“We’re going to spend July in Rome,” we casually told friends and family before we left. We didn’t really think about what we might want to do, but that was okay, we had a whole month. That was plenty of time. We’d be able to get to know people in our neighbourhood, become locals at local restaurants, and feel at home. We could go off and explore new neighbourhoods, as well as touch base with all major must-see sights again. The possibilities seemed endless.
But so is Rome. No sooner had we got here, than we realised that the timer was running down. The truth is that Rome is bottomless. There are of course the major sights – the Vatican, the Colosseum and Forum, the Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain. There are dozens of museums (or so it seems), and more churches and cathedrals than you can imagine. Then there are the neighbourhoods – our own Primavalle, Trastevere, Testaccio, and others. The markets, the shops, the parks, the restaurants. We want to spend time in all of them.
So, there is a lot to do in Rome. But in Rome, we are also in the centre of Italy, and that makes it very easy to get to other places. Why not? Just for a day? We downloaded an App – 200 Day Trips from Rome. Mamma Mia!
So we’ve had to be very selective about how to spend our time, at the same time recognising that
a) the heat is exhausting and so we can only spend so much time outside before we will melt away and slither down a drain (or my toes will fall off – a story you do not want to hear),
b) we actually want to relax and enjoy ourselves, without feeling that ridiculous tourist pressure to see everything, and
c) we’ve still got a long time to go on this trip, and we need to pace ourselves.
So we’re learning to pick and choose, learning to cull certain sights, to make sure our tourist euro is well spent. But it doesn’t happen without a little regret. And still, time is ticking on …