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Italia 2020 Gennaio

Day 2: Rome on foot, Ostia Ruins, and Basilica San Paolo Fuori Le Mura

My favorite hobby is walking – far-and-away, without a doubt, it’s my favorite thing to do. I would walk the entire world if I could. I like to wander and get lost. I end up seeing so many things I wouldn’t have if I always decided where to go and followed that plan.

I encountered a lot of interesting architectural details, had pizza and aranciata for lunch, and also found a bunch of graffiti that makes me want to understand more about Italian culture.

Then I headed to the ruins of Ostia Antica, a harbor city of Ancient Rome. I would have taken more pictures, but my battery got really low.

On the way back to the hotel, I decided to get off the train a stop early and I went to the Basilica of St. Paul (Basilica San Paolo Fuori Le Mura).

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Italia 2020 Gennaio

Day 1: Met some interesting folks on the plane then jet lag got the best of me

On the plane from Amsterdam, I met Simon, who is a Dutch chaplain who used to live in Rome. We got to talking and he gave me enough advice about Rome to fill a page and a half in my notebook.

“Guarda!”, he exclaimed mid-sentence, to make sure I didn’t miss this spectacular view of the Swiss alps (according to him, it’s very rare that it’s this clear and the light is just right).

Oddly enough, it turns out he uses a certain medical software that’s made in Wisconsin. What are the odds? (I guess 50/50 since he works in the Netherlands.)

Then the guy behind us said “You live in Madison!?” It turns out Marc works in Madison and makes regular trips to Rome for his job. We split a cab and he pointed out lots of great ancient things that I would have definitely missed.

Arrived at my hotel in Rome at 2 PM local time, which was 7 AM back home – after sleeping only an hour on the 18-hour trip. I took a shower then crashed hard. I’m still not hungry, so I think I’m writing off tonight and going to try to sleep until breakfast.

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Italia 2020 Gennaio

My single suitcase weighed in at 59#

If I had planned a little better, I might have been able to get it under 50#, but I’m considering the extra fee the price of a lesson.

This is my first ever international trip, and despite all the great travel advice I’ve gotten from friends and family, I’m expecting to encounter lots of things I’ve forgotten to plan for.