When you’ve seen places in every history book and then you see them in person it is magic,  and for us,  Rome was magic.  Perhaps it was because it was our honeymoon, or babymoon as it is sometimes called.  Even having been there before,  Rome has always held that special place, where food is perfect, the people are beautiful, and you wonder why immigrants came from beautiful Rome to go to Brooklyn.

Staying at the top of the Spanish steps provides the perfect place from which to tour the city on foot – or a few cab rides away.

Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Old Boat) designed by Bernini and son, dominates the Piazza di Spagna at the base of the steps  – where you can have tea at the oldest tea house in Rome, Babington’s tea house – visit the Shelly-Keats museum, or shop.  Babington’s is one of the few places where you can have a great egg breakfast, have some wonderful teas, and be a part of the small bit of English history that is available.

Be careful of the carriage rides in Piazza di Spagna– when we asked they “offered” to take us around the city for 500 Euros, we got out- the next fellow offered the ride for $350 Euros, and after walking away someone offered us the ride for 30 Euros (although the first fellow kindly offered to take us to an ATM since we didn’t carry that much 500 Euros).

The Roman Forum and Coliseum

Get a tour guide for these.  They have their own line to get in, and you will learn a lot of great facts. The guides  speak English, and this  make the visits to these places fun.  But the Forum, the seed of the Roman empire that for a thousand years was the capital of the world.  The Coliseum – over 800,000 lives lost (and no ghosts) used for over 500 years.  This is what you read about, and being there in person is like nothing else.

Watch out for the Gypsies. They will surround you and pick your pocket faster than you can imagine.  Don’t carry your wallet, or your passport…when we did, we kept them on a necklace under the shirt.

Roman history is amazing- and it keeps recycling itself. First there was Cesar, then the Holy Roman Empire, that was the ghost of the Roman empire- and there was the pope, then there was the King of Italy- and the last incarnation was Mussolini – the last Cesar of Rome. The marble from the Coliseum and many of the buildings of the forum were recycled to St. Peter’s Basilica.  The temples of old became the church of new.

Food in Italy is our favorite cuisine and it is difficult to get a bad meal. We were staying at the Hotel Inter Continental and asked the concierge for a great place for dinner.  He said- my friend owns this restaurant let me give him a call.  Off we went and when we arrived they seated us, until the owner came, and brought us to a different seat, a much nicer seat.  No menus- he simply cooked for us and as such, we had one of the finest meals in the world.

It was the perfect honeymoon, in the eternal city, where all roads lead.  In a few months JJ would join us, and while we were in Rome thinking our life was in a perfect place, we didn’t know how great it would be once JJ joined the party.