Bella cosa far niente.

To put it plainly, Rome was captivating. After much discussion about our favorite things in Rome, Sean and I came to the conclusion that there was one day that stood out above the rest as having been truly ideal. It was our final Sunday in Rome, and it was about as authentic an experience as we could have asked for.

We woke up very early (8:30am) in order to get into to the city and beat the crowds to the Colosseum. After a short wait in line, we were inside this architectural triumph and wandering around remaining levels. It was striking how similar in design our modern sports arenas are.

Tickets to the Colosseum also cover entrance to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, so that’s where we headed next (smugly noting the now ridiculously long line to the Colosseum). Though we only spent an hour or so inside the Colosseum, we could have spent all day on the Hill. The beautiful gardens were matched only by the stunning panoramas from the walkways of the Imperial Palace.

We decided to save the Forum for the following day, as we had made plans for a picnic with Kathy and Davide that afternoon. They met us back at our apartment and we headed for Parco degli Acquedotti where we enjoyed a wonderfully local picnic in the shade of one of the ancient aqueducts. After lunch, our friends taught us the Italian card game Scopa.

As the sun began to drop, we decided it was time for some gelato (isn’t it always?) and a walk along Appia Antica: the oldest road in Rome, still paved in many areas with the same travertine laid in 312 BC. This lovely place made for a truly picturesque sunset stroll, and a beautiful classroom for learning Italian proverbs. Bella cosa far niente: idleness is a beautiful employment.

To complete our perfect day, we dined on our favorite dishes and favorite wine at our favorite trattoria, Betto e Mary.