Friday, April 5, 1996 Rome, Italy
Well the ear plugs didn’t work very well for Barbara or myself. Jim seems to have slept through most of the night. Up and on the road by 10:30 am. Jim bought us rolls and water and a newspaper for him. We were happy to be back on the road. Barbara has a cold and sore back from bad beds. We put Bengay on her to help. Have some medication and she’s got more medicine in the car. She took it as soon as we got the car and slept all the way to Rome. We’ve noticed that the Italians seem to build almost all two or more stories for their homes; barns and other buildings. They use mostly brick for building material. We don’t see much else except for stone which they generally cover with stucco. Everything is brown in color. We saw more vineyards today. Also a few cows, lots of sheep and also many cultivated fields. Don’t know what they’re growing. Arrived in the Rome area about 2 pm. Stopped early for directions and got good ones. But from that time on, we had problems. Rome is a very large city. The streets go in four to six directions at every corner and they change names ever few blocks!!
By stopping four times and following a motorcycle for a short time….but we goofed and stopped following them too early. They had told us in broken English that they were going near the area we wanted and we could follow them part of the way. We just kept going in different directions as we knew we were in the general area. Finally we found the street it was off of and then Barbara spotted the hotel sign. The actual hotel is down a very narrow alley which they consider a street. We were able to pull in after being forced to drive to the end and then back up! A police car was creating a jam on the street. That car was still there hours later with the two policeman still there. Can’t figure out if we’ve got an important person staying at our hotel or what. (Later we found out that there were many foreign embassies in the area and each one has a permanent police car parked outside. Most were marked with a name, but although we verified with the hotel man that we had an Embassy on our street, no one would tell us the name of the country.)
We took everything out of the car to reorganize and took it to the room. No CNN, but one English channel and the rooms are padded…walls, door and everything. They advertise …Quiet….. I guess we’ll get it. Only exception is the toilet which is extremely noisy and takes a long time to refill. We went walking about 4 pm to look for a church. Finally found one less than a mile away. It is large but on the modern style compared to most. Walking home we found a Carmelite Convent where they were having a service…we stopped in for a few minutes. Then we found the American Embassy and also the German Embassy. So guess we’re in a good area. Didn’t find a restaurant that we liked so bought cheese, wine, bread, cookies at a grocery store and ate it with our noodle soup in our room. Everyone’s hitting the sack early tonight. Barbara doesn’t feel very well. I think she's happy to be in her own little room tonight.