Lisa and Pat Sicily March 2004 travel blog

We are halfway into our third day in Rome. This is an amazing city. Everywhere you turn, there is something ancient and/or beautiful. We arrived here Saturday morning, after getting up at 5 a.m. to catch a plan from Lamezia Terma. We were met at the airport by a driver named Enzo, who drove v e r y s l o w l y to town, dropped our baggage off at the hotel, then took us to the USO just in time for the 9:15 a.m. walking tour of Rome. We saw the Pantheon, which has a dome whose engineering was not understood until the Renaissance; the Trevi fountain with its huge sculptures; more alleyways and basilicas than we could count. We finished up around lunchtime and walked back to the hotel, checked in and got our bags upstairs.

The hotel, the Anglo American, had a really good PR person because their pitch does not match with reality. It is supposed to be a converted palazzo but we don't see any sign of grandeur. The entry to the room has this funny ramp that makes us step wrong, the windows let in a draft and it's quite noisy from the street. The picture that is on their website and on the front of their information brochure does not look anything like the building. The breakfast is pitiful, not even any fruit. We could not recommend it at all. We almost switched hotels but we were too tired from walking and didn't want the hassle.

We ate a late lunch at a trattoria a couple of doors down from the hotel: pannini and coffee. I (Lisa) LOVE the coffee here. Straight espresso - it is quite a jolt but so good!

We bought tickets for the bus; you get a three-day pass, validate it in a time clock the first time you ride, then just carry it with you and show it if anyone asks for it. Much easier and quicker than having to pay or scan each time you ride a bus. The buses all run on time unless there is a marathon in town, which I will tell you about when the Sunday entry comes.

Anyway, we went in the afternoon to Castell San Angelo, which was at various times a mausoleum, a castle and an apartment for the Medici popes' girlfriends. We spent the afternoon walking around this site, stopping for some coffee and then walked around the historic district a while. We wanted to eat at a place that had fried zucchini blossoms on the menu, but it wouldn't open until 7:30 p.m. and we could not wait.

The time changed Saturday night for daylight savings time, which threw us off for Sunday's adventure. I will add an entry for it later, since now we are off for a tour of the Colosseum and other sites.

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