Long before I arrived in Qatar, I had decided I would spend Christmas 2013 in Rome! I knew that it was going to be too soon to go home. This would be my first Christmas by myself and I thought I would be miserable and in tears by the end of the day. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
I arrived in Rome on December 23 and managed to not get lost making my way from the airport train station to Rome. It is a straight shot, but I had a fear that I would get on the wrong train and end up somewhere else! Since I was staying for a whole week, I wanted a place with a kitchen, so I opted to try out Airbnb for the first time. The experience was great and I had the whole apartment to myself for most of the week. Not only that, I had my own bathroom and tv (although there was nothing in English).
Jumping right in, I headed to the Piazza Navona. This time I did get lost, but it also didn’t help that I hadn’t slept that much on my overnight flight. A lovely American woman helped me out and we ended up chatting for about an hour on the streets of Rome. If I remember correctly, she was working on her PhD in Catholic Studies. The piazza wasn’t that impressive, but I think that was because the Christmas market I had gone to see was heavily commercialized with many of the same products in multiple booths. This is where I had my first meal in Rome. While I am sure it wasn’t the best in Rome, it was good and I got to sit outside in December! They also had a Nativity Scene.
What I did realize is that it was fairly close to the Trevi Fountain! I knew it was a large fountain, but I couldn’t believe how large it was. I kept thinking about how hard and how much work went into building a fountain of this size in the 1700s. I did throw a coin in the fountain, although it was a Qatari dirham coin (only worth about $.14) so it may not get me all the way back to Rome! The fountain was beautiful and it was amazing to see all the people that were gathered to see it.
Stay tuned for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the Vatican!