Roman Holiday:

There was no Gregory Peck or Audrey Heptburn on my Roman Holiday but I tried not to let that disturb me too much.  My Mother, sister and I decided to go on a trip to Rome together, Last month it became a reality.  We took advantage of the Aerlingus special price for scheduled flights to Rome.  They cost us £169 each.  We booked the whole trip through Aerlingus so we stayed in one of their recommended Great Western Hotelsa.  It was great. English is the second language in Italy so they understood us much better than we understood them.  In the Vatican all the notices were in Italian and English. 

We arrived in Leonardo Da Vinci Airport and headed for the rain terminal which is also in the airport and headed for the train terminal which is also in the airport We bought a non stop train ticket to the Termini train station for 12,000 Lira which is about £5.  The journey took 35 minutes.  At the Termini Station  there were people giving advice on how to get to your Hotel. This was very welcome on our first day since we were expecting to be bombarded with taxi drivers trying to make a fast buck. At the end of the day with those helpful directionswe were able to walk to our hotel from the Termini Station.

Well we also walked Rome for the following five days, with the aid of our Mc Donalds Map. The day after I arrived home I was reminded by the newly found muscles in my legs of what the tour guide said about Rome being built on seven hills. (but not in one day). I hadn’t noticed the hills and steps while I was walking except for the notable exceptions of the Spanish steps (hence the name) and the steps up to the vaticxan Museam (where you don’t have the right the bear arms). 

The Vatican is guarded by Swiss guards.  No wonder they looked so puzzles when I tried my phrase book Italian to ask for directions!!! We were told to stop at one stage while passing through one floor of the Vatican Museam (we’re magic).  I stood to one side thinking we had to let someone through (they’re magic too) There were people around us fully expecting JP II to appear.  But as I moved back I was asked to stand forward again.  It turns out that there was a photographer at the end of the corridor we were facing.  Wow fame at last!!!!! I just thought I should mention the green door here and the Parallelogram.

Rome I very OLD – yes even older than you. Most of the tourist trails were to ruins.  Some of the ruins were spectacular like the Coliseum and the Pyramid build by one of the Roman Emperors but they were also at the name suggests in ruins.  The old Forum consisted of three columns standing alone in a heap of rubble – a bit like my back garden without the columns.

We were as I mentioned pretty close to the termini train station.  This is also a bus station and a metro station.  That meant we could go anywhere in Rome in one trip The cost of a one day bus and metro ticket was 6,000 lira (1994) This was called a BIG

We visited the Pantheon, the Basilica of John in Latern, the trevi fountain  the bascilica of Peter in chains, The Benedictine Monks, The Spanish Steps, St Peters, the Vatican Museam

Most old buildings either fell to ruin or were preserved because they were taken over by the church as places of worship. There was a Basilica close to the hotel called Mary of the Angles.  This had been a Roman bath house in pre-christian times. The floor was based on Horoscopes and sundials