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O Solo A Roma - Alone in Rome

My first two days alone exploring Rome


View O Solo Roma July 2016 on littlesam1's travel map.

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Just my cap on the bed. Alone at Hotel Relais dei Papi in Rome

I don't mind traveling alone. I've done it on many occasions. Mark and I had planned a trip to Rome. We were very excited about it. We have talked about it for years. I had never been to Rome. Mark had been in Rome when he was eighteen and traveled there with his sister when he graduated from high school. We really wanted to go together so he could show me all of the places he visited with his sister. His sister died very young in her forties. So there was a lot of nostalgia for him going back to Rome. Mark is Italian and he speaks Italian fluently. So I was also looking forward to watching him talk to the waiters and bartenders in Italian. We really had planned a very special and romantic vacation to Rome. But things don't always go as planned. Mark's parents were both elderly and having major health issues. Just a couple of weeks before our planned trip his father took very ill with pneumonia and was hospitalized. With only one child still living his parents needed him home so there is no way we could do the holiday together. Do to some complications with our travel insurance we were unable to cancel without losing a lot the money we had paid in advance. So we decided I would go alone to Rome and not lose the entire investment in the trip. I hated going without him and although not thrilled with losing the money on his part of the trip he was very supportive of me going. That brings me to this holiday in Rome I called The O Solo A Roma Trip.

Day One In Rome - Exploring the neighborhood

Rome had never been on one of my must see lists. I had not really thought much about Rome at all. I had lots of thoughts about Rome but they did not include visiting it. I had read many times online and in guide books that Rome is well know for petty theft and pick pockets. I had one friend who was in Rome for an extended period tell me how her husband was pick pocketed within an hour after arriving in Rome. She told me if you've never been pick pocketed then you've never been to Rome. I had also read it's always very crowded with tourists. There are lines for everything. So Rome was always on the back burner for me, someplace I would see someday but not today.

I was very conscious of being alone. With my history of bizarre accidents when I travel I was somewhat concerned what might happen to me if I had any problems and no one there with me. Suppose I tripped and injured myself, which I have done in the past. Suppose I do get pick pocketed and lose my credit cards? I would be alone with no one else near with money. So I was extremely cautious when I first arrived. Then I took a walk my first afternoon in Rome. Just a few blocks from my hotel I found Piazza del Popolo.

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And with that Rome had captured me. I forgot all about my concerns and doubts. Rome was beckoning me. And then I saw this restaurant in the Piazza and they had this excellent wine and pizza.

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At Trattoria Ciampini, First pizza in Rome and first of many glasses of wine for one

I returned to my room happy and full. I was ready to conquer Rome. And then I realized I had lost my credit card. My first day. The art, the piazza, the pizza, the wine. It all distracted me. I let down my guard. It all worked out though. It was my error not Romes. I immediately called my credit card company and notified them and then went on to my back up credit card the rest of the trip. Then before falling asleep I texted Mark to let him know about my first day adventures He asked me if I had gone to Trastevere, his favorite section of Rome. I had not. So he said make sure to get there tomorrow.

Day Two - My first full day in Rome. St, Peter's Square. Food and Selfie Sticks

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My second day in Rome I walked to St. Peters Square. It was only a few blocks from my hotel which was convenient for me. I was expecting massive crowds. I went early and it was not crowded at all. I had plenty of time and space for photos and selfies. You never quite get over that first glimpse of St. Peters Basilica.

Everywhere I looked there were sculptures. There were nuns. There were Swiss guards in colorful uniforms. It truly was awe inspiring

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Leaving St. Peter's Square it was time for some lunch. I found a small restaurant just across the river from Vatican City called Mela Stregata, Mela stranslates to apple and the pizzeria was decorated with a Disney Snow White Theme dealing with the evil queen and the apple. Not what I was expecting in Rome near the Vatican but interesting to say the least.

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So there I sat surrounded by Snow White's woods drinking wine and eating lasagna.

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The lasagna was very good. So I guess Snow White must have a little Italian in her ancestry. Leaving the restaurant I had a car stop next to curb and the driver called out to me. He asked for help locating something on his map. I had just been approached by my first scam artist in Rome. He offered me a leather coat from his store in Paris if I would be kind enough to help him locate a near by location on his map. Luckily for me this was the only scam artist I would see in Rome.

Castel Sant'Angelo was also nearby so this was my next stop. The views from the top of the castle were amazing.

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Castel Sant'Angelo

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Flemish sculptor Pieter Van Verschaffelt's bronze angel on top of Castel Sant'Angelo

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Viewing the River Tiber from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo

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Viewing Vittoriano from the top of Castel Saint'Angelo

There was a small cafe inside the Castel Sant'Angelo. And yes they did have wine.

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I did see some unusual things my second day in Rome. Nothing too shocking but still interesting.

I saw a bear begging for money near Castel Sant'Angelo

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I saw a man napping on a bench with a rubber duck on his stomach

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And I saw a blonde baby Jesus in a shop window.

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Because I was alone I made sure to take my selfie stick with me to make sure I could get photos of myself during the day I had a great deal of fun with it. I know they drive people crazy when you are in crowded tourist areas trying to use a selfie stick. But I am a tourist. And i was alone. So I ignored everyone who was offended. My first tries with the selfie stick came out a little awkward. Yes I know you are not supposed to see the stick in the photo. But I was just getting the hang of using it. I got better as the week progressed.

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I was still a little jet lagged from the time change so I had an early dinner before returning to my room for an early sleep. I had supper at Pizzeria San Marco. This was located very near my hotel. I had a delicious pasta with cheese and bacon and some wine of course. For dessert I had an excellent panacota with another shot of grappa. A pattern is forming here. Good food, good wine, and a shot of grappa to end my day.

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I ended my day back in my room. I took some time to text with Mark and tell him all about my day and what I had seen. He had lots of questions and was very excited for all I had seen. He asked me again did you go to Trastevere. I had not. He insisted that I make sure to go there. We had this same conversation every evening when we chatted. After talking to Mark I reviewed my thoughts on the day and I was glad to find that I had not lost any credit cards. I had avoided getting ripped off by the con artist with the leather coats. And then I looked at my camera bag and there was no selfie stick attached. I had lost it. My first full day in Rome and my selfie stick was gone.

Posted by littlesam1 08:20 Archived in Italy Tagged italy rome wine the_tiber grappa castel_sant'angelo selfie selfie_stick the_vatican Comments (8)

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