, her husband Chris and Chris’ mother Betty stopped by the hotel to visit.

The conversation was great. Animated, joyous and fast paced and we all had a good time. Bill came by about 7:00p.m. and we continued our visit. Dinner was to be on the hotel patio and we tried to get Carla and company to join us but they couldn’t because they had made reservations at Trattoria Luzzi around the corner from us. This restaurant is located on the backstreets of the Coliseum and is always busy on weekend nights. Their food is great and the meal is always a wonderful event. They were going to to have a meal at Giulio Luzzi’s.

Our meal at Hotel Lancelot was superb. Faris prepared an outstanding meal as usual. Pasta with a light tomato sauce, secundi of chicken with a light coating and spinach and a dessert of a pear encrusted with a coating and a fruit glaze. The meals at the Lancelot are always excellent. The patio dining always adds to the normal friendliness of a meal at the Lancelot and we all had enjoyable conversation during and after the meal. Coffee was served after the dessert and we completed our meal about 9:30p.m. and Carol went upstairs to our room to pack and I walked up the street with Bill and others for gelato.

Trattoria Luzzi’s is only a block so I left Bill and others and walked down the street to visit with Carla and Chris and of course Giulio. It was a beautiful night and very Italian at Luzzi’s. There was a huge line waiting at 10p.m. and the restaurant was packed. I sat with Carla and Chris and watched the Giulio show. Great! I had to say my good byes soon and went back to the hotel to finish packing. We were leaving Rome in the morning very early.

May 24-The Flight Home
Everything went smoothly and well on our trip home. We got up at 5:00a.m. Rome time and twenty one hours later we were home. It was an easy trip and nothing out of the ordinary happened. Carol watched Marley and Me on the movie and cried and had to turn it off. The trip crossing the Atlantic and visiting all of the places we visited and the four days in Rome were very good. I hated to come home early and miss some of the things we had planned but Carol wanted to come home and that is what we did. More to follow.