Rome is one of the cities on earth where I feel completely relaxed and at home.
We decided to take the one week of vacation that the Norwegian had, and fly to Rome for the full week. The week was the start of Ferragosto which many will know is basically the start of vacation in Italy. Knowing this in advance and understanding that it may be challenging to do any perfume sniffing (which is not that important in the grand scheme of things) we went with the assumption that we would be relaxing and kicking back our feet Roman style. So, we packed our bags and left the house at 0415 to catch a 0600 flight.
There was a slight hiccup at the Fuimicino Airport on arrival. Blame the early hour but we followed the signs to baggage claim and ended up two terminals away from where we were supposed to be. Apparently this was of no concern to the security at the correct terminal (must happen often as there were several people lined up waiting to go back into the terminal) and they allowed the Norwegian entry in order to fetch our bags.
Finally, we got to our driver and were on the way to our favourite hotel in Rome. The sun was up and it was already at 90% humidity which coming from Vienna this summer left us drenched.
Rome delivered everything it promised and then some. We settled down quite quickly to relaxation mode and we strolled the streets of the inner city. Since pretty much everything was closed, including most perfumeries, we mapped out our days to get the maximum in sightseeing. No, it was not challenging with the 5 year old in tow – he was a trooper.
If I ask my son what his favourite part of the trip was, it would be renting a family bike (sat the three of us) in the Borghese Gardens and biking and taking in the fresh air and the beautiful song of the cicadas. Or, he may say that dressing up as a gladiator after visiting the Coloseum was an experience not to be missed. The Roman Forum was an adventure and we kept him entertained by asking him to look out for wild cats. (None to be seen.)
I was on a Bernini kick – hunting down statues and fountains by Bernini all over Rome. Timing is crucial in Rome as we soon found out. We hiked to one church to see a famous statue and got to the front door of the church to find out it closed 15 minutes earlier for a two hour lunch break. Ok. We moved on. You would think that I would learn to look things up but I thought ok we go to the next church on the list another day and just get there by 2pm. Believe it or not but that church was closed from 2-4:30pm. Argh! My favorites this time were the Coloseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Capitoline Museums and the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. The Norwegian loved every single day and I have not seen him so relaxed in years. This was the first vacation for him in over a decade without a laptop!
The last full day of our vacation was also my birthday and it was the first day when many stores would reopen after the Ferragosto vacation. I wanted to visit a few more Piazzas and churches and had no intention of doing any shopping. On our morning walk to the Spanish Steps and to the Piazza del Popolo we saw that Amouage had a stand-alone store! In Rome!
Walking into the Amouage store after all of our sightseeing had me hooked as soon as I smelled the inside of the store. I swooned at the beauty around me. I wanted Fate Woman and as the SA found out that I know many of the Amouage perfumes for women, she suggested that she walk us (husband key person here) through the men’s line. Most importantly for me all of the extraits were in one area for me to explore. The Norwegian fell in love with Lyric Man and I fell hard for Lyric Extrait. Thankfully the SA informed us that they will deliver anywhere within Europe. Christmas shopping here we come! It was a truly beautiful shop with a knowledgeable, patient and friendly SA.
Rome was magical. The pictures I took will always take me to the relaxed summer days of 2014.
Where have you all taken your vacation this year?