Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Honeymoon in Rome: I

In the interest of not boring the bejeesus out of those of you who don't like to read long blocks of text, no matter how insanely witty and interesting they are, I will summarize each honeymoon entry in one, Cliff Notes-style paragraph. Those who want to read the expanded version can continue. Sound fair? Andiamo!

VERSIONE BREVE: Planes! Travel! Yonkers of Italy! Hotel Arenula: Ghetto-fabulous! I speak Italian like a learning disabled infant! Jeff leads me at an Amazing Race-like pace through the sights before we collapse at the end of the day, ready to get drunk.

Ciao! Today we arrived in Rome after many hours of travel. Yesterday (?? It feels like today, but I have to pretend that the forty minutes of fitful sleep I had while crossing the Atlantic -- woken up every two minutes by the weight of my own head falling towards my chest -- counts as a night) we left Brooklyn at 4:30 and since then we've been through the five time zones, in and out of the UK, and, finally, into Rome. I still don't really get air travel -- it still feels like magic (but it would be even more magic with more leg room -- Virgin Atlantic, I am talking to you).

We got to Fiumicino/Leonardo Da Vinci at 1:30 and took public transportation into the city. It was easy as pie, even with the language barrier, further cementing my theory that if you can navigate the New York City subway system, you truly can make it anywhere. We took a train first, passing through some unnamed area that Jeff dubbed "The Yonkers of Italy" before arriving at stazione Trastevere, where we caught a tram over the river and into Rome.

We are staying at the Hotel Arenula, a simple, family-run two-star hotel in the old Jewish ghetto of Rome that my parents have stayed at since the early '80s. I have to admit, I remember it being nicer than it is. Then again, I also remember having a massive collection of Troll dolls, so my judgment was obviously impaired. What with the wedding and everything, I kind of dropped the ball on my Italian studying prior to the trip, but when we got to the front desk I had my opening line practiced: "Abbiamo la prenotzione por una camera doppia." (We have a reservation for a double room). Unfortunately, I had failed to prepare for any follow-up questions -- assuming, I guess, that the concierge would just cry, "Bene!" and hand over the keys -- so I stared blankly when he asked for our passports. I tried to make up for it with another practiced line: "La prima colazione e inclusa?" (Is breakfast included?) ... but then I couldn't articulate what time I wanted breakfast. In Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris says that he speaks French like an evil baby. I just speak Italian like a stupid baby.

Below, Jeff and I do our best impressions of the Arenula's in-house statues:

Jeff and I dumped our stuff and set out for a walk around the neighborhood. We crossed the Ponte Fabrizio onto the Isola Tiberina, saw the theater of Marcellus, walked up the steps to the Capitoline Hill, or Campidoglio, the Roman Forum, the Vittorio Emmanuel II monument, and the Colosseum. We're going back tomorrow morning when we have more time (Jeff insisted on breakfast at 7 am). I'm hungry and tired, so forgive my lack of snark. It'll come back after a bottle of wine and some jet-lag.

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