We must begin this post with special thanks to David and Karim who have treated us to four nights in their fabulous accommodation (if you are planning a visit to Rome please contact us for details). We decided to leave the car and camper at Camping Europa and thanks to the staff had a lift to the train station with all of our kit, we calculated that four of the items of luggage belonged to Charlotte (Travel Cot, Mattress, Push Chair and food bag!) The pack had a small amount of clothes for us (and we thought we were doing well).
The train trip from Passignano was two and a half hours to Rome; the trains are so easy in Italy and only 21€ each return, it was good value, the only downside was the lack of space in the carriage so we ended up taking up six seats and all the luggage space. Neadless to say people took one look and kept on walking.
Once in Rome we decided to catch a cab rather than the tube. This was a blessing and a new experience; one that made us determined never to drive in Rome and definately tell everybody that we know to neaver drive in Rome in daylight hours (it is a nightmare). Two lanes become four, some roads have no lanes; everybody uses horns and badges around; actually it reminded us of our trips into Bali where you use the horn and hope. Although the Italians generally obeyed the traffic lights which doesn’t always happen in Bali.
Travel Trip: The tube is probably the best form of travel in rome it is cheap but busy; and watch your pockets very carefully (Narelles dad was pick-pocketed two years ago). When catching a taxi make sure that they use the meter otherwise you could be paying more than double the cost of the normal fare.
The appartment where we were staying had creature comforts that sadly, our camper does not possess! Crisp white sheets, fluffy white bath towels, ariconditioning, our own toilet and shower (complete with powerful spray you don’t have to run arounbd to get wet in – nor does it require flip flops!!) and kitchen with fridge for Lottie’s food. We spent each day out and about in the mornings, back at the apartment by about 2ish, for our siesta and then out again around 530pm for our Passegiata!
As seasoned Rome travellers now, a few handy hints…. try not to go to Rome in Summer – and if you do, make sure your accom is air conditioned. IT was a good 38-40deg c each day. If you are trying to see things, go very early or very late at night – to beat the throngs of tourists that take over Rome’s major attractions!
We went to St Peters one morning, around 930am – the queues for the Vatican Museum and the Basilica were so long that it was about a 2 hr wait – in the heat! We went back another morning before our brekkie we had a lovely mass (with one other person and the priest!) at a small side altar, a couple of pics with Charlotte (actually awake) and we were out sipping cappucinos by 830am. Best time to go!
We ate our daily dose of fabulous Italian gelati each afternoon – a welcome coollness from the heat. The gelaterias in Rome are full of flavours so you really have to try different ones each day to get through them all! (so we said anyway!)
As we were not camping, we treated ourselves to a few dinners out. Sitting al fresco (outside on the pavement – watching the world go by!) we gorged on antipasto, pizzas, pasta, calamari and tiramasu. Luckily we had walked miles and sweated buckets during the day so we hope that cancelled out the extra caloric intake. (plus I am still breastfeeding so that burns up an extra 500 calories a day! luckily!)
For all of you with small babes, who are breastfeeding and travelling to Rome (if any of you are crazy buggers like us!) – be prepared for the stopping, and smiling, and talking and pointing – yep – peop[e were pointing – whether it was at my boobs, or the cute baby who was too busy looking around then drinking we don’t know!) At one stage, I suggested to Dave, we whould put our cap out – charge for a look!
Both men and women stopped in their tracks to chat to our Bimba Carlotta. a simple walk down the street took half an hour – people patting her, kissing her – and Charlotte – lapping it all up. One chap in a bar came straight up to her, kissing and playing with her – and she took both her strong little fists and grabbed handfuls of his big hairy moustache – too funny! Another lady dressed in her natice African dress and headgear just took her out of Dave’s arms and gave her cuddles. Too which Charlotte responded by trying to rip off her glasses and stick her fingers up under her headwear! To then end her lovely time, she grunted and grunted in her the lady’s arms and pushed out a poo – a real charmer our girl! Needless to say – she was handed back to us pretty quickly then!
One evening at a pizzeria (which was great!), all the staff spent half an hr, gooing and cooing over Charlotte. Then, I was given helpful advice… when I was feeding Charlotte, I was asked ‘surely the wine you are drinking will go through to your baby?!’ (the one half glass – the first I had had in a month!)…….that a cotton sheet (like their tablecloth) in the buggy would surely make a cooler baby (rather then the lambswool fleece we have in there – thanks Anthea!)……..that I shouldnt be eating that artichichoke – as in Italy, women breastfeeding don’t eat it as it gives their babies colic!…..
And finally, when we put Charlotte down in the buggy, to sleep (after her milk) we put the Shade-a babe on – that surely, it is bad for her as she can’t look out or get a breeze?! (even though it is fully ventilated with tiny holes and she goes straight to sleep in it?!). But then I heard them talking, it was more disappointment because they couldn’t see the beautiful baby with the big blue eyes!! And even after the swooning, and wishing us all good luck (and happy new year??!) we didn’t get a ‘beautiful baby discount!!’
The joys of it all eh?!
Anyhow – another long post – we must end it for you. As you can tell – we love Rome and had another great time there. And please.. if you are planning a visit let us know – we are commission free!
All our love and Ciao for now xx
PS We are really logging off now so we can head up to the pool and work on our tans!! (you have to work up an apetite for your afternoon gelati – and besides, our morning cappucino time is over now?!) Jealous yet?!! We are really rubbing it in … we know!!