I've reached that critical point in the countdown to any trip where my departure day is finally included in the 7 day weather forecast. Granted, it says rain, rain and more rain, but if Roman meteorologists are anything like those we have in Boston, I should pack my bathing suit. Seriously. But just in case, I've bought an all-season, long, weatherproof coat. I figure that will cover me in any eventuality. Except maybe beach weather.
I've just exchanged enough Euros to hit the ground without running immediately for an ATM. I have stocked up on OTC remedies for all that may ail me (except of course campylobacter, which I encountered in Spain and hopefully will not meet up with again in Rome). I have compiled lists of sights, restaurants, internet cafes, train schedules for potential escapes from the city. I've confirmed my flights and hotel. I found subs for my spinning classes while I'm gone. I still need to cancel the newspaper and remind the credit card companies not to cancel my account when I make that first big purchase out of the country. But they probably still will. I found a converter to charge my iPod abroad, so I've loaded it with past seasons of The Office and will watch tv on my way across the pond.
So this is how my traveling mind works, organizing the trip into nice neat little segments. I have a rough itinerary, which looks something like this:
Thurs Nov 1
Arrive 9 a.m. – limo to hotel
Capitoline Hill – Campidoglio, Musei Capitolini, Monumento Vittorio Emanuel, S. Maria in Aracoeli
San Pietro in Vincoli
Fri Nov 2
Baroque Rome Tour (9:30 – 1:00) [includes Sant’Andrea al Quirinale, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Palazzo Barberini]
Sat Nov 3
Roma Antica Tour (9:00 – 1:00) [Palatine Hill, Palatine Museum, Aqueduct of Claudius, Golden House, views of Roman Forum, Forum, Mammertine Prison, Imperial Fora, ends at Colosseum]
Sun Nov 4
Galleria Borghese Tour (2:30 – 5:00)
Mon Nov 5
Caravaggio Seminar Tour (9:00 – 12:30) [includes Santa Maria del Popolo, Sant’Agostino, San Luigi dei Francesi, ends at Galleria Pamphilij]
Private Vatican Museum After Hours Tour (3:15 – 6:15)
Tues Nov 6
Vatican Scavi Tour (9:15 – 10:45)
Tour St. Peter’s
Wed Nov 7
And we don't want to talk about what happens after, because it entails leaving Italy and coming home, and that's just something we don't need to think about just yet. I have much, much more to add to that itinerary, but those are the bare basics at any rate. I know I won't get to everything I want to, but I'll give it a try nonetheless.
This weekend I'll start packing, laying things out in piles and making sure all is in order. Sometimes I think the anticipation thing is the best part. Until I get there, sigh over something gorgeous and devour my first gelato.