Flower kiosk near Spanish Steps
In Rome 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007

Eurogarden Hotel has a great breakfast buffet. We had bread, croissants, various meats, cheeses, fruits, juices, and all kinds of coffee. After breakfast, the hotel staff gave us a ride to a metro station nearby and from which we could go almost any where in the City. We purchased the all-day pass for $6 each and during the next 12 hours, we went to Popolo Plaza, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, the Forum and the Vatican.
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
The Vatican
Rome is like an outdoor museum because everywhere you go, you would see great Roman ancient sites. The Colosseum impressed me greatly because of its size and design. It is as big as Texas Stadium and was built by hand with primitive equipment. As an engineer, I am certainly in awe of the Roman engineers who designed and oversaw this massive construction project.
Ancient Romans were creative, energetic and ambitious and that was why they conquered almost half of the world in their times. Needless to say, we took a bunch of photographs and videos so be very suspicious if you were invited over to our house for dinner, you might have to sit through a slide show or two.
As expected, real Italian food is great. Most restaurants have outdoor seating areas and that was where we had our lunch and dinner because the weather was great. We had salad and mussels for lunch, pizza and steak for dinner and everything was so fresh and tasty. I've always though Don's mussels are unbeatable but now I've tasted better. The sauce in which the mussels were simmered was so good, we dipped the bread in it mopped it dry. After dinner we caught the subway back to the hotel and had a good night sleep.

Monday October 8, 2007

First thing I did this morning was to check NFL scores and saw that the Packers are no longer among the unbeaten teams. Cowboys will play Monday night or Tuesday at 1:00 AM Venice time and I probably won't be able to watch it even though I think I can stream the video feed on my laptop (Go Cowboys.) After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and rode the high-speed train from Rome to Venice. Since I'd read comments left by hotel users on "Trip Advisor" Website before I booked the hotels, I will leave my comment about Eurogarden on "Trip Advisor" for future readers.

The bullet train has great accommodation and we sat in the glassed-off area of the car. Beautiful Italian countryside passed by our wide window as the train speeded through the Tuscany region and headed to Florence, Bologna before it brought us to Venice.

I'll write about Venice in a couple of days but here is my observation on Italy and Italians so far:

I love to listen to Italians speak and watch their body language. The way they draw out the last part of the sentences and move their hands while speaking is so expressive. Most Italians are not very friendly although we did get directions from some very helpful people.

You would think you would hear a lot of classical music or opera in Italy but all we have heard from the hotel chauffer to the vendors on the streets is American 80's pop.

We did not feel unsafe on the metro. Our stuff was still intact as we're heading to Venice.

(Written October 9, 2007)

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