travel

rome the second time around

CHAPTER 2.

bed and breakfast takes on a totally different course, pinoy style. since ferdie lapuz, the producer, still couldnt get up to tackle the streets, i was “forced” to eat his breakfast serving for him, and this i did gladly. served every morning at the ludivisi palace were bacon and eggs, various kinds of bread and fruit, yoghurt and spread. no rice? hehe

we emerged from the ludivisi palace refreshed and ready to take on rome. jerry, our tour guide met us at the door and led us to the bus stop. we had to make a stop at the festival venue to get ferdie lapuz the producer registered as he was unable to do that earlier. there we met up with the flammini sisters, april and jasmine who tagged along and were our tour guides as well around rome.

afterwards we went down barberini and into the subways of roma. now, the subways can be a terrifying place for tourists. not your alice-in-wonderland type of scary. more like oliver-twist scary. you see, if there were any real form of organized crime, this is where you’d find it amongst the gypsies. they actually have a school on how to pickpocket ! and to think quasimodo fell in love with esmeralda! love is indeed blind for good measure, us tourists of rome got our taste of just that. when cherry pie was about to enter the train she locked on eye-to-eye with one lady who was also getting in the train. at that split second she knew something was wrong and checked her bag. her wallet was gone. she rushed to the lady inside the train (we already got in and were totally clueless to what just happened) and slapped her arm, saying “why are you getting my wallet?!” the wallet dropped out from under the lady’s (apparently a gypsy) poncho. the traindoors have already closed and we were inside the train with the gypsy and the crowd looking at us. the gypsy woman was just muttering under her breath and at the next stop, got off.

it was that easy. even the police couldnt do anything with them gypsies. jerry says there have been warnings enough for everybody and if you get robbed, you get admonished instead. cherry pie was distraught after what happened. at the end of the car, this boy gypsy was playing his musical instrument and begging when suddenly this old romano guy started scolding the boy in italian, blaming his people for what just happened to us. incidentally the old guy has been a train driver for 30 years and is frustrated that these things always occuring on his trains.

we got out of the subway and headed to another part of town by bus to see 3 other basilicas. one of them is san giovanni, which is the largest and is the main basilica in rome.

then we went to 2 other basilicas the names of which ive forgotten. outside the basilica there was a program of some sort, with the kids making a huge circle and waving around bolts of white cloth. one of the churches we went to had a lot of deaf tourists. they were in groups and there was just a lot of them and it was interesting.

we also saw this piazza, huge structure with the statue of marcus aurellius (gladiator) erected in the middle of the square. astig ! then we got castanets, which i didnt like.

the pizza in italy, i must say is amazing! i loved it ! and sharap sharap. it’s very common to them, like pandesal to us or even bananaque. when you order from the big franchise pizza restos in the philippines, you get a uniformly sized pizza with equally measured ingredients toppings etc and everytime you eat it it tastes the same. in italy, it’s like they just threw the toppings on the crust, popped it into the oven (literally) and presto ! authentic italian pizza ! and sometimes you eat it like a sandwich by flipping slice A over onto slice B. ha !

it’s not groundbreaking but i like the pizzas here than what we get from shakeys. the pizzas we had were priced at 4euros each whole pizza (the size of a regular plate) and a bottle of water. that amounts to… php 252 (water cost php 100-120). astig !

we headed back to the termini to purchase tickets for the train to venice. there were electronic portals at the entrance where you make you transaction buying tickets on the touchscreen. very hightech, very… 1st world ! haha. and the termini also had bookshops and perfumeries, lots of gelato (ice cream) lots of cafes (cappuccino). reading material was challenging coz most of them were in italian. wanted to buy the paper or get a book but how can you read when all you can understand is buonjiorno ? and that is something i learned from watching roberto bernini in la vita e bella (life is beautiful). “Buonjiorno, princepesa.”

walking around rome, you’d find a lot of churches on every corner. 1 here, 1 there. and 1 populated by the filipino community. we got to check out the group there and were greeted by “uy si cherry pie picache yan o!” some of the pinoys were practicing sinkil for some performance. others were just loitering around. we got to have our rosary souvenirs blessed by the pinoy priest there. astig ! pinoy in rome!

it didnt look that big but maybe because i was only seeing it at one side. it was already late in the afternoon and we didnt get to go inside it unfortunately. wanted to come back in the day but wa na oras so it was the best that we could do. someday ill be back, maximus, and ill come see you. astig !

when it got dark we took a few more buses to outside the center of rome and visited nene flammini and her husband. throughout the course of the day we were making requests to the flammini sisters on what we wanted to eat at dinner. april told us her mom makes great lasagna and i was excited. cherry pie expressed she wanted salad so that’s gonna be on the menu. what we didnt expect was tita nene’s beef steak. sobra sarap pinoy style ! haha. haskang pagkalami esp parisan sa kan-on gikan thailand. panalo ! the lasagna was heavenly but the beefsteak took home the prize.


pic of the coliseum


the italian family and their pizzas


me and pie at the festival


ferdie pie boyet dante and me at the st.peter’s square


san giovanni (st.john’s basilica)


pie dante and me outside the bar we went to at our first night in roma


marcus aurelius at the background


st.ignatius loyola inside san giovanni

and it was another 30 minutes before we got home to veneto. and it’s gonna be another great day tomorrow coz we’re going to venice ! ciao !

to be continued.

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