Friday, November 11, 2011

Rome - it's all good

The reason I'm here...
To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 1:7

Day One: It’s been a long one, but good. My flight dropped into Rome at around 60-degrees and pure sunshine. Andrew met me and we immediately hooked up with a fine example of Italy’s incomparable cappuccino. Then we stowed my luggage in his car and took the train into the city.
My agenda over the next 8 days is simple: Enjoy some quality father-son time with Andrew; see Italy through his eyes; soak up as much Renaissance inspiration as possible.

All I wanted to do today was to walk around Rome, take in some views, and chat with Andrew. So we hiked down to the Forum and climbed the steps to the massive Vittoriano, the imposing monument to Italian unity that dominates every view. The panorama from the café terrace level was amazing, but then – after some mozzarella/prosciutto sandwiches – we took the elevator to the roof for the most spectacular vista of Rome I have ever seen.

Great views from the roof...
Everything is visible! I took out my telephoto lens and was able to isolate St Peter’s, the Coliseum, the Forum, the Pantheon…. Name your favorite spot and I could pull it into focus. After exhausting our eyeballs, Andrew and I walked on down to the Coliseum and then back up to Mussolini’s monolithic 1930’s rail hub.

Andrew did some research and found an amazing hotel with off-season rates. We arrived at the Castello della Castelluccia in the late afternoon. The rooms are built into an authentic castle with palatial rooms, expansive grounds and extensive views across the valley.

Tonight's accommodations
Then Andrew treated for dinner. He sent back his English menu and asked for Italian and I let him order. We started with artichoke flan and it just continued to get better from there. Okay, so I’m here for Andrew, for the views, for the Renaissance inspiration…. AND the food. Definitely the food. Did I mention this was Italy….?

I’m exhausted from two consecutive nights of abbreviated sleep, so I’ll close out this post. “Ciao” from one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Peace and blessings - DEREK

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