Rome, day 8: Villa Borghese

Today is our last day in Rome. We took it slow this morning, packed our suitcases, had breakfast until at 11h. our luggage was picked up. At 17h we had arranged a transfer from the Galleria Borghese where we would be reunited with our Luggage n the transfer car. And of we went for a last time into the city centre. We left the Metro at Spagna, at the Spanish Steps, walked and shopped a bit and had lunch at a lovely cute little square in a terrible restaurant. Until today we have been very impressed by the way Roman restaurants can handle a glutenfree diet, except this restaurant, where they were rude and inflexibel. Because we planned to do the Galleria Borghese in the late afternoon we decided to go to the park and rent a bike. They rent those ricksha-ish 4 person-bikes and thought it would be a nice way to explore every corner of the park. The weather was brilliant again and of we went. At 16h we were at the Galleria, ready for our last cultural visit of this vacation. But we didn’t have a reservation and it was fully booked. We couldn’t enter the museum. We still had an hour to spend before our transfer car would be outside the park’s gate. We found a place for gelati’s (ice cream) outside the gate and made it back on time.

I’ve a nice anecdote to share with you about the reason why I’m always a bit stressed on my day of departure and want to go to the airport on time. It was about 20 years ago. We were (very) young, no kids, and decided to go to Rome. Booked an affordable trip and enjoyed every day. On our last day, during lunch, we decided to check our tickets, to be sure of our departure time. And then we found out that what we had thought to be our departure time actually was the arrival time in Amsterdam. So we rushed away, took a taxi to the airport and were just in time to see our plane leave. We were too late. We managed to book a flight for the next day, had to go over to the other Roman airport, where we spend the night, because we had no money left for a hotel. Those seats at the airport, I’ll never forget, they’re designed to sit and lying or sleeping isn’t possible. After 21h all restaurants and shops closed. It was horribile. Late in the evening a nun from Canada asked us to help. She’d travelled from Canada to Poland to collect a huge painting of a Saint. From Poland she travelled to Rome, to the popes summer residence to have the painting blessed. Because she was short of money she had travelled directly to the airport, had not slept for 24 hours and was in a hyper state of being. She wanted to do her prayers and asked us to guard her (huge) painting. As we did. The night was long, cold and uncomfortable. I was so happy when in the early morning a restaurant opened it’s doors and I could have an espresso. We went home and it all ended well. But we’ll never forget and ever since double check our departure time.

Well we’re at the airport of Rome right now. Still have half an hour of waiting to go before we can board our plane. I can’t write a day 9 but will write one about the best restaurants we’ve been eating.

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