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Report 1316: European Travel Back When - 1964

By Marian from New Jersey, Summer 1995

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Page 12 of 20: Roman Adventures -- Part One

I am sorry to be leaving Florence and Marino, but Rome beckons. Mauro and Marino have warned us that the Romans speak execrable Italian: Par exempio, they pronounce cento as "shento" instead of "chento!" But I am willing to risk it.

We arrive in Rome at 1pm and find a problem with the hotel we have booked, "Centro Internazionale Crocevia". This turns out to be more like a dormitory than a hotel, and has a curfew. So J and I decide to stay just one night and look for an alternative. We find two rooms at the Albergo Centrale on the Piazza Barberini for IL 1195 per night each. It's not great, but we decide it will do. We are too tired to see much of Rome, so we settle into our accommodations for the night.

It's Sunday June 5, when D and S will be arriving from New York. D and I have been so excited to be planning to meet in Rome, but we have no idea how to get in touch with them. So J and I leave a note at the Centro, and set out for the day. We head for the American Express, and manage to pick up a Roman who works there as a guide. His name is Gianni, and he takes us to meet his friend Tony, who is a film actor. They have a car, and drive us around Rome. We drive around and around, and the city looks so beautiful from one of its hilltops. And the Bernini Fountain of the Four Rivers is breathtaking!

As we drive along the Via Appia, we stop to help some Americans who have, of all things, tried to pass a Cadillac! They have ruined their wheels and, as they speak no Italian, our friends Gianni and Tony help them translate.

We head back to our hotel and find D and S. Great, they got our message at the other place and have checked in! Now J and I have been invited by Gianni and Tony to a party at a house near the beach in Fregene, several miles outside Rome. The party is interesting, and there is a cross-section of people. Gianni notices that they are serving oranges, and comments that when you see oranges, you know you are at the home of very wealthy people.

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