We cleaned up and closed up the house Tuesday morning and drove to visit the archaeological museum at Urbisaglia.
The Museum is in the hilltop town of Urbisaglia, while the Roman ruins of Urbs Salvia are down on the plain below the town. It was originally a fairly large and strategic settlement, featuring an amphitheater, arena and aqueduct, most of which still remain. When the town was overrun by barbarians and abandoned by the Romans, many fled to the hilltop, where the medieval town was located for strategic and defensive reasons.
Weather the last week or so has been gorgeous, and Tuesday was no different. We got some incredible views of the Sibillini Mountains as we drove down through Abruzzo, passing the still-rebuilding town of L’Aquila—wracked by the 2009 earthquake.
Got to Rome right around dusk. Kerry did admirably driving in rush hour Roman traffic. And it is unlike anything anywhere. Armies of scooters pay no attention to traffic signs, patterns, or cars. Tiny cars and big trucks dart everywhere. And it goes on forever. Since the audio on our GPS went out, I navigated, calling out turns to her. We both needed a drink by the time we got to our hotel. Hotel Santa Maria is in the Trastavere neighborhood and was a bargain at 119 Euros (10% discount if you pay in cash). http://www.htlsantamaria.com/english/index.htm
Beautiful, neat, clean, super nice family who runs it. We had an aperitivo at the bar, talked over our adventures, and then set out to walk around Rome a bit and then grab dinner, our last in Italy for a while.
Rome is a great walking city. You can follow a map, or better yet, throw the map away, walk a neighborhood, and prepare to be amazed every time you round a corner. Do it. Because even at midnight, you can find a great pizza and a nice tall Moretti Baffo d’Oro (“Golden Whisker” whaaa?).
As I write this, I’m waiting out my 3-hour layover in Atlanta, waiting on the final leg home to Little Rock. It’s midnight in Italy, and I’m feeling it after about 5 hours of sleep last night and only 1-2 on the 11 hour flight from Rome. A bit tired to make any great pronouncements or keen observations. Maybe tomorrow. Peace out.