Reconnecting with a Roman Friend

Written By: Kim - Aug• 04•11

Our third day in Rome meant another walking expedition toward Campo de Fiora. We went the round about way and it took us over an hour to get there. It was also our first foray in to using a foreign ATM. That experience was, shall we say, not pleasant at first, but successful at the second.

While the kids greedily perused the leather bracelets and soccer jackets, I marveled at the fresh produce. Mike? He found a cafe and ordered coffee. Farmers markets really aren’t his thing.

A good friend, and former colleague, had moved back to Rome. She met us at our hotel around 5 pm and led us down toward the Spanish Steps. The kids had been asking to go, but neither they nor we were interested in climbing them all at this point. Little did we know what we had in store in Almalfi. We walked along some of the most expensive real estate in Rome where all of the designer shops are.

We also stopped at the famousTrevi Fountain around 6:30 pm. The throngs of people there were astounding. I mean really? It’s a fountain. Toss your coin, snap your photo and get out.

A soda can cost 4€ at dinner. ©Mike Howard

Hungry, we headed over to a fish-focused restraunt in what used to be called the Ghetto (before the term had a negative connotation). As we crossed the river, my friend pointed out an island. During World War II, many Italians hid their Jewish friends and neighbors in that hospital building to keep them away from the Nazis. Italy’s history goes way beyond gladiators and chariot races. Mussolini may have been their dictator at that time, but Italians rebelled in their own way.

Once we arrived at our restaurant, I let the owner recommend our appetizers and my dinner. He trotted out sardines on top of the appetizer and oh the kids had a fit. Both of my dishes were excellent, despite the new approach. I still can’t believe I ate them.

Our evening bus ride back toward our hotel, with our host in tow, introduced me to my first pickpocket casing. My friend and I were on one side of the bus chatting away. I was sitting directly in front of her, so I had to turn around to see her. I had my purse between me and the seat, slung over my shoulder, but in my lap (it had a long handle). Two guys got on the bus, one carrying a backpack. Unlike most Rome buses, this one was not too crowded since it was around 10 pm. They were definitely invading my personal space….you know we Americans are sensitive about that. I looked at them and then realized the were watching us. I mean, how interesting could our conversation about work be? Then it hit me: They were trying to steal something. So, I moved my purse even more between me and the seat and magically, they disappeared.

Welcome to Rome, where your wallets are never safe.

Whew, missed that bullet.

But, we would experience Rome’s pickpockets once more.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.