So, let's see - Rome Day 1. What did we do? What didn't we do?
First of all, the taxis were on strike so we had to bargain with a minicab driver to take us into the city from the airport. We could have been annoyed by this, but I felt it lent a pleasing verisimilitude to the proceedings. (When in Rome etc.)
Our hotel was near the Colosseum. From there we walked and walked and walked. We walked past the Colosseum, the imperial fora, the typewriter / wedding cake memorial to Vittorio Emanuele.
We walked around and around and around Trajan's column trying to find our recommended lunch spot - eventually we discovered we'd been standing in front of it and it was closed. So we found somewhere else.
Replenished, we walked some more. Along the Via del Gesu, through the Piazza della Minerva (stopping to gawk at the priest supply store),
over to the Pantheon,
into the Piazza Navona. We swung into the church of San Luigi dei Francesi to see the Caravaggio paintings there. (This is free by the way, but you have to put 10 cents into the box to turn the lights on over the paintings. I found this strangely charming. Also: check out the bling in the church - all of the gold paint in the land was used on the ceiling.)
Along the way we fortified ourselves with coffee (Sant'Eustachio il Caffe, allegedly best coffee in Rome, certainly best coffee we had) and a small, teeny-weeny canolo.
We walked over to the Via del Corso and past all the designer shops and even raced each other up the Spanish Steps (this is why I'm looking decidedly shiny-faced.)
And then we had puccinis (like bellinis but with mandarin puree) and walked some more.
And then we had dinner (three courses, silly not to) and walked back in the direction of the hotel. Luckily - as at least 20 minutes had passed since we'd eaten and we were in danger of expiring - our walk took us by Gelataria San Crispino. Possibly the best ice cream in the world, never mind in Rome.
Around the corner was the Trevi Fountain so naturally enough we walked over there and ate our ice cream.
And then we walked back to the hotel (swinging by Trajan's column for old time's sake).
Smiles: ear to ear.