Rome Day 10 / Move to the B and B

We started the morning late, though amazingly again, no hangover! I think it’s because the wine is just so “good” it doesn’t give me one. I’ll have to test that theory at home for sure! What’s nice about Italy is that “good” wine is so common, you can order a restaurant’s house wine without worries – and it’s cheap!

We joined up with my associate Tom and his wife Patti for a hop-on hop-off Rome bus tour. We opted to remain on the bus for the 2 hours to get an idea of what we want to go back to see. It’s a great way to get an all-in-one overview of a city’s high points and you can’t beat the price – this one was only 13 Euro. After the tour we said goodbye to Tom & Patti and made plans to meet them for dinner that evening at I 3 Scalini where my group had been the previous Sunday.

Terry and I packed up our stuff from the hotel room and moved to the Roma B&B which turned out to be more of a hassle than it should have. The cab driver took us way out of the way and what should have been 20 minutes turned into more like an hour. He asked for directions and it was overall a grueling experience, but at least he kept his word to charge only 20 Euro. When we got to the B&B Max (the owner and also known as Massimo, my travel associate – yep, the one who told me to lay on the Sistine Chapel floor) showed us our room. It was much bigger and a lot nicer than I thought it would be. They have only three rooms in the B&B, on the 6th floor of an apartment building just on the other side of the Vatican walls. It was a great location and far enough from the touristy stuff to give us a glimpse of the life of a modern-day Roman.

We decided to change and make our way to Piazza Navona – what better way to get there than by bus? We walked about three blocks to the station and boarded, but the driver didn’t speak a lick of English. When I tried to pay him he gave me a “tsk tsk” and waved me away! So I played the “dumb American” and sat down. The bus did take us to the Piazza where we took a look around for a while before deciding that even though we were 45 minutes early for dinner, we would just sit down outside and enjoy a glass of wine while people-watching. Lo and behold, Tom & Patti showed up right at that moment with the same idea. We ended up having a delicious meal and Patti and I went through two bottles of red wine while the guys challenged each other to pint after pint of beer. Of course we also had to have some of that luscious chocolate gelato dessert and I even let Terry have a small taste! My scale is just going to hate me when I get back home!

We said our goodbyes but on our way back to the bus stop Terry spotted an English pub called “The Bulldog Inn”. Needless to say I had a pretty good buzz on, so why not stop for yet more wine! We met an Irishman named Paul – I called him “Father Paul” because he was dressed like a priest – but he’s not one, and I’m still not sure why he was dressed like one. Anyway, the Irish rugby team beat Italy in Rome earlier that day and the city was crawling with happier-than-usual drunk Irishmen. This on St. Patrick’s Day! We ended up chasing after the bus and getting what we deduced was a free ride back to the B&B (nobody paid for the bus, not even the locals!). Gosh I hope that red wine comes out of my khaki pants.

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