I got to Rome at 7:30 am, worn out from an over night flight but
my adrenaline was in high gear and my excitement was
controlling my energy level. With all of that going on I had
to start to explore Rome right away.

I placed my luggage in the hotels storage and started to
wander the streets of Rome. I walked down one tiny cobbler
stone street and up another. Taking in the sites of the nearby
neighborhoods. The petite stores and cafes lined the streets
with shopkeepers asking you to come in for a visit.

I had an entire list of "must see" historical sites and of course
the Colosseum was top of that list. I started out walking towards
the most known site in Rome.  Stopping along the way to sample food and have a cold drink. Once I reached the Colosseum I was amazed at the amount of people that were there to also visit this beautiful structure. Within walking distance, there are a few more sites to see, like the Roman Forum and the Imperial Forum. You never really feel alone because there are so many tourists, all of them looking as lost as you are!

Rome has a lot of cafés with sidewalk dining. Most cafés served pizza and readymade sandwiches, coffee, beer and the Italian favorite dessert, gelato. The large pizza pies in the windows are so inviting, it is very difficult to just walk by without sampling just one slice.

There are so many hidden gems and you can find them just by walking the neighborhoods. I stumbled upon a street market with clothes, belts, purses and cellphone accessories for sale. Tiny tents line a narrow street filled with people shopping and mingling.

Old buildings lined close together throughout the city and stacked at least five levels high. It is so hard not to be drawn down each street because they all look so interesting. Once or twice I was pulled from my intended direction to explore another street. The next thing I knew, I had traveled five or six blocks off the last street I was on. All the steps sandwiched between two buildings also draws you in.

While touring Rome it is a good idea to have a plan to see the famous sites. But it is also a good plan to not have a plan and just wander around in search of Rome and what is under the surface. You will be surprised!

Norman L Payne/July 17, 2016/Up up up and Away!