Day 1 - Rome and Hotel Kennedy
There's no escaping it: Rome means history. There are layers of the stuff - Etruscan tombs, Republican meeting rooms, Imperial temples, early-Christian churches, medieval bell towers, Renaissance palaces and Baroque basilicas. The city is vast, but the historical centre is quite small, and most of the sights are within reasonable walking distance of the central railway station (Stazione Termini).
Romolus and Remus
Many writers have told the story of the twins. They say, that near the Tiber banks, an old shepherd and his wife Faustolo and Laurenzia, lived in a poor shed.
One evening atired Faustolo was sitting near the shed door and Laurenzia was preparing a meal. Suddenly they heard a rustle coming from the woods. Near the river a dark shadow slid down the bank.
Faustolo decided to go and see what had happened. He told his wife to wait for him. He moved forward with caution, because the ground near the river was full of puddles because of the recent rains. In one of these puddles at the foot of a tree, Faustolo saw a big she-wolf lying down on one side with two children sucking her milk.
He thought he was dreaming. He went back to the shed and told his astonished wife about the she-wolf and the twins, and then he took her to the river. Some time later the two children, were sleeping in Faustolo and Laurenzias warm shed. Here they grew up and became two strong boys, a little savage but good boys. Faustolo called them Romulus and Remus; they respected him as a father. Everyday they went farther and farther from the shed to seek adventure......
Once Romulus and Remus had grown up they founded a new town.
But who would decide the name?
They decided to watch the flight of the birds: the first who had seen the greatest number of birds would have given the name to the town. Romolo was luckier, and he took a plough and marked out about the town's perimeter on the Palatine Hill. He called it Roma (Rome). It was April 21st, 753 years before Christ.
The foundation of the new town marked the end of Remus. It had been decided that no-one could pass the boundary without permission of Romulus. But Remus for envy or in fun, jumped over it and laughing said:- Look! Its so easy!-
Romulus full of wrath, flung himself on Remus, took up a sword and killed him, shouting that anyone who had insulted the name of Rome was to die.
Romulus, ruled the town wisely. One day during a storm, he disappeared, carried off by the god Mars.
So much for the legends. Now lets us return to our times.
We arrived at the hotel in the afternoon. Since we had planned to conquer Rome by train (from the airport), it was nice, that Hotel Kennedy was situated only a few minutes walk from Termini train station.
The rain was pouring down - but we were not disappointed by the hotel. We got the 'panoramic room' with a great view upon the 'Acquario Romano', an ancient Roman villa in a wonderful garden. Only ten minutes walk from the Colosseum and near most of the interesting monuments of the city.
Our room was very comfortable with private bathroom, air condition, telephone, and satellite TV (CNN - Eurosport etc.). Every day we were watching the weather forecast for Rome and Vancouver. And every day we wondered, why Vancouver always lost in basketball to the American teams.
We visited the dining room, where we had to take our breakfast every morning. The hotel boasted, that they served the best and largest breakfast in Rome. But we we not impressed, since most of the meal were cookies and cerials. But we had good coffee and capucino, when we wanted. Service at the hotel was excellent, and everybody was very helpful. (No, we are not related to the manager in any way.)
In the evening we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant in the neighbourhood. The restaurant was recommended in a book, that we had read in Denmark. The food was excellent. But unfortunately we missed the main course. We had not yet gotten accustomed to the fact, that we had to order the main course and the vegetables separately. So when we ordered pasta with shrimps, we had one (1) shrimp each - but the pasta was fine.
When we got back to the hotel, we decided to go to Forum Romanum the following day. Maybe you would like to join us? OK - it will only cost you a click right here.
PS: A week after we had returned to Denmark we went to a birthday party - Annelise 70 years. During the conversation with a daughter and a son-in-law of Annelise, they told us, that they too had been in Rome about 2 months ago. The had been staying at a very splendid hotel in the centre of Rome - Hotel Kennedy! What a small world.
"You can have the Universe, if I may have but Italy." - Giuseppe Verdi