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Report 400: Viaggio a Roma

By Annie M from United States, Fall 2001

Trip Description: Although my husband, Eddie, and I have been to Italy many times, this is our first trip to Rome. We're spending 8 days in the Eternal City.

Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Florence, Rome

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Day Tours; Garden Visits; Opera; Shopping; Sightseeing; Wedding; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 11: Background

This is my first attempt at a trip report and I'm not sure how to approach it; one day at a time or just a recap of highlights. But, if I don't just start, I know I'll never get around to it, so here goes:

Although my husband, Eddie, and I have been to Italy many times, this is our first trip to Rome. My family lives in the Val di Non in the Trentino Alto-Adige region and all of our trips to Italy have started off with a visit to my relatives. We usually fly into either Zurich or Milan, rent a car and start driving. For both of us, it's such a great joy to visit my family and explore the natural beauty of the Dolomites that we've never minded the fact that we can't seem to make it further south than Florence or Pisa!

In the past, after spending the beginning of our trip with my family, we would pack our car and head off to explore - usually with no advance reservations, just some guide books and lots of maps! We've been to Padova, Verona, Venice, Perugia, Gubbio, Assisi, Pisa, Florence, Santa Margherita Ligure as well as north to the Ticino region of Switzerland, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Munich and Lindau (to name just a few).

Well, we realized that if we were ever going to make it to Rome, we would have to just go there and nowhere else! With that in mind, we started planning this trip in June of 2001. We had enough Amex points to purchase two round trips from JFK - Rome on Alitalia. We booked our hotel in Rome and then started researching and making whatever advance reservations we could - Scavi, Scala Reale, the Wednesday Papal General Audience, Galleria Borghese - we even made arrangements to renew our wedding vows!

Then came September 11th and the world as we all know it changed. My husband, Eddie, is from Manhattan, I'm from Brooklyn and we now live in Queens. For our first 15 years together we worked in downtown Manhattan - commuting, having lunch together and just strolling the streets of our city every day. We both worked in downtown before there ever was a Trade Center and now - it was gone - along with all those innocent people.

There's nothing I can say about 9/11 that hasn't already been said. Our trip wasn't important anymore. All my planning stopped.

My friends and family (especially our daughter) wanted us to cancel the trip. I didn't know what to do. Eddie, however, wouldn't hear of canceling - he was determined that we should go right ahead with our plans.

As for me - for the first time in my life I was afraid of traveling. But then I realized something - for the first time in my life I was also afraid of things I do almost every day: taking the subway, crossing the bridges and tunnels into Manhattan or New Jersey, going to concerts, museums, yes, even opening the mail had become dangerous (remember Anthrax?)!

That's what did it for me - I knew that I would keep doing all those things no matter what and then I knew that I had to continue with my plans to go to Rome.

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