Day 4: Rome

Today we left behind the stunning Amalfi coastline and headed toward our second overnight location: Rome.

But first, we stopped for a visit at the Montecassino Abbey. A German stronghold during World War II, the hilltop Abbey was destroyed by Allied bombing and then rebuilt after the war just as it had been in the 17th century. Amazing! And just as amazing as the Abbey itself (still home to 20 Benedictine monks) were the views of the valley below.

And then: Rome.

Rome holds a special place in my heart. It was my first European destination, back in 2001. There, I saw (and fell in love with) my first Smart car and tasted my first gelato. I can still remember waking up in this city the first morning at exactly 5:20 a.m. Rome time – the same time as my alarm was set back home. I looked at the clock and said to myself, “I am a freak of nature.”

I remember getting lost within the first three or four blocks away from my hotel on the first day. After that, before I left the hotel, I carefully planned my route on the map and highlighted it with a marker. It worked! I walked all over the city.

This afternoon, I revisited the Spanish Steps, whose mass appeal baffled me before and baffles me still. There were thousands of people there. Why? And then I walked to the Trevi Fountain. Now this I understand. The fountain is gorgeous and very famous. Just as I had 10 years ago, I threw a coin in the fountain just like in the movie.

All the crowds and walking and coin-tossing made me hungry and thirsty so I had a pizza and a beer at a restaurant near my hotel.

Here are a couple more photos I like:

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