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Italy Trip Report - March 2008

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This is Part I of our trip report (March 9 - 19th)

Trip Itinerary

11 days (including travel days). Five nights in Palestrina (outside Rome) staying at Anne’s Place B&B. Three nights in Sorrento, staying at Il Roseto B&B. One night in Rome at the Hotel Golden. Third trip to Italy (first trip was 10 days in Rome; second trip was 10 days in Florence.)

Days 1 & 2:

We left on Northwest Airlines from Boston through Amsterdam to Rome. The flight was routine, with typical airline food and service. The Amsterdam airport is large and clean with good signage. We had to walk from one end of the airport to the other to catch the connecting flight to Rome, which felt refreshing after sitting like a sardine for seven hours.

Our flight arrived in Rome on schedule. We made our way to the train station, and bought tickets for the Leonardo Express. The weather was cool and dreary, and Rome looked dirtier and more graffiti-ridden than I remembered from our first visit. Upon arrival in Termini, we obtained some euros from the ATM and bought our tickets to Palestrina (2,30 euros). The ride to Palestrina took about 35 minutes, and as the city gave way to suburbs and finally the countryside, we wondered if we had made a mistake in staying so far away from the center of the city. The contact point in Palestrina with Anne’s place was closed, so we had some trouble finding a way to call the B&B. Finally, we were able to contact the B&B – Anne’s husband David picked us up and drove us to our lodging place.

By the end our stay at Anne’s Place, our misgivings about its location were allayed by the helpfulness and kindness of our hosts, Anne and David. In addition, we truly enjoyed getting know our fellow guests. After dealing with the hustle and bustle of Rome, it was very relaxing to spend time in a peaceful small town (with Anne and David providing safety net). Spending time at Anne’s Place was something like going to summer camp for adults.

Day 3

We took the train into Rome, and walked through some familiar spots to become reacquainted with Rome and to walk off jetlag – St. Peters Square, Ponte Sant’ Angelo, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Barberini, Via Veneto and Villa Borghese. Near St. Peters, we had gelato at our favorite shop in Italy – Old Bridge (across the street from where people line up to get into the Vatican Museum). We visited the Museum of Modern Art, which actually covers the period from the 1800s to the present. The museum portrayed an interesting look at Italian art and cultural history during this timeframe. Back in Palestrina, we ate dinner at Lo Schiribizzo, a low-key family-run place.

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