Friday, July 16, 2010

Florence, Siena, Rome and good-bye to Son

Buona serra from Rome! We arrived this morning after bidding tearful arrivederci to our landlady in Umbria. Two hours of Elmo later, and Son was transferred to the safe hands of grandma at the airport—as I told you, my mom flew in this morning on Wizz Air, made a mad dash to get a glimpse of San Peter, dashed back to the airport and met us to receive her precious cargo. Then she promptly took Son and flew with him to Bulgaria this same afternoon so that the Diplomat and I see the Eternal City tantrumless. Thank you, Mama!

The Diplomat and I went to our hotel Borromeo(if you are ever at Fuimicino, don’t bother to take the train to the train station—use the shuttle services at the airport, same price, better service door-to-door!). We were deftly led into our room, which to our shock was the size of my shoe closet in NYC. I am not exaggerating—the room is so small, only our queen-sized bed fits in it. Apparently, the hotel folk is aware of that since they themselves told us that they will have more rooms tomorrow and will give us a bigger place.

But all that pales to the Rome experience. We didn’t waste much time and set out to explore the zillion cathedrals and ruins of Rome. I am officially in love with this city. It is not the dirty, noisy, smelly place I was told it would be—it is neat, clean and gorgeous! We managed to see a bunch of super important sites in a short period of time(yes, I am proud!). I even managed to be kicked out from a really nice church, Santa Maria sopra Minerva (a rare Gothic church in Rome, a propos)—Catholics are adamants about nudity in their churches and insist that you cover yourself (I had not, I looked positively brazen). I have been given all kinds of bizarre and uncomfortable robes/sashes/burkas in every cathedral and Duomo we have visited so far but Santa Maria did not offer such accoutrements.
We went to Florence on a sweltering Tuesday. Son has made a habit of sleeping in Duomos—the moment we enter one, he is a done deal. He has slept in the Duomo in Assisi, Florence and Siena. This is how we travel—Son sleeps and the Diplomat reads the guide book, while I sweat under my disposable coverlet and make pictures.
Florence was delightful and beautiful. One can certainly imagine the medieval life while strolling down its crooked streets. I even climbed exactly 414 steps up and 414 steps down the Campanile (I figured it was a good way to burn some of the 24900 calories I ingested at lunch plus see the city from above). Son threw a magnificent tantrum in the Piazza della Signoria. We were mortified and decided it was not a good idea to visit the Uffizi this time. The entire Florence exhaled a collective sigh of relief when we left. I am a little Duomo-ed out, I admit. But as far as those go—the one in Siena wins all prizes! It was stunning both outside and inside.

We spent a day in the pool and on Thursday, recharged, went to Siena. It was about 40 degrees there and Son decided to see if he can surpass his Florence performance. He could and he did. We are officially not encouraged to return to Siena. Which is a pity—it was a lovely medieval town and we managed to somehow enjoy it regardless. The highlight of Son’s day was when he announced that he needed to go potty in the middle of a small square—for lack of anything better, the Diplomat held him over a trash can. These are the downsides of potty training.

Bye bye, Umbria and Tuscany—we will certainly return. Tomorrow—the Vatican! It will be another shockingly hot day.

No comments:

Post a Comment