Hi from Rick: Roman through Trastevere
My wife Anne and I just opened an early Christmas present tickets for our annual week-long winter getaway. We'll celebrate the New Year in Rome!
Imagine kicking off 2004 in Rome. Upon arrival, you'd immerse yourself in the Trastevere neighborhood. Rome's "other side of the tracks" is actually the other side of the river. When you cross the Tiber River, you lose the big museums...but you find the people.
Tackle Trastevere as if your high-school poetry teacher sent you there on a cultural scavenger hunt. You'll see lovers rocking gently on their Vespas under a crusty wallpaper collage of obituary notices and concert posters. Toddlers try to escape from second-floor balconies while older kids play soccer in the street, rattling World Cup dreams with head shots. Scraps of sun tumble through cracked doors revealing grannies who brag they've never crossed the river. Laundry and potted gardens seem to float decoratively, as if sketched by Chagall. Sirens clash with church bells.
The Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere is the thumbhole in this urban palette. Earth-tone streets, like tiny rivers of paint speckled with Fiats and Vespas, meander from Piazza Santa Maria into an urban jumble.
Very Italian names are hollered from fifth-floor balconies "Antonio, Massimo, Maria" while little delivery baskets filled with gorgonzola, fava beans, and milk bottles are hoisted up and down. Buy an avocado from the guy sitting on the fruit crate and plop it into a basket just for fun.
Venturing deep into Trastevere, Anne and I will kick off 2004 with some of the best (and tastiest) experiences Europe has to offer. We're eager to put my Rome 2004 guidebook to use, revisiting some enticing new trattorias.
Whether you're pondering a mid-winter escape or planning a summer adventure, my staff and I would love to help. If you're traveling on your own, our lovingly updated 2004 guidebooks are here. If you'd rather join us, consider one of our 26 different tours (uncensored feedback from the 5,000 people who helped make 2003 our best tour year ever is now online).
If you've got a traveler or two on your holiday gift list, our online Travel Store is stocked with goodies to help turn their travel dreams into smooth and affordable reality with special Holiday Gift Packs, and cheap $4.95 shipping through December 15th, 2003