Rome to the Romans

The scratches on the hull, which were caused by the first lifting, have been treated by the marina during our absence and repainted with copper coat. The five days dry period is running and we can hardly wait to get back into the water. On Monday we first had to tell everybody how it was in Pompeii, we were happy about the great interest and willingly gave information. Carlo renewed his offer to show us Rome and we agreed to do this next Saturday. We had visited Rome during our time here, already a few times, but the city always showed itself in a different light and so we were very excited to see which Rome we would see with Carlo.

Wednesday came and we were back on the hook. Katinka hovered a good meter above the ground and was swung towards the Tiber. This time perfectly balanced - one learns to do so - she was gently lowered into the element intended for her and floated on the spot, attached to the pier with two lines. Perfect, everything had gone great and we were back in the water. The next two days we first cleaned up. On Thursday the phone rang and my father announced himself for Saturday. I explained to him that his timing couldn't be better if he hadn't seen Rome yet, but that he would have to come on Friday because we wanted to leave very early on Saturday. He also thought it was feasible and so he arrived the evening of the next day. In the meantime we had moved our Katinka back to the old berth with the beautiful meadow in front of us. On the phone we had arranged a time and our regular café the "Moko" in Fiumicino as meeting point. We thought that if a professional company like DHL can't deliver a parcel because they can't find the marina, it's even more difficult for a private person and we didn't want to take any risk. My father arrived almost on time and after we had found his car after a short search, we moved our reunion to the Katinka. After a short briefing, a tour and the assignment of bunks, the presents were unpacked. Is it Christmas again already? No, of course not, but I had mentioned in a blog that maybe one or two bottle of wine from Styria could get lost down the Tiber and our Styrians don't want to be told twice. Beside the "Zweigelt" from the Leo Palz winery in Klöch, a "Grüner Veltliner" from the Wachau region got lost down here, also a bottle of Styrian pumpkin seed oil was found in the back corner of the trunk. We say thank you very well! We are very happy about the fine things and will think of you while enjoying.

On Saturday Carlo was at the boat as agreed and we went by bus to Rome, as we had done the times before. From Termini station, past the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese, we reached the "Terrazza del Pincio". From here you have a magnificent view over the city and the "Piazza del Popolo" in front of us. Not far away is the inconspicuous church "Santa Maria del Popolo". In the church there are two masterpieces by Caravaggio, the Crucifixion of St. Peter and the Conversion of Saul. Caravaggio worked out the pictures with light and shadow in detail, which makes them appear very lively to the viewer. 

Carlo, who by the way can quote Dante in very long passages without mistakes, had not promised too much and we were already looking forward to the next highlight. It was the little things, the subtleties that Carlo showed us and explained with a lot of background knowledge. The completely inconspicuous fountain "Fontana del Babuino" on the Via del Babuino which brought us back to the "Spanish Steps" was such a subtlety. "Babuino" means the ugly one and the fountain really doesn't look nice, but because the fountain is located here, the street was also named like that. Further to the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. Not far from the Pantheon we had our first break at "La Casa del Caffé Tazza D'oro". Here you can get Caffe con pani, an espresso with a thick cream topping, simply delicious. 

Arriving at the "Piazza Navona, we looked at the fountain "Fontana dei Fiumi". The fountain was designed by Bernini. The figures represent the great rivers of the four continents known at the time, and it is striking that some of the figures turn their hands away from the neighbouring church "Sant Agnese in Agone", whose sacristy was built by Bernini's greatest adversary, Borromini. As if the figure wanted to say "Oh, how ugly is this building". Via the Campo de Fiori, the flower market at that time, which today offers more than just flowers, we reached the "Palazzo Spada". An horseman figure, viewed through a passageway, appears life-size, although it is only barely one meter high. By the arrangement of architectural elements one is subject to an optical illusion. We were impressed and I asked Carlo how he knew all this, he just smiled. 

We took the next bridge over the Tiber and reached the Trastevere district, which is full of pubs and restaurants. The narrow alleys and the medieval ambience make this quarter so unique. In "Giselda" we took a break and strengthened ourselves for the way back. Passing the "Fontana delle Tartarughe" - by the way, there are at least as many fountains in Rome as there are churches - we reached the stairs up to the "Piazza del Campidoglio". This square was once designed by Michelangelo. In the middle is the statue of Marcus Aurelius and in the background the fountain "Fontana della Dea Roma". But the interesting thing about the square is the arrangement of the buildings, which diagonally running backwards make the square appear much bigger. By the way, the plaza seems to be rectangular to the observer.

Carlo had an enviable perseverance and captivated us with his explanations, so that time flew by as if in a flash. Passing by Trajan markets, which gave us another impression of life in Rome at that time, along the statues of the rulers, who reminded me of the saying "Rome to the Romans", we went near the Colosseum towards Termini, where we got back on the bus that took us back to Fiumicino. 

Only now we felt the legs and fought all together against sleep. In Fiumicino we said goodbye to our companion and thanked him for the very interesting and impressive tour through Rome. We will remember Carlo and this day for a long time and hope to see him again some day. The next days we spent a little bit more quiet, as we walked almost 20 kilometers together. We also had a lot to tell and so we made ourselves comfortable in Fiumicino in the café or on board. Much too fast the days passed by and my father had to return to Austria.

We said goodbye and quickly returned to our everyday life. Now we finally want to get going again. The preparations are almost finished and we are waiting for a suitable weather window. What we are planning next, we will tell you next week, until then always fair winds and keep your ears stiff.