Rome, Italy


When writing about travel you usually you do not start with getting to the airport, the horrendous check in, the lines, and the x-ray machine, unless you are a kid writing what you did on your spring break…so I won’t, but I am going to tell you about the 12 1/2hour plane ride. I hear the groans folks, but you are wrong, stick with it. The plane is half full, extra seats galore and if you were smart you got three across. Oh glory be, three seats across on a 12-13 hour flight is something you have to write about because it does not happen in a lifetime of travels. It happened to Skip and I.  Our seats were three across with a middle seat empty. That’s great in itself. That’s a miracle these days with packed flights and bumper to bumper people.  The three seats directly across from us were empty when they shut the doors. Skip moved casually across and sat smack dab in the middle seat daring anyone to sit next to him and no one did. The scramble began and people re-seated themselves. I am no kid, I am not on spring break, I am writing because this is not just a miracle, but a travel experience. I worked very hard to upgrade to business class in any way possible. Our tickets were not in a class for any possible upgrade for love, money or points. The three seats in a row is a much better deal. I felt like I had my own little apartment on the plane. It was still a long plane ride, but what a difference a couple of  extra seats make.


Our hotel is a few yards from the Spanish Steps in the PiazzaDi Spagna. We settled into a quite apartment with a view of a special ruin, so special they keep it lit at night. Thank goodness for black out curtains, but with jet lag everything is lit. Morning is night and night is morning and the two go on and on until you find you have awoken in time for lunch. Going back to the day of arrival, we timidly walked out into the piazza noting an enormous crowd. Well, we thought it is Sunday and everyone was off enjoying a family day out in the Piazza. We picked to walk right and the crowd got thicker and thicker. It began to get uncomfortable and a little scary. The police with dogs and clubs were thick and people kept coming. We got very close to the Piazza del Popolo where later we found out there were above the 200,000 number of people in the Piazza and still coming when we turned and walked another way. There was no escaping the crowds.  We stopped to ask everyone and through broken English and some fairly good English we were able to gather that this demonstration was for the dignity of women and against the Prime Minister Berlusconi.  It seems the old geezer has allegedly been having unions with underaged prostitutes and has not been active for women’s rights the way the citizens of Italy want him to act. One man in the streets said, “Sure he go with women, but that is their job.  They do their job, that is good.” I didn’t discuss with the man that the girl doing her job was underage.  There were fifty cities in Italy who participated at exactly the same time and day. There is much, much more to this subject and the political feelings here, but we are only visitors.The reason I mention it is because to be swept up into a huge demonstration after viewing Tunisia and Egypt, hits a note of high interest and it was a huge excitement to all who participated. I am all for dignity of not only women, but the dignity of humanity. That’s a big hope and a huge order.

We had dinner outside all bundled up with heaters all around. The whole town was eating outside, so we did too.  Our table was placed so perfectly in front, facing the streets.  My seat faced a very popular dress shop.  The clerks inside were wearing the most elegant clothes.  They had two manikins in the front window.  They would dress these two front facing manikins in sensational outfits and within five minutes someone would come in and buy the whole outfit.  We sat at our table and I would say this went on every time she dressed the mannequin, the outfit sold. Remember there were huge demonstration crowds there that evening, but still I will venture to say that those manikins are worth their weight in gold. Splendid advertising and marketing using their mannequins wouldn’t you say?  Before we left the dress shop, I had a look inside. With more time on hand, I would have been in that number who bought beautiful clothes off of those manikins.

The day ended with closing eyes and the onset of jet lag symptoms…but before I nod off, let me tell you we do not intend  experience the kind of Rome you are thinking about with all the notable ancient sights. There are ancient sights wherever you step and we have seen and done the noble ones in the guide books on an earlier trip.  This time we plan to just set our feet on the ground and take off walking for three days.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pat Rieffanaugh
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 13:13:41

    What an exciting life you lead!! Hope your steps lead you to more excitement and adventure.


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Feb 21, 2011 @ 13:32:01

      Thank you for reading. We are truly having a great time as we are now in Sicily and then off to Malta. I hope I have words for how wonderful and how much we are enjoying Sicily. It is so interesting. OH way more that that word, but what words will tell?
      Love, Sheila


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Mar 02, 2011 @ 22:02:01

      Oh hi, and life is exciting especially when things are going well. Had a wonderful trip. Home now! Love, home, too.


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Mar 02, 2011 @ 22:02:03

      Oh hi, and life is exciting especially when things are going well. Had a wonderful trip. Home now! Love, home, too.


    Feb 16, 2011 @ 14:08:14

    Gifted ! ! ! Gifted ! ! ! Gifted ! ! ! You are Gifted communicator period ! ! !
    Enjoy every minute of your vacation ! ! !
    Sending love,
    Dick and Harriet


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Mar 02, 2011 @ 22:00:49

      Thank you for writing your lovely and appreciated comments. We are home now and Renee and Stan have gone on for their post trip.
      Long, long plane ride. Jet lag setting in. Again, thanks for reading.


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