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Villa Borghese by Ann Treacy
June 22, 2011, 7:59 am
Filed under: Rome

Our final full day in Rome started with Patrick and Michael heading back to the O’Neill church in Trastevere, while the girls and I headed to a market in the same area. The market was fun – just wished we had more time to spend. It appeared again as if we were in the minority not speaking Italian. The market was the kind where they empty bins of clothes onto a table and sell them very cheaply. We loved it!

Next we met up with the brothers and Irish Grandma and went to church. Despite rumors, the church did not crumble as I darkened the door and I did remember when to sit and stand.

Finally we made our way to the Villa Borghese – a large park. Unfortunately we took two taxis and that was a big mistake. Patrick and the girls took one; Irish Grandma, Michael and I took another. Then we spent more than an hour looking for them. Apparently their taxi driver had dropped them off someplace very different within the park. The park is the size of Phoenix Park in Dublin or maybe Como in St Paul.

Eventually we decided to have lunch. There was one very nice restaurant in the park and we knew that was the one Irish Grandma would choose and we were very OK with it. It was very nice. Our eyes popped a little at the prices but we forged ahead. We ate outside partially to keep a lookout and mostly because that was the only option. Luckily I spied Patrick and AIne looking for us!

Aine told Patrick he has to look at the restaurant once she saw it and she knew Irish Grandma would want to be there. But still it was lucky that we connected even when we were so close.

Oh – I had tomato risotto with raw tuna. It was delish!

After the lunch we walked around the gardens. There was a lot of modern art, as you can see from the pictures. We loved the sculpture. The park again was as full of Italians on a Sunday as tourists so that was fun. The girls played on a bouncy castle and the merry-go-round. We watched some amazing skaters and rollerbladers practice/show off their moves. There was one guy who had to be north of 70 in shiny stretch pants and a tight yellow top. He could do the splits on rollerblades.

After a while we wandered home – down the Spanish steps, around the Pantheon and through the Piazza Navarona.

We capped off the night with some gelato!

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2 Comments so far
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Looks and sounds like great fun — and far more manageable than Bangkok, which has virtually no green space (the city mushroomed from some 1 million residents in 1950 to more than 10 million today) and is very difficult to traverse. A great place, though, filled with vitality, and hard-working people who have not been replaced by automation. Puts me in mind of a 21st century version of Whitman’s New York City, including the incredible fresh seafood. No family here with me to enjoy it, though — alas! But it would have been impossible to get as much done as I have if they had accompanied me.

Meanwhile, tell Patrick he best ease off on the pasta or you’re going to start needing a wide-angle lens to shoot his picture!

Comment by Rich Broderick

Much of Rome lacks green – which I think makes it feel even hotter than it is. We were delighted to find Borghese – I think even I needed a shot of nature. (City nature anyways.)

You will have some tales to tell! Is the family going to meet up with you there?

Comment by Ann Treacy




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