The next country we visited after Germany was Italy. We took a night train from Munich to Rome which was a great adventure in itself. I had always dreamed about the romantic notion of traveling by train overnight through distant lands, so this was a literal dream come true for me. The only part I wish I could have changed was that we started when their was still daylight so I could see the towering Alps that were certainly surrounding us as we sped through Austria.
I thought I had booked a private compartment for us but the train company put a man in with us since there were 4 beds. We were not happy, it was such close quarters we just wanted to be able to relax and we just couldn’t feel comfortable. I spoke with an attendant for a bit and 30 Euros later we were moving to a private compartment. Its not that the guy that was stuck with us wasn’t interesting and likable, we just wanted privacy. The man was a biologist that was studying the effects of climate change on birds in Siberia and Patagonia. We heard some unsettling stories about the thawing of Siberian permafrost, and the releasing of mass amounts of methane gas.
After moving all of our luggage and stuff to the new cabin, we set in for the journey. We slept fairly well. There were numerous stops and such. Some of the glamour of train travel while sleeping was unfortunately tarnished a bit for me. The tunnels were incredible, and hitting them at 200 MPH changed the air pressure in the train, so you could always tell when we hit one. However it was really neat to sit and sip coffee while we sped through the early morning Tuscany Landscape destined for the great city of Rome. And looking back, I really did enjoy that train journey and would love to be back on it tonight.
We pulled into Rome Termini around 9:30 AM and were ready for our touristic assault on the ancient city. It took us a little bit to figure out lockers and then transportation to the Vatican which was our first destination. The Vatican was somewhat crowded, it took about 30 minutes to get into St.Peter’s Cathedral, we opted not to spend the time or the money to tour the sistine chapel. Touring a city such as this in one day means making sacrifices.
We had good friends from Pensacola who now lived nearby in Naples, Italy and drove up to guide us through Rome. And thank god for them, as that place was huge and chaotic. The dad and the daughter made the trip to join us, Nora and her were best buddies when they lived in Pensacola so it was a fun reunion.
We saw the Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon, The Forum Ruins, The Coliseum, The Arch of Constantine and more. We managed to get tiramisu, gelato, paninis, and coffee. Ohhh the coffee! I fell in love with Italian Macchiatos. Luckily I found a coffee shop in Pensacola that does a great one as well.
It was near the Forum ruins and the Coliseum that I found this Lost Sole. It was in a state of ruins itself. I was very happy with this discovery and will be my trophy show for this European trip. As you know, I never move Lost Soles, its like desecrating a gravesite to me. So this is where it sat, complete with the backdrop of the Roman Coliseum.
This is pretty much where our day in Rome ended. We had a short distance to drive to get to Naples and the Amalfi Coast. I did find some Lost Soles there as well so stay tuned for my next entry as it will be quite an adventure.