Day 26 – Valencia to Roma

I get up at 5am to get to the Valencia Airport for my flight to Rome. It all goes quite well, and I have some time on the plane to catch up on sleep.

On landing in Italy, I see quite a contrast from the dry lands of Spain. Green and gold fields cover the area The view from the windows of the Leonardo Express to central Rome shows more agricultural lands.

I decide to take the metro to my lodging. A stupid choice, but something propels me on despite my concern about finding an elevator at the station. This sign shows that Ottaviano does not have handicap accommodations such as elevators. No way do I want to lug my nearly 17kg bag up and down stairs.

A very kind metro worker walks me through the logistics at Roma Termini and suggests I get off at Cipro which does have an elevator.

This I do but, hahaha 😂, hahaha 😂, the elevator is broken.

A very kind lady in her early 50s hauls my baggage up the long flight of stairs so I am able to ascend from the depths of the metro to the street.

Next time taxi. I want to get familiar with the metro but don’t need the baggage haul to do that. Lesson learned.

I have an extra long walk to the lodging because I took the Cipro exit. On the way I pass a few street vendors selling all kinds of junk and treasures. Lots of religious items as this neighborhood, Prato, is close to the Vatican. It’s a residential area far from the madding crowd of tourists.

I settle into my apartment in a condo complex and set out to get the lay of the neighborhood. I come across a bakery that has Maritozzi in the fridge.

Maritozzi, a Roman specialty, are filled with whipped cream. A centuries-old legend has it that husbands gave them, with a ring inside, to their wives on a day similar to Valentines Day. I’ve got to try one before I leave.

I’m so pleased that it’s a very residential, non-touristy neighborhood. I stop in to see Marco and Valentina in their upholstery shop next door to the bakery. We bemoan the demise of handiwork across the globe.

I come across more stalls filled with cheap clothing. The vendors are Indian, Pakistani, or ?? Where do all these clothes come from? Made in Italy!?! I see some pieces I recall from last summer.

Lots of immigrants in this neighborhood too. Many of the restaurants are Korean, Chinese and Japanese. Every block or so has a little hole-in-the-wall grocery run by Bengali or Bangladeshi or who knows?? They seem to be doing ok.

And where will all this cheap clothing end up? In the landfills of Africa.

I stop at the pharmacy to order some compression stockings. Argh!

I spend the evening watching Italian game shows. So relaxing and so stupid.

Will he open the right box or lose it all with one bad move? The pressure mounts! The Italian is so simple I don’t need subtitles.

Tomorrow morning I’m off to Villa d’Este.

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