observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

A blink of Rome

After a painful thirteen hours pressed together like sardines, arriving in the city was like diving into a freshly-filled pool on a hot summer’s day. That was our release off the plane and into Rome. The narrow, winding, cobbled streets lined with scooters and a few tiny cars; windows framed with operating shutters; crowds overflowing narrow sidewalks; the Coliseum like an ancient sentinel seen from streets, alleyways and hotel rooms; and an abundance of ostaria and ristorante drawing in either locals or tourists, depending upon a traveler’s foodie-sense.

view from our hotel in Rome

Rome was a three-day layover to recover from jet lag and see a few sights before commencing our cruise. We marvelled at the narrow streets, gutsy drivers, yet life was much more laid back when it came to dining, browsing, or taking a stroll.

streets of RomeDSCN0065

Of course we saw a few of the sights.

Coliseum in Rome

Ancient ruins in Rome

Trevi Fountain - Rome

in Rome

Good food was usually down a narrow and out-of-the way alley.

dining in Rome

Scooters outnumber cars. This would be a scooter version of a Porsche, I suspect, for this businessman.

Businessman on scooter -- Rome

Of course, there were crowds of tourists everywhere. Joining them was necessary if we too wished to see some of the exotic and priceless art that is abundant, particularly in the Vatican.

grounds of the Vatican

Vatican: mosaics & Ceiling art


Finally, we embark. Our first cruise. Man that ship is big — MS Koningsdam.

MS Koningsdam

What I’m sharing in photographs is merely a blink at those I’ve taken. As I begin to share images from our many ports-of-call we experienced on the cruise, those too will merely be blinks.

My favourite memory of Rome: the utterly flavour-bursting bruschetta like I have never tasted in my life! They were that good! Fresh (grown there), ripe (not trucked), dripping with flavour tomatoes cut in huge chunks over top the most delicious crispy-crusted handmade Italian bread (absolutely no additives), generously drizzled with (grown right there) extra virgin olive oil, with fresh (grown right there) basil torn on top. Simple yes. But I’ve never in my life eaten something with that intensity of natural flavour. Utterly memorable.

So tell me, what is one of your favourite, or perhaps unique, memories of a trip you have taken?

Until next Monday my lovelies may you notice the details, enjoy the ride, and savour a favourite memory.

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Lisa Gordon - May 30, 2016 - 7:07 am

Oh my goodness, Diane, what a wonderful adventure for you!
It sure looks beautiful there, and oh yes, that is one huge ship!
I cannot wait to see more photographs as you post them.
I am so glad that you had a wonderful time.
Happy Monday to you! xo.

Susan Clark - May 30, 2016 - 3:27 pm

This looks like the trip of a lifetime. I get goosebumps when I follow a route through ancient buildings thinking of those who have walked centuries before me.

Diane - May 30, 2016 - 8:50 pm

Susan, it truly was a trip of a lifetime. Not something that will ever happen again. Lots and lots of great memories to cherish. I love how your thoughts go to those ancient ruins.

Diane - May 30, 2016 - 8:51 pm

Thanks Lisa, I think I may have been chintzy with the photos but I didn’t wish to have them go on and on and on … Have a great week and thank you so much for taking time to leave this lovely note for me.

Celia - May 30, 2016 - 11:40 pm

What was wonderful start to your adventure! Rome is so crammed with history, my favourite building is the Pantheon and I’m in awe of the construction (it’s made of concrete!) of that glorious dome with the hole in the centre through which you glimpse the sky.

It rained when we were in Rome, I remember queuing to get into the Vatican. Then afterwards running to a nearby osteria where we were served spaghetti puttanesca by a lady who could have stepped straight out of a film by Fellini.

I wonder where you’re going next?

shawna - May 31, 2016 - 6:58 am

How wonderful, Diane!! Really can’t wait to go back to Italy some day….but for now it’s great to live vicariously through you and your photos. Would love to see more.

Jessie Stevens - May 31, 2016 - 7:15 pm

You capture people and the essence of the street life so well in these shots!

Sherry G. - June 2, 2016 - 7:31 pm

It’s so great to check in with you again after a while away and see these fabulous images of ROme. They bring back such wonderful memories of my time there. I identify with your comments about the intense natural flavours of simple food because of the quality of the ingredients. In fact that is one of the things I most remember about my travels throughout Italy. Fresh, flavourful, simple, natural food. It really makes you realize how plastic so much of our food can be.

Lionel Daneault - June 7, 2016 - 5:55 am

My favorite Rome anecdote is very personal. While having a lovely dinner with my late wife a little boy with the biggest, darkest eyes came to our table. He asked if we would buy a rose. He looked Romany (gypsy) and had probably been put to the task by his family. I nodded him away but those big eyes had drilled right into my soul. A young waiter watched all this and called him over, The boy’s name was Giorgio and the waiter lifted him up and sat him on his rather spiffy looking scooter. Giorgio was elated, dreaming his boyish dreams of one day becoming just like the kindly waiter. For a week I was haunted by those dark eyes as we rested in the sunshine of a Greek island. On our return to Rome before flying home we overnighted at the same hotel on the Via Margarita and dined at the same little restaurant. When Giorgio came by, this time I bought two of his roses. The smile in those dark eyes was worth more to me than whatever I paid him.