October 11, 2022
Up next in our Summer Story Series, Katie Self, Senior Marketing Coordinator, continues her two-week vacation through Tuscany and Rome, Italy and the islands of Croatia via a catamaran.
In Part 2, she details her time in Rome.
While there have been many powerful empires throughout history, the Roman Empire is justly one of the most well known. Historians have tracked continuous habitation since approximately 1000 BC, and a pastoral village on the northern part of the Palatine Hill dated to the 9th century BC. The fact that my first impression of Italy is thanks to an Olive Garden in 1994 is really pathetic when you think about it.
Another part of our group arrived in Rome after we returned from Cortona, and we hit the ground running to keep their jet leg at bay. We did a pretty stellar job at that grabbing a quick breakfast (pizza – literally, when in Rome) before making our way to the Colosseum for a tour of the floor – a winding maze of circular masonry walls, rings and ancient chambers. Constructed over a decade, one of the 7 Wonders of the World was dedicated in A.D. 80. Over centuries of weather, fires and renaissance, the Colosseum evolved and underwent several changes over at least 400 years of use. Colosseum architects and engineers have gone to great (modern) lengths to decipher measurements and realize the purpose of some of the Colosseum’s primeval features such as ramps for lions to enter the round to battle a Gladiator.
From here, we met our golf cart tour guide, Fabio! Fabio knew everything and everyone we passed and gave us a wonderful view of the city outside of the typical tourist spots such as a unique perspective of the Saint Peter’s Basilica’s famous dome. Fabio took us to a residential hillside street with a spectacular view of the Basilica from this street, Via Niccolò Piccolomini, where we witnessed the illusion of watching the dome appear closer as we moved farther away, and vice versa.
He also took us to the Aventine Keyhole, a gorgeous view through two nation-states and one country, with the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica perfectly centered. The land between the surrounding walls do not belong to Italy, but served as a palace, a Benedictine monastery, home to the Knights Templar and finally, Knights of Malta.
Other popular sites included the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon all by night which gave us a new perspective.
I would be remiss if I didn’t gush over the most amazing food. My rule of thumb was: if there’s caccio e pepe on the menu, get the caccio e pepe. If there’s also carbonara on the menu, order that, too. So while the Romans typically enjoy a three-course meal of apps, a first course, main course and dessert, this carb addict just ordered two pastas and called it a day. Regrets? I have none.
We wrapped up our time in Rome and jetted off to Split, Croatia where we would meet up with four more friends before embarking on a week of absolute nautical bliss.