When in Roma…

4 Posted by - August 28, 2014 - Bike Tour, Italy, Pedal, Sights, Travel
A couple weeks ago, I was e-mailing with a friend and mentioned we were trying to figure out what to do with our remaining time in Italy. Leading up to this point, we’d spent days riding ugly, busy highways in the rain. Each spray of filthy water from passing Mack trucks—or MAN trucks as they’re called here—was a blow to our morale. But the very worst part was the terrain itself, so flat and so straight. No stunning panorama waiting for us at the top of the mountain; no surprise change of scenery around the next turn--there was no mountain; there were no turns. To focus our minds anywhere but the present we counted kilometers, belted out '90s earworms (horribly high on our list: Sheryl Crow's Everyday is a Winding Road) and daydreamed of the turquoise waters awaiting us in our next country. At the time of my e-mail, we had found ourselves, quite literally, at a fork in the road: Should we spend another week pedaling to Rome and maybe even attempting to connect with part of my family living in Italy? Or hightail it to Croatia? “You have to see Rome,” my friend e-mailed back. No we don’t, I thought, envisioning the days of monotonous pedaling that came with a 200 kilometer detour to Rome. 20140809-rome (4) Yes we did. 20140809-rome (6) “Go to the Vatican,” she wrote. 20140810-rome (33)20140810-rome (22) 20140810-rome (18)20140810-rome (28) “Go to the Colosseum,”she urged. 20140810-rome1 (64)-220140810-rome1 (58)-2 “Go to the Tivoli Gardens. Go to the catacombs. Go to the Spanish Steps.” 20140810-rome1 (67)-2 “Courtyards and fountains and monumental structures are everywhere and ANCIENT.” 20140810-rome1 (9)-2  20140810-rome (46)statue (1 of 1) 20140810-rome1 (49)-2 “See it all!!!!!” 20140810-rome1 (42)-2 20140810-rome1 (35)-2 20140810-rome1 (16)-2 20140810-rome1 (17)-2 20140810-rome1 (30)-2 Alison, thank you for using so many exclamation points in your e-mail! We couldn't leave Italy on the wrong foot, and your enthusiasm was just the encouragement we needed to stick around a little longer. We may not have seen it all in Rome, but that just gives us an excuse to return. A note to other bike tourers considering a visit to Rome: Riding into the city was a nightmare (highways, one-way streets, traffic, etc.), and riding through the city was a nightmare (aggressive driving and a lack of bike lanes), but if you can ditch your bike for the day like we did, you won’t regret touring the city via foot. Our all-day subway pass even had us stumble upon some pretty amazing works of art that weren't on our tourist map.

20140809-IMG_0396 Above: A young boy pulls back the metro station wall to reveal a colorful flock of birds, by French street artist Seth Globepainter.

20140809-IMG_0394 Above: a representation of Pope Francis by French street artist C215 at the Piazza di Spagna metro station.

Who knows, maybe people will wait in line and pay to see a different kind of Roman art in a few hundred years.

7 Comments

  • The Lazy Biker August 28, 2014 - 4:18 pm Reply

    WOWIE ZOWIE
    ITS A GOOD THING u didnt pass up rome
    The vatican and coliseum look unbeeleeabel
    The journey is going great
    Happy u posted
    Ive been waiting for weeks
    Talked ti ginny today
    Herspirits are up

    • The Lazy Biker September 1, 2014 - 8:17 pm Reply

      I have an important question
      Does Justin own another T Shirt?

      • b_puliti September 2, 2014 - 10:18 pm Reply

        I love that you are enjoying following our trip! We Skyped with Ginny & Jordan the other day! Good eye–yes, Justin owns another t-shirt. It’s the same color, but with a collar. For some reason, though, he only wears this one. Haha.

  • Alison August 28, 2014 - 9:08 pm Reply

    My heart is so happy that you braved the crazy drivers and experienced Roma!!!!!!!!

    • b_puliti September 2, 2014 - 10:19 pm Reply

      Me too!! xo

  • Margo Levin September 18, 2014 - 11:41 pm Reply

    Beth,
    These photos are spectacular! They are amazing, you are quite talented in so many ways. They brought back so many memories for me. I loved Rome and totally agree with your friend who urged you not to pass it up and try to seek out every nook and cranny!! I try to get back to your site to catch up on what’s going on but this is the first time I’ve been back in a while. Keep up the good work! From the first time I read your first article many years ago, I always knew you were a gifted writer who didn’t dare to skimp (even collecting the so-annoying, nitty-gritty interviews and unusable photos…lol!!!) I’m excited for you as you travel on this unbelievable adventure!!! Happy Trails to you and your hubby,
    Best,
    ~margo

    • b_puliti September 19, 2014 - 8:13 am Reply

      Margo! You are just the sweetest, ever. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so happy you are finding enjoyment in following this journey of ours and I hope you have something wonderful planned for yourself. I saw that you have been traveling a bit as well!

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