Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Italy: Rome - Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Shopping

Lots to see and do today as it's our last day in Rome and we are trying to squeeze every bit of excitement and culture from the day. And oh yes, and power shopping too. 

Robin and I had an early breakfast and headed off for our 10 minute walk to the Colosseum. Like I mentioned in the previous post, Hotel Hiberia is in a very good location to walk to many sights. 

Apparently, in its heyday, it could hold upwards of 80,000 people. A lot of it has crumbled due to natural disasters but it is still magnificent, even after nearly 2000 years. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. 

We walked back along the narrow streets to the hotel and halfway there, we encountered to most terrific thunderstorm with lashing rain. We had umbrellas but the wind was so strong that they turned inside out. They became water collectors rather than water repellents.

We took shelter in a leather store with tons of lovely handbags crammed into a small space. I found several bags - one of which Sharm wanted (se texted a picture). Of the ones I liked, I could not decide on a final selection so I did the next best thing - I bought them all!

Sunita and the kids had gone off shopping by the Trevi Fountain and they also got caught in the rain. We found a deli, ordered some food to take back to the hotel and ate our lunch in our rooms.

Dinner was at the Al Caminetto Restaurant. We were sitting outdoors when we heard a lot of shouting and quite a commotion. In short order, our server bolted from our table in a speedy gallop. When he returned a few minutes later, he told us that an older Asian man was robbed. The thief cut the money belt off the man's waist and ran. The daughter who was probably in her 40s, chased after the thief shouting while she was running. A server from a nearby restaurant joined the chase with our server and they managed to tackle the thief to the ground and retrieve the money belt.

All was well, after all. The owner of our restaurant nonchalantly mentioned that thieves are quite common in Rome. According to her, they target Asian people especially because they (Asians) do not generally use credit cards and will walk with wads of money.

Poor Ronin got  scared and wondered if the thieves would target his money pouch (similar to Grandpa's that he is now wearing).

After dinner, we headed back to the Spanish Steps which I know from the movie Roman Holiday starring one of my favourites - Gregory Peck, also starring in another famous To Kill a Mockingbird).

A stop at La Paloma for a gelato finished off the night before we walked back to the hotel to jam our suitcases and weight them. It's going to be tight for weight.

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