Alone Like a Rolling Stone


After the Arno river, the Tiber is the second river entrance that we have conquered. With only 2.4m water level the Tiber is relatively shallow at the entrance, which was no problem for us as we have only just over one meter draught. So we drove into the Tiber up to the island Sacra. Here we moored alongside at a jetty. The nice lady from the marina office explained to me that the jetty did not belong to the marina and phoned her boss. After a few clarifications we could stay there for the time being.

Such clarifications take time in Italy, so we lay for two days at the jetty without much happening. Meanwhile we went shopping in the nearby supermarket and cleaned the ship of its salt crust. In the evening of the second day there was movement in the matter, two marineros offered us a place in a nearby marina in Fiumicino. The way there led over a canal built by the Romans with two bridges, which swing once a day upwards, so that sailing boats can pass. One of the marineros offered himself as a pilot and we arranged to meet for the next day at eight o'clock. We left punctually and drove around the island of Sacra into the canal at Fiumicino. The bridges should open at 9:30 o'clock and we were there in time. Before us lay an English catamaran, we held the position and waited patiently for the opening of the bridge. After a while the first wing opened but the second did not want to open so right. The Briton of the catamaran in front of us raised his hands gesticulating, but nothing happened. The discussions started on board and the Marinero explained to me that the bridge was already damaged months ago. Passing with only one wing open was impossible and so we were already about to turn back when the second wing opened. We drove on through the canal, which became narrower and narrower due to the fishing boats moored at the pier. The second bridge then opened without problems and it was impressive to drive under it.

After another mile up the canal, we finally reached the marina and moored alongside at a jetty. The marina will be our home for the next half year. Here we can carry out the planned work on the underwater hull and then spend the winter. In March 2020 we will continue down the coast. We settled in and explored the surrounding area. Important for us are the location of the supermarkets, banks etc.. We walked along the canal, crossed the bridge under which we drove a few hours ago, discovered a small hardware store and a nice cafe with apple strudel. You can see where the priorities are here. After we had found then also still another favorable fruit and vegetable shop (naturally by an Indian) we were here almost already at home.

The next day we made our way to Rome. From a bus stop a shuttle bus should bring us directly to the Vatican. With a stop at the airport we reached Rome without any problems. The trip were 6€ per nose oneway. A few days later we learned that it is half cheaper. Now we were first in Rome and completely overwhelmed by the city. Loud street noise, a lot of people around the sights of the city then tenfold, impressed us hard. We walked towards St. Peter's Cathedral and suddenly stood in front of the first military blockade. All sights are secured by the military. The square in front of the cathedral can only be reached with a pocket check and fluoroscopy at a second barrier. Everywhere people are heading for the cathedral or just coming back from it. In dozens of languages videos and photos are taken by people who would like to document their stay here. Endless queues at the cash desks to get a ticket. The entrance into the cathedral costs nothing and thus the Petersdom became the first sight we visited in Rome. Respectively, we were not in Rome but in Vatican City, but these are only details. First we decided to get an overview and then at a later time to take a closer look at the things that interest us. A few days later, when I told our Marinero about our tour in Rome, he got enthusiastic and spontaneously offered to show us the attractions of the city and at the same time revealed some of his background knowledge. I was impressed and looking forward to the day with him in Rome.

We wanted to see the Sistine Chapel, but unfortunately it was closed. It is at the top of the list of the sights of Rome that we will visit on our next visit. We took the direction of the city centre and finally arrived at the Spanish Staircase. Also the Piazza di Spagna was full of people like everywhere else. Nevertheless it was impressive to climb the baroque stairs up to the Trintà dei Monti. The church from the 16th century practically forms the upper end of the Spanish Staircase. We went on to the Trevi fountain. The Fontana di Trevi was built from 1732 to 1762 at the Palazzo Poli. Since it is the largest fountain in Rome, this probably justifies the long construction period. But seriously, with its 26m height and its 50m width, the fountain in the late baroque style looks mighty. In a street cafe we drank a coffee for 3€, which is also gigantic, if you consider that a coffee in Italy normally costs 1€ and you only get a thimble anyway. Via the Piazza Venezia we passed the Roman excavation sites and reached the Colosseum.

We circumnavigated the amphitheatre up to the Arch of Constantine and then visited the Circus Maximus. The Circus fasted in the last stage 250000 people and was mainly used for chariot races. We walked along the track and could hear the screaming of the crowds as Ben Hur raced past us with his car.

We had seen enough for today and started the way back. In a small bar I tasted Indian brewed beer, which was booked at me under experience. Via Piazza Navona we finally found our way to the Engelsburg, where our bus stop back to Fuimencino was located. Quite tired we got on the bus knowing that this was not our last visit to Rome. There are still many things to see here and now we have time to have a look at it.

How we stay mobile here and how we do our shopping we will tell you about the next blog, until then, as always, Handbreit (Fair Winds) and keep your ears stiff.