The flight from Chicago to Germany was pretty good with little turbulence. I was not able to sleep much, maybe 20 minutes every now and then. The food was not good, but at least we were fed. Our next flight was boarded quickly and left on time. It was a short flight – about a couple of hours. We decided not to upgrade our seats for this flight. We arrived quite early in Italy. Our shuttle was waiting for us at the airport. The chauffeur, Chaffi, was very polite, told us all his life in a matter of minutes and took us for some sight seeing before reaching the hotel, which was good since check-in was at 2:00 p.m. We arrived at the hotel around 10:30 a.m. They were polite enough to check us in early. We dropped off our luggage, freshened up, and headed out the door to visit the Colosseum and explore Rome.
Our itinerary included walking to the Colosseum and its surroundings. However, we did not plan on my left foot relapsing into excruciating pain. I felt as if I was holding back my family. We decided to rent a car since walking was difficult for me. After several miles walking, my daughter and I headed towards the hotel while my husband, son, and son-in-law headed towards the closest car rental in the area. Thank God for the internet and Google maps! They arrived at the hotel with a 2017 Alfa Romeo Gulietta. Typical men, nice sporty car, uncomfortable, too sophisticated to figure out with such little time, but they claimed it was the only one available.
It was quite scary driving through Rome. There are no dividers designating lanes, tons of motorcycles, vespas, and bikers on the street and people just throw themselves onto the street with little or no regard of automobiles driving around. Thank God my husband has good reflections and didn’t run any one over.
We arrived at the Colosseum and parked near a restaurant. We were hungry and wanted to get a bit to eat so we stopped at La Biga Restaurant right across from the Colosseum for lunch. It was very good food – pizza margherita, fettuccini a la bolognesa, lasagna, bruschetta – delicious! After lunch we headed to the Colosseum. We needed to pick up our tickets which were purchased online. The best part of pre-purchasing your tickets is that we got to skip the lines and believe me, there was a very long line. We entered the Colosseum and were mesmerized by the sight and its history. We spent about 2-3 hours in the Colosseum. We also visited some other amazing sights. But after more than 24 hours without sleep we were ready to turn in for the night, so at 8:30 p.m. we returned to the hotel and called it a day. It was a very long, exciting and wonderful day!
To be continued in Venice