Rome, Italy Day one

If you've found this page by accident, I hope it will be a pleasant surprise. I'll try hard to capture the beauty of my treks through Italy for the next 2 weeks. I'm not a writer so I'll let most of the photos do the talking. If I can impart some tip from my personal travel experience, I'll throw it in there as well but by all means, I am not a professional travel blogger so don't take my tip or advice as the best answer or method. My first week will mostly be filled with photos of areas within walking distance of the "Colosseo" and the Spanish steps because that is where my two hotels are located. I split up my stay this way so I can explore the different areas more intimately rather than trying to cram a whole city into a 7 day period.

Corsica (top), Montecristo (bottom)

After a 9 1/2 hour flight, direct from Charlotte, NC around 9:00am local time (3:00am East Coast time), we were greeted with the beautiful blue waters of the Mediterranean and grand views of Corse (Corsica) and the itty bitty 4 square mile island of Montecristo. Yes! This is the island "immortalised by Alexandre Dumas in The Count of Monte Cristo as the site of an enormous hidden treasure." I did not know this until I searched for images of this island. I loved that book and movie! My daughter and I saw it out the window and it was just too adorable not to take the cliché looking-out-the-plane-window shot.

I handed off my daughter to her student group coordinator - separate blog in the works for that and groggily hopped into an "official" Italian taxi. Did you know Uber and Lyft have been banned in Italy? My ride was a BMW something or other. My taxi, er, Grand Prix, driver bobbed and weaved like an expert accident avoider and almost-scooter-driver-killer and somehow we made it to my hotel in one piece. I thought I'd be daring and not wear my seatbelt but I almost on one, no two, no three occasions wanted to surreptitiously buckle myself into a five-point harness. At one point, he pulled up within 6 inches of another cab driver and the drivers just stared at each other as if to say, "I'm the coolest Italian taxi driver and I'm going to beat you to the next traffic light and all the while I'll be texting with both hands," in Italian, obviously! My driver sighed several times. Most likely he was trying not to curse out loud about the traffic because he'd been told not to since he would scare the tourists and it wouldn't be professional. At one intersection, he actually laid his head down on the steering wheel in such despair, sighing so heavily I wanted to ask him if everything was alright. I thought maybe I had a suicidal taxi driver. I'm not sh***ing you!! I think this has become a run-on paragraph.

Anyway, we pulled up to the Colosseum and he looked at me and pointed and said, "Blah blah Colosseo." I looked at him, "Si, Colosseo," twice. I think he wanted me to gasp in delight but I was operating on 1 hour of sleep!!

Alright, time to close out this day. Short and sweet... I passed out for two hours and woke up wondering where the heck am I. I showered, dressed and made my way to the Colosseum. I walked around the entire structure during which I saw a bride and groom having their portraits taken with other gawkers taking their photos (me included), and being cheered on by, of course, one American family. "Woot, woot!", fists pumping and waving in the air. The couple did appreciate the attention and smiled in return. Not to mention the oddest sight and watching a line of tourists on Segways riding next to the frenzied Italian drivers! I wonder what their Accident Waiver and Liability Release Forms read like. Sign here stating you are fully aware that your odds of being hit by a suicidal taxi driver are approximately 1 in 10.

Entrance to Colosseo subway station

I made my way back to my hotel and finished off the day having a lovely dinner on the rooftop terrace with my lovely 24 year old waitress named Micol who stated, "You look no older than 40, madam." Hey I'll take it!! I'm not sure I like being called madam though. It feels like I should be standing in front of some sleazy doorway with a cigarette in my mouth wearing a nightgown growling at men saying, "Arrr. Hack hack. Did you pay? And don't call me Madam!"

I can't wait for Day Two!

Italian Army troops guard most of Italy's treasured sites.
Interesting doorway
Santa Francesca Romana
Created By
Grace Protzman

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