My first trip abroad on my own just happened to be in one of the most romantic cities in the world. I certainly don’t do things by halves but there was a love affair….I fell in love with Roma.
Really, did I think I’d get by with my little how to speak Italian hand book and not even looking at it before I set off on my travels? Actually it made for more fun!
After landing in Italy, I spent at least 20 minutes trying to muster up the courage to hail a taxi. Luckily, a girl I met on the plane asked me if I wanted a lift….phew! was my first thought, what am I doing she’s a stranger was my second thought and my third thought came to me when I saw my mode of transport was to be a mini…Blimey, it’s the Italian job!!
Well, what a city! The Vatican is stunning but you can get neck ache from looking up at the beautiful art work on the ceiling. Eating an ice cream whilst sitting by the Trevi Fountain is a must and the Colloseum? When you first see it, it takes your breath away and once you are inside there is an overwhelming feeling that Maximus Decimus Meridius is about to appear and charge across on his trusty steed…that’s Russell Crowe for anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing the film ‘Gladiator'. You don't know what your missing!
As I said, I didn’t bother to read the handbook so ordering food was an experience. I endeavoured to order what I thought was Carbonara. The word ‘Crema’ in Greek is associated with savoury food, however not so in Italy. The waiter and I totally got our wires crossed and shortly after, I was presented with a dessert covered with lashings of cream. My heart sank! Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don’t have a sweet tooth.
Seated on the table next to me were ‘The Golden Girls’. Three kind, warm hearted ladies from America who offered to share their food with me. They called me honey with an accent that could only have come from the ‘Deep South’…fiddle e dee!!!
I felt like the character Scarlett O’Hara from my favourite film ‘Gone with the wind’. Her famous quote from the film came to mind:
"As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again."