In Rome

It was their first evening in Rome. They arrived that morning at 10:30am. They took a 27 minute taxi ride from Fiumicino Airport to Lifestyle Suites Rome. They checked into their Salotto 93 Suite with its French balcony, king size bed and view of Piazza Navona.

“What a lovely suite,” Chioma remarked. “It’s elegant, luxurious and comfy. I like it very much.”

“Check out the red sofa,” Dushan said. “We can make love there too.”

Chioma smiled. “And in the shower too. Have you seen it?”

He went to check it out and returned, saying, “Yes, it would do very nicely.”

Chioma smiled again. “So, what would you like to do now? Stay here and relax for a while or do a bit of sightseeing?”

He went over to her and taking her in his arms, he replied, “Why don’t we do both?”

Hours later, they left their suite and went to Piazza Navona. “I read that Piazza Navona is bordered by the buildings that were built on the remains of the Stadium of Domitian,” Dushan said as they strolled through the square holding hands, pausing every now and then to take photos. The place was buzzing with tourists and locals. They spent a while at each fountain before they visited the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone.

They went to Ristorante Tucci for lunch. They shared a parmigiana pizza. It was very tasty and filling. They left the the restaurant and visited Galleria Doria Pamphilj. “They have classical concerts here at the palace,” Dushan informed Chioma. “And a restaurant. Maybe we can come here one evening after dinner and see a concert.” They went into the museum which housed Rome’s largest private collection. It was set in a palace owned by the Doria Pamphilj family. They were able to see most of the Gallery’s masterpieces such as Caravaggio’s Repentant Mary Magdalene and Rest on the Flight to Egypt, Velázquez’s and Bernini’s Portraits of Pope Innocent X, Guido Reni’s Putti Fighting, and Raphael’s Double Portrait.

When they were finished with the museum, they returned to the hotel. They relaxed for a while on the balcony before they got ready for dinner. And here he was standing outside of the hotel, ready to go for dinner at Old Bear which they had passed when they were strolling through Piazza Navona. She had the Spinach and Parmesan Salad while he had the Salmon marinated with pink pepper. For the first course, he had the Pappardelle with cheese and pepper and she, the Tuscan soup of legumes and cereals with croutons. For the second course, she had the Parmesan-style eggplant rolls and he, the Fillet with green pepper. “Do you have any room for dessert?” She asked him.

“Yes. I have room for the Nutella mousse. What about you?”

“Hmm. I’ve never eaten this much in my entire life.”

“We’ll walk it off afterwards.”

“All right. I’ll have the mousse too but the next time, I’ll make sure I have enough room for the Cheesecake with strawberries.”

After dinner, they strolled through Piazza Navona. “Did I tell you how sexy you look in that dress?” he asked as they passed the Four River Fountain.

“Yes, you did and we almost didn’t make it out of the suite.”

“The color really flatters your lovely complexion.”

“I’m glad you like it.”

They walked to the Spanish Steps and paused at the little fountain at the bottom. They took photos of each other and asked other tourists to take photos of them together. “I just saw a guy who looked a little like the taxi driver–you know the one who was very attentive to you.”

“Oh, he was just being friendly.”

Too friendly. I had to tell him that you were my wife.”

“When did you tell him that?”

“After you got into the car and after he closed the trunk. I told him politely but firmly, lei è mia moglie.”

Chioma stared at him. “You know how to speak Italian?”

“No, but I have my trusty Italian English phrase book. Thankfully, it has that particular phrase because as it turned out, I needed to use it.”

“That explains why he ignored me when we reached the hotel.”

“I don’t have a problem with other men admiring you because you are a very beautiful woman, Chioma but when they become oversolicitous, I have to put my foot down.”

“I think it’s cute.”

“You think it’s cute that the taxi driver was overly attentive?”

She laughed. “No, but, I think it’s cute that you’re jealous although you have no reason to be. Ever since I met you, I haven’t looked at another man.”

“And ever since I met you, I haven’t looked at another woman.” He leaned over and kissed her on the shoulder. “Let’s climb the steps.”

Holding hands, they walked towards the steps where several people were milling about. Chioma noticed that, “Nobody is sitting on the steps. That’s because since July 8th of 2019, anyone caught sitting, eating, or drinking on them will have to pay a 400€ fine.”

“I also read that the Spanish Steps are originally named La Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti which roughly translates to, ‘The Steps of the Holy Trinity of the Hill.’ The steps are dedicated to the Holy Trinity represented by their three tiers; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

“I think the square was called Piazza di Spagna because the Monaldeschi Palace was purchased by the Spanish Crown.”

They spent a while in the area, drinking in its vibrant atmosphere before they headed for the Trevi Fountain because it was very close to the Spanish Steps. “It’s magnificent, isn’t it?” Dushan remarked. “Did you know that it’s called Trevi because it’s situated in a piazza where three roads meet?”

Chioma nodded. “Yes, I read that online. Trevi means three ways.”

“There was also a famous Goddess named Trivia. She protected the streets of Rome and had three heads so she could see everything going on around her.  She would always stand on the corners where three streets met.”

“According to legend, when you toss a coin into the fountain, it means you’ll return to Rome. And if you toss two coins it means you’ll return and fall in love, and tossing three coins means that you’ll return, find love, and marry.  I only need to toss one coin in. I’m already madly in love and happily married.”

Dushan smiled. “Ditto. Let’s squeeze our way through that crowd and we will both toss a coin in.”

“Let’s go.” She held on tightly to his hand.

They went down to the 18th century fountain and after he gave her a coin and took one for himself, they turned around and tossed the coins over their shoulders. They spent a while in the piazza, taking photos and strolling past the restaurants, gelaterias, bars and kitsch shops before making their way back to the hotel.

Sources: Planetware; Turismo Roma; Wikipedia; CN Traveler; The Culture Trip; The Roman Guy; Fodors; Italian Notes; Trip Advisor; Wikipedia

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