Our daughter’s school does an annual pilgrimage to Rome to round out their Latin program. We had for years talked about meeting her in Rome after her school trip and taking her to see some other European sites.
I had been in Rome with I was 19 with a friend from high school. It was a short side trip away from my parents and their vacation in Italy one summer in the early 90s. Although I had been here, my wife had not. She had spent her time in Italy backpacking around Italy and Spain to other points of interest such as Venice, and Barcelona in the late 80s.
We had each been to Venice before but figured that was a good place to take our daughter before it becomes the next Atlantis. And as I had never been to Spain or Barcelona my wife insisted we make that part of our trip and thus our itinerary was born.
Months ago we booked our flight with many a saved frequent flier mile and took a convoluted (but business class) road to Rome. Seattle>Detroit>Paris>Rome. With the layovers included it was 26 hours from door to door.
Along the way we noticed somebody and their entourage getting their pictures taken with the flight crew on the tarmac before we boarded our plane.
It turned out to be Jean Dujardin (from The Artist and The Wolf of Wall Street fame).
We eventually reached Rome. And after being ripped off by our taxi driver over charging us for our ride from the airport we found ourselves in a spacious room with an unfortunate view of a brick wall.
We then ventured out into the streets of Rome to discover a quaint little Italian restaurant named Il Giardino di Albino where we tried our first Sardinian wine, a rigatoni in gorgonzola, a generous serving of prosciutto and melon, and a tonnarelli funghi (with porchini, bacon and peccorino cheese). Fabulous dinner before total collapse and 12 hours of sleep.