After 17 days driving around France and Italy we had to leave Tuscany and our last chore was to drive in to Florence and deliver the car to the depot, made a bit more difficult by road closures around the American embassy meaning we had to go through the forbidden zone. But first we had to get to Florence itself and Ken, the gps was at his devious best plotting a route that took us through every minute passage in every small village on the way! We just had to put our faith in the bastard and carry on as there was a schedule to keep to and in the end we made it to a point we recognised from our bus rides in and we got there! You seem to be still in a semi rural area and then you turn a corner and your in the center of the city!
That accomplished we had to walk back to the rail station dragging our baggage over the cobblestone to catch the fast train to Rome, a cocoon of comfort which got us there in just 1.5 hours. Anyone who does not support a fast train in Australia is crazy, it is a fabulous and efficient way to travel and the longer we wait to start it the more expensive it will be.
Rome has left us lost for words at the ability of the engineers, masons and craftsmen that produced these huge buildings and the minute ornate details evident on so many of them.
Our hotel is well located allowing us to meander the streets and enjoy sites such as the Trevi Fountain, the Spainish Steps and the Pantheon. Just metres away around the corner we found a small restaurant, they had great fresh pasta, a real Nona & Nonie affair which the family had run since 1956. Others their that night of Italian origin had been recommended by their Padre in America, who wanted to be remembered to to them.
We are taking a guided tour tomorrow to some of the highlights, as our host in Lecchi advised, "other wise it's just a pile of rocks." He also gave us a handy book that depicts the ruins as they are and an overlay of how they were in their prime. Today we took the tour bus to give our legs a rest, all in beautiful sunshine and we could see the archeologists still working on sites within the city.