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Wish I'd brought sandals to Rome!

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Sep 10th, 2011, 10:06 AM
  #1
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Wish I'd brought sandals to Rome!

After all the recent what to wear discussions, I was sure I packed well. But boy, do I wish I'd brought sandals. AND a pair of walking shorts. It is hot, and everyone, men included, is wearing them. I am thrilled I convinced myself to pack my Merrill's trail shoes. We visited Ostia Antica today and they were perfect. Also patting myself on the back for bringing a hat and sunscreen.

Just goes to show, wear what you know will be comfortable.

That said, the city is teeming with tourists. It should be good for the economy here and for the banks that charge transaction and conversion fees. Late yesterday we walked to the TIM store to get a data cars for my iPad and sim for the mobile, then we battled our way up via Corso through the mobs "shopping" turned on to via Condotti and oogled all the designer shop windows as we made our way towards the Spanish Steps...which looked way too crowded to even approach. We turned off into a little street, and found "34" which had been recommended to us by Selena from the front desk, and sat down for a beer and to just people watch, Perfect choice. But don't order a Peroni without knowing that it is a giant bottle! We were so filled, we knew we would likely not be eating dinner that night! We did eventually make our way up the Spanish steps and into the park surrounding Borghesi Villa etc. Beautiful night for a walk through the park and we wound our way back to via Veneto and our little hotel. Showered and slept like babies. But we also decided not to brave crowds in town on Saturday, and opted to head for Ostia Antica. It was the right choice.


We are staying in a new B&B - really a small hotel - just off via Veneto. Deko Rome is on a quiet street (via Toscana) and is spacious, bright, QUIET, and friendly. Apparently they are booked solid into November, but I made reservations in May, and am thrilled with how good this place is. Breakfast is huge and really sends you off ready to expend some energy.

I love going back to a place, as we don't feel obligated to see too much any given day, so we are enjoying ourselves very much.
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Sep 10th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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Uhoh - a very simple solution to your sandal dilemma: buy some! What a wonderful souvenir you will have from Rome. I bought some sandals on a whim in Sorrento - custom made on the spot, and although they were not really cushioned enough for my daytime touring, I loved slipping them on in the evening to go to dinner, and I think of our lovely trip every time I wear them at home.
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Sep 10th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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Loved your comment about the big beer. They are filling!! Can't wait to read more about your trip!
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Sep 10th, 2011, 10:38 AM
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yes, we ended up buying 3 pairs of shoes in Rome last time we were there - 2 pairs for DS who had managed to pack only shoes that were falling to bits and which proceeded to do so, and a pair for me which make me smile every time i wear them.

if you go to "normal" as opposed to tourist/designer shops, you should end up paying "normal" prices.
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Sep 10th, 2011, 11:26 AM
  #5
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I keep teasing Steve that we'll buy him a pair of those European men's "capri" pants.
We don't plan on many extra expenditures this trip...it's a month long and we'll want to spend our € on good food and wine ;-).
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Sep 10th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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busted - one pair cost €20, the other two €50 each. [pair not foot].

Not cheap, but reasonable and all 3 pairs are still going strong nearly 2 years later.

frankly for the sake of the cost of one meal, I'd rather eat more cheaply for a couple of days and have comfy feet!
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Sep 10th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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I agree with annhig. Especially over a month in September, I would really want to have a pair of sandals that gave my feet a break from hot, enclosed, probably sweaty shoes and would trade a meal or two for them. They really can be found for not much and they're easily tucked into even a carry-on size bag. Go on, buy a pair - you need them.
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Sep 10th, 2011, 01:48 PM
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I love those men's Capri pants/shorts but my husband doesn't agree. I've been to Europe often enough now that I know it's perfectly fine wearing whatever I would wear here. Although I have not worn shorts (bermudas) in France since the bin men in Paris shouted out "oh le joli petit garcon". I would not wear them in Italy either.
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Sep 10th, 2011, 08:50 PM
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We will be in Rome in Mid October so hope you will continue to post and give me a preview! I am hoping it won't be so crowded then.
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Sep 11th, 2011, 02:43 AM
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Being in Rome = being in crowds.

Last November, visiting the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps was like going to NY for the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. But you wouldn't expect it to be different. Go early, before 10 AM.

Some places, like the Forum, are big enough to absorb crowds, but you won't be sorry to get there early.

Other areas, like the area around the Pantheon, seem quieter later in the afternoon, after the tour buses and school groups have left. Some areas, like the Campo di Fiori, are trendier than they used to be so are always packed, but the nearby ghetto is quieter than I remember.

The really big surprise on that trip is that really important works of art and architecture were very quiet when they were in churches: Bernini's Santa Teresa de Avila, il Gesu, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, etc.

So you can find quiet places but expect tourist hordes.
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Sep 11th, 2011, 08:13 AM
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We are having a marvelous time. Borghese Gallery this morning, where we bought the Roma Pass, then we discovered the little 116 electric bus, which we took to Campo di Fiori. Grabbed a panini and a coke and sat in the shade & breeze, then wandered around, walked by the river, had some gelato (limone and frutti di Bosci) grabbed the 116 again and got off at the second stop on via Veneto, which is about 3 blocks from our hotel. Nice to chill out in peace and quiet.

Tomorrow we will go shopping for capris and sandals. Nice to know we have free public transportation for the next 2 days.

Dinner last night was lovely. Lo Stil Novo - about half a block away, via sicilia 66B. Pretty place, nice service, reasonably priced. Excellent homemade pasta, good veal (DH had Ossobuco, I had Saltimbaca). Lovely light pino nero. We had two courses each and were very filled. total bill was 89€.
Multiple freebi: "welcome" glass of Prosecco, home smoked salmon on black toast (squid ink), and some little biscuits/meringues at the end.
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Sep 11th, 2011, 09:16 AM
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We went to the Borghese this morning too. It is awfully hot. It was much cooler last year at this time. I'm taking the Scavi tour in the morning as my travel companion hasn't been. I hope it's early enough not to be deadfully humid.
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Sep 11th, 2011, 10:00 AM
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busted - it sounds great.

remember tomorrow is monday, so not all shops will open - or may open late.

Monday is the new sunday in Italy and France.

BTW, it's "saltinbocca" literally, "jump in the mouth".
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Sep 11th, 2011, 03:40 PM
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Tonight dinner was Casa Copelle...hard to find but worth it. We were feeling like we should eat light, so we kept it to caprese for me, with pici with chinghale in a white sauce. One of the best pasta dishes I've ever had in my life. Dh had gaspacho and a rissotto with zucchini and saffron that was also amazing. We had half a liter of house red, which was a pino nero and san giovese blend that was out of sight good. We'd ordered a bottle, but the waitress wasn't as good with Engligh as she thought she might be so she brought the small pitcher. We just ordered a second bottle of water. Ended up getting dessert...meringue with great strawberries and whipped cream, and pistachio panna cotta with hazelnut sauce that was very good. We may be back for another meal before we leave Rome on Friday.
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Sep 12th, 2011, 03:04 PM
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Ha ha ha ha ...a funny thing happened on the way to the forum today: someone tried to scan us and it was so funny, I need to share it. We truly were headed out to the forum today, walked down to Berberini Metro and hopped the train. For some reason we decided we wanted to get off at Victore Emmanuel thinking of the monument, not the piazza. So we overshot our goal, but quickly figured out how to get there and it was a nice 15 min walk through a nice neighborhood. There was an arboretum/park we were aiming for (thx to Rome2Go mapping app) Once there you could see the Colosseum looking down the hill.

Any way just before we entered the park, a guy pulls up in a white station wagon, and asks us directions to Piazza Republica.

Sorry, we're tourists, and couldn't tell you.

Are you from the USA? Where?

North Carolina.

Do they like Italian Fashion in North Carolina? I'm living in Paris now, where I represent a clothing company. You were so nice to try to help me, maybe you could help with my marketing?

Well, people dress pretty casual in NC.

I could give you this shirt...and you could show it to the shops there (he pulls out a white polo shirt in a plastic bag) This XL should fit your husband. And I've got this leather jacket....(we looked at each other, shaking our heads as he continues). ...if you could maybe help me with some money for Petrol...we ere gambling last night and I need some money for petrol, but I've got all these samples for you...

Oh, no I really don't thing we want to carry all that stuff around, thanks but no thanks.

With a smile and a wave he drove off...

We gave him high marks for his detailed story!
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Sep 13th, 2011, 08:04 AM
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"scan=scam". Please excuse misspellings and typos. I'm using my iPad and typing is sometimes a bit challenging.

Finally bought sandals tofay (€29) and a light weight pair of trousers (€24) and noticed they were both made in Italy! I haven't bought (or seen) much at home that wasn't made in China. How come they are more protective of thier industries than the US is? OK sorry for the political comment, but it is really different.

Apparently Italians don't put much on clearance with the change of seasons. 90% of the merchandise in the stores is for the Fall and Winter seasons. Or it could just be Rome?

Shopping note to women: Medium
in Italy is more like Small in US. L is a Medium, and XL which would equate to Large, is not easily to be found. If you wear larger than a size 10 US ( meaning 12, 14, etc) There are two places I found with those sizes. A place called Saxon, on via del Corso, and another called Pitran, near via Condotti.
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Sep 13th, 2011, 10:28 AM
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Uhoh, I'm reading along, enjoying your trip with you. I will be in Italy in a month and I'd planned on packing warmer clothes. Packing in fall can be a challenge.
When I read that someone had tried to "scan" you, I wondered what the heck that meant? Did you have to go through a security gate or is this another way of saying someone was checking you out! It didn't click that you meant scam until I read further. When he asked you if they like Italian fashion in NC were you at all tempted to start talking hillbilly on him? Thanks for the tip on sizing, funny, stores here go the other direction.....Chicos calls their size ten a 1. If you wear a small you are a zero or even a minus size.

Thanks for sharing, keep it coming!

CindyP.
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Sep 13th, 2011, 01:52 PM
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well done withstanding the scam, and good shopping - italian made too!
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Sep 15th, 2011, 03:11 AM
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Ok. I have a new fav museum. It is the Capitoline. I am so totally blown away by the marbles from the 1-4 centuries. You really feel drawn into the glories of the Roman Empire after a visit to this museum. We went the day after visiting the Forum...which seems to be a good order to see these two.

The forum, by the way, has improved so much compared to when we were last here in 2001. Currently the have installed an exhibit with multiple stops, highlighting the reign of Nero. It is very well done and enhances your experience touring the ruins dramatically. We were SO hot, that we decided to break for lunch before visiting the Pallatine Museum. Oops. Big mistake. You can go back at another time to see the colosseum, but you only get into one museum or archeological site once. ( you can, of course, pay for a new entry, and with the Roma Pass that would be reduced) ah well, lesson learned.

It is so very hot here, that we are truly making use of the easy availability of drinking water. The mini-fridge at our B&B is replenished daily with comp soft drinks and water, ao we always start the day with a fresh water bottle, but it gets refilled frequently.
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Sep 15th, 2011, 03:23 AM
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By the way -- you can get good food near the forum. Our B&B hostess gave us the rec for Taverva dei Fori Imperiali. It is on a tiny little street named for the church at the end, Madonna dei Monti. The make their own pasta (well, so do most of the places she's sent us to) and my ravioli in pistachio pesto sauce was astounding. DH had spaghetti carbonara with artichokes and saffron that was equally amazing. We decided to make our main meal right on the spot and ordered secondis. DH had braised chinghale, and I had rabbit and duck in a lemon thyme sauce. What a gem of a place. Having such a fine meal, it was easier to take not getting to see the Pallatine museum.
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