30 Days on the Road in Italy…Day 22: Rome

Come with us as we explore Italy and check out properties for Gira! Italian Vacation Rentals.

Although rain is expected today, it doesn’t dampen our determination to see the beautiful Villa Borghese. To get into this fabulous museum, it’s necessary to make a reservation for an entrance time.  We weren’t sure how far in advance this was needed, but yesterday we’d been lucky and there was still availability for the 1:00pm entry.

We take the train again into Termini station from Castel Gandolfo, which is now getting to be a familiar routine.  From Termini, we find the cross town bus for Villa Borghese, and we are well on our way.  Or so we think.  A few blocks into our trip, the bus stops unexpectedly in the middle of a block. It seems that a foolish Roman has parked his Fiat half-way into the street and it’s impossible for the bus to pass.

We wait.  And we wait.  And we wait.

The rain begins to fall in the roof of the bus.

It’s packed, so the passengers are starting to become angry about the stupidity of the situation.  Some of them leave the bus and take off on foot. Some leave the bus and get back on when they realize it’s raining. After what seems like an eternity, the idiotic driver returns to his car and takes off.  We’re underway again, only now it’s getting perilously close to our start time at the museum.

Eventually the bus reaches the Villa Borghese stop and we get out, now running for the Galleria Borghese.  The travel gods are with us.  We run into this magnificent villa and take our place in the line ready to enter at 1:00pm.

When we enter the museum, all of the day’s misadventures are forgotten.  Somewhere on this trip, we have been exposed to the idea of Stendhal Syndrome, which is a form of disorientation that comes from being in the presence of a large quantity of beautiful art. It can happen in the Villa Borghese because each room is filled with stunning masterpieces of uncanny depth and variety. You have to take it at a reasonable pace, and you have to make sure you rest from time to time. The phenomenon is compounded by the fact that the building itself is a stunning masterpiece, complete with breathtaking frescoes that adorn the ceilings of all the rooms.

Although somewhat less celebrated, the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art is also a feast for the eyes–and the mind.  It’s only a short walk from the Galleria Borghese.  Here we find a dazzling collection of pieces from the modern masters, as well as a refreshing and engaging selection of lesser known artists.  Too little time here, as we have to rush off to see our good friends Peppino and Delia, who live on the Piazza Rei di Roma.

They take us to a favorite restaurant in the Colosseum district, where we have an easy meal of pizza and various kinds of polpette, the tasty meatball snacks that go so well with the local beers and wines.

The evening is over too soon, and our kind hosts take us on a whirlwind drive down the Via Appia (also known as Route 7) back to our home away from home in Castel Gandolfo.

Tomorrow:  Getting up obscenely early for a flight to Sicily.

About giratravel

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