Tag Archives: Albano Laziale

Roman Holiday

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Covering 2,000 years of history in two days in sun drenched Rome the holiday club visit the Eternal City during the 150 year celebrations of the unification of Italy.

In the grip of an unexpected heat wave while the Romans seek out shade Andrew, Kim, Micky, Sue and Christine do what the English do best and go out in the midday sun to see ancient, medieval and modern Rome.

Italy 2011, An Unexpected Bus Trip

Marino Frascati Albano Bus

We had a late afternoon flight so had all of the morning and the early afternoon for more sightseeing and the plan today was to use the local bus and take a trip to the shoreline of the lake that we had seen several times now from the windows of the train.  From what we could make out from the badly faded timetable half stuck with peeling  sellotape to the window at the terminus the buses seemed to run every hour and we had missed one by a matter of only seconds so there was a forty minute wait for the next one to come along.  I purchasedthe  tickets for Marino and we waited in the sunshine.

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Italy 2011, Rome, Emperors and Gladiators

Colosseum Rome

Inside the Colosseum it is huge but there isn’t really a lot to see – no statues, no paintings, no exhibits, just an elliptical arena surrounded by ancient brick and concrete, so once a full circuit has been completed, although it feels as though you should stay longer, there is not a lot to hang around for.

This doesn’t mean that the visit experience is in any way disappointing or less wonderful just that it seems to me that there are two types of sightseeing, the first is where we go to admire the statues, the paintings and the exhibits and the second where the experience is simply about being there, in a place that has played such a pivotal role in world history and the development of civilisation and for me the Colosseum is one of the latter.

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Italy 2011, Not One Of The World’s Great Train Journeys

What a shock that was as a Trenitalia train, at least forty years old and liberally covered in graffiti, creaked into the station and pulled up at the platform.  The hiss of the doors opening could well have been mistaken for a sigh of relief at the end of a heavy chore.  Inside the carriage it was clean but uncomfortable with utilitarian plastic seats that made your bum sweat and a worn out air conditioning system that rattled and groaned with old age.

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Italy 2011, Albano Laziale and a Bandit Hold-Up

Micky and I identified a place to eat, the extravagantly named Pizzeria La Bufalina di Cristiano Erminia, but it was ruled out by the girls because behind the bar it had a microwave to heat up the self-service food selections which was considered unsuitable (Micky pointed out that if the microwave wasn’t in full view in the bar it would be in the kitchen anyway!) so then we continued on a fruitless trek around the streets to find something they might approve of.

On the positive side we found the train station and I established where to buy tickets so on the way back we purchased some from a supermarket for only €1.80 each return for tomorrow’s intended train journey to Rome.

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Italy 2011, Lake Albano and Castel Gandolfo

The small café was opposite the entrance to the Papal Palace which is where the Pope spends his summers on the shore of the lake ostensibly to avoid the oppressive heat of Rome.

I’m sure that this probably isn’t strictly necessary anymore because I imagine that the Vatican will have more than adequate air-conditioning facilities these days but nevertheless it still remains a nice place to spend the summer.  The Catholic Church owns this splendid Palace thanks to the Lateran Treaty of 1929 when Italy recognized the full ownership by the Holy See of the Pontifical Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

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Italy 2011, All Roads Lead To Rome

Italy was in the grip of a burning heat wave and after landing at Ciampino and on opening the aircraft doors there was a blast of heat from the smouldering tarmac baking in temperatures that, coming from Northern Europe, we were unfamiliar with, which was rather like opening a pizza oven door.  Ciampino was once the principal airport for Rome but it has now been superseded by a modern facility north of the city so it quite small for a capital city airport and we were processed through immigration control and customs nice and quickly.

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