We loved chaotic Rome. But I will admit, we were also exhausted from the constant noise (revving Vespas at night were the worst) and general city chaos. With one day left, we tied up loose ends by revisiting the Trevi Fountain, climbing the Spanish Steps and wandering off into the quiet and rejuvenating Borghese Gardens.
Up on a hill above the Spanish Steps, the Borghese Gardens have a panoramic view of Rome that includes the Vatican, Victor Emmanuel Monument and the Colosseum. It was also the first mass of green we’ve seen in a week. We drank in the trees and grass and strolled hand in hand along a gravel road lined with tree canopies and couples canoodling on benches, while Ada skipped along picking up rocks.
After visiting another fountain and eating a picnic lunch, we left the gardens and landed in Piazza del Popolo. We watched the traffic drive by this massive piazza in awe: they created their own lanes and if three lanes of traffic fit, then there were three lanes. Unless someone parks in that third lane, then the stream of cars instantly merges into two lanes. Fascinating to watch, but I wasn’t eager to experience it with Aaron driving. And tomorrow, we drive out of Rome into Tuscany. The anxiety of that adventure began to creep in.
Scaffolding covered the obelisk in Piazza del Popolo, like many sights in Rome, so we continued on, heading for the Tiber River, hoping to reach the Vatican, in a desperate ditch effort to see the Vatican Museum. But the walk took much longer then we anticipated. By the time we arrived, Ada was eager to get out of the backpack and run while we were eager to just lie down. We dragged our bodies back to the apartment and called it a day.
As I cleaned the apartment and fretted over our driving map, I once again harangued myself for not using time wisely; for not seeing any museums and skipping most cathedrals. I didn’t meet my high expectations of seeing it all, even with a toddler in tow. I wanted more time in Rome. Yet, that night while cursing the sound of Vespas roaring up our narrow street, I reconsidered that desire. Tuscany, here we come.