Two weeks in Italy and a few days in Switzerland
I love Europe .....most favourite of places to visit....rich cultural heritage, rolling accents of words, comfortable style and tastes, basics made to feel luxurious, luxury and opulence are a matter of fact.....beauty....wherever the eye sees.
Carlos met us with a charming smile and placard in hand, our drive from the airport to our hotel was sprinkled with ancestral stories and stunning historical monuments lit to perfection on a dark summer sky. Our guide n driver now friend gifted us with a amazing surprise and our very first glimpse of italian aristocracy..... On a hill dotted by sprawling villas we peaked into one which displayed gardens n fountains interspersed with elegant statues glowing under soft lighting. Driving towards the colosseum standing proud in all it's golden glory, we were mesmerised, an image to hold onto for a lifetime.
Biting into a sliced pizza on the go was like biting into a piece of heaven....the most flavoursome of all, from a small pizzeria on our way to our hotel near spainish steps. Biggest mistake, we didn't take the address card.
Our hotel was perfectly situated, the rooms clean, free wifi, good breakfast, informative front desk.
Next day at 10 we reached borghuese gallery, which the hotel booked for us prior to check in date, we took their guided tour when we paid for our booked tickets, which again proved to be reasonably priced and sufficiently informative. The gardens were beautiful, cycles and carts were available on hire. Kiosks of food and drink were plentiful.
Walking along the streets lined with interesting old architecture we walked onto a strret of big brands discreetly displayed behind glass surfaces.....straight ahead we could see a sea of people spilling out from what one could feel was a human hill....on close inspection we could tell that every inch of space on the steps was taken up by people sitting on... Where else the famous spainish steps. There is this uncanny feeling of an invisible pull towards it, it's unexplainable. Another sight that one doesn't easily forget. Happy energy of unrelated persons sitting together n enjoying...pizzas, drinks, ice creams .....oh the gigantic helping of delicious mouth watering heaps of pure creamy sin.....photo ops, sun, people gazing n what not.
Onwards to palazzo navona and the art displayed center bordered by cafes and campo di fiori for home made pasta of different colours n favours, spices and ready to mix flavours. And yet again bordered by little street cafes. Not to forget a myriad of delicate flowers. A place to indulge in sights and smells.
Surprisingly one doesn't get tired inspire of all that walking. We ended the day with an very satisfying meal of their traditional dish of fish and salad, topped by an wholesome tiramisu.
We woke up with anticipation to a tour with walks of Italy early morning tour to the Vatican City . The indulgence was what is called for because the experience if seeing Sistine chapel, with only a few people for company, walking through history unfolding unheeded by any sort of disturbance, seeing the entire expanse without the crowds was a real treat. Every room visited, every corridor passed was a revelation in its self. We coaxed the guard to tell us about the chimney which sends out the smoke signal when there is an election. We got such clarity it was as if we saw it for ourselves. St. Peter's church and the vatican museum was beauty incomparable. We just sat there seeping in the atmosphere. The masterpieces blew the mind, the artistry , the renditions, the astounding stokes were mana from heaven. Filling each cell with wonder and amazement.
Walking towards the bridge, seeing the views from the top of the castle, going past the golden era into tratesvere. Different part different ambience, one that we wanted to get away from as fast as we could, back into another world we have come to love. I'm not saying its not to be seen but our mood was such that we wanted to see the past.
Colosseum was next and the forum...we could see the forum from the road and were satisfied with it, we had our guide books that explained everything explicitly. The cobbled streets around the colosseum held our attention.
Taking a train back and a short walk we reached our hotel for some much needed rest.
This next day was an easy day we did the pyramid, churches , crypts, food, people watching, lazy strolls, side walk benches, pizzas, ice cream n laughter. Rome was special, it made us feel special, it added a new dimension to our understanding, it gave us a new beginning.
Something to discuss on our train ride to Salerno on amalfi coast.
That rendition coming up in part II if anyone is interested. Caio!
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Two weeks in Italy and a few days in Switzerland