Rome wasn't built in a day

Believing in the adage, “Be a Roman while at Rome”, wherever I travel I try to live as a local enjoying visits to museums and monuments, savouring the local food and generally getting the feel of the place. When I got a chance to visit Rome with my wife, I wanted to make the best of it, since I had only a day to spend there.

As we were having dinner, my host said that the most important places in Rome are located in close proximity to each other and it is fun to see Rome while walking. I jumped at his suggestion and bravely told him we will conquer Rome by foot in a day! Though my wife protested muttering that I am prone to the foot-in-the-mouth syndrome, I placated her saying we could take a cab if our legs gave way. The next morning our host dropped us at a central point, handed me a tourist map on which he had painstakingly marked the important places and routes to be taken and drove away.

Our first place of visit was Trevi fountain. We marvelled at its magnificence, threw coins into it like others, spent some time there and walked to see the other famous fountains, Navona and Fontano Delmoro. The map indicated Spanish steps as a nearby landmark. By the time we went there, we were hungry. Our hostess had packed bisibelebath and curd rice and we ate them with great relish sitting on the historic steps. Refreshed, we started walking again, and arrived at Roman Forum containing the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city. “This place looks like Hampi,” my wife exclaimed. I nodded. Exploration of the Forum, like Hampi, was quite exhausting.

After a while my wife said that she was tired and cannot walk further. I told her we can at least see all the important land marks of Rome and cajoled her to continue the walk and took her to the nearby Colloseum. She was quite tired, but my act of getting dressed as a Gladiator and taking photographs cheered her. It was now tea time and we had some refreshments and gave rest to our weary legs. After tea, my wife wanted to return, but I told her that we don’t come to Rome every day and must see all we could see in a day. Slowly we walked towards Piazza Poppolo, which I remembered seeing in an English movie. My wife complained of blisters in her foot and refused to move further. I made her sit on a bench and explored the surroundings alone.

By this time the sun was setting. We had to cover some more landmarks. But my legs were also aching. When I tried to motivate my wife to visit at least two more sights before we called it a day, she firmly put her foot down. I told her that she should “be a Roman while at Rome”. She retorted saying “Rome was not built in a day and cannot be walked in a day”. Disappointed, we returned.

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