We mentioned several times as our time in Europe came to a close that we knew that Rome was definitely on our list of places to visit before we returned home to the United States. Obviously Rome is an incredible city that has so many sights worth seeing, but our goal was more personal. We have been chatting with a fellow blogger, Writing From My 14th Country, since the very early days of having started our blog. In fact, her encouragement has meant a great deal to us as we learned what it took to write a blog, and we appreciated all of the comments and conversations that we have had over the past year and a half. We knew that she was based in Rome and it was our desire that perhaps we would get the opportunity to meet when we visited the city. She graciously extended the offer to meet and we enthusiastically accepted.
Little did we know that despite having traveled from Colorado to Germany and then from Germany to Italy, that our meeting would require some additional searching. On the afternoon that we had agreed to meet, she called and let us know which Piazza she would be at and how we could recognize her. It was only a ten-minute walk from where we staying in the Piazza Navona, so we decided to go ahead and travel on foot versus getting a taxi. We asked one of the waiters for directions to Piazza Farnese, which we had written on a napkin and was our meeting location. He confidently pointed it out to us on our tourist map, which was indeed about a ten-minute walk. When we arrived at the specified location, a few minutes early, we quickly realized that this did not seem at all like what we were expecting, a large, busy, piazza. There was a sign on the wall of the building in the courtyard, Piazza Firenze. Obviously he had misread our note on the napkin, which was likely also misspelled.
With Google Maps to the rescue, we searched for the correct location, which was now twenty-minutes in the opposite direction from where we currently were. We spoke on the phone to let her know that we would be a few minutes late, but were on our way. We have described the streets of Rome as being like a bowl of spaghetti noodles where many streets intertwine, connect, loop, and change names at various intersections. Following the directions on our smart phone, we briskly walked along the mostly empty streets passing by a piazza, but our phone said that we needed to continue on the street that we’d been walking. After a few blocks more, we ended up at the river, so we knew that we had gone to far. Another phone call apologizing for the inconvenience, we walked back to the piazza that we had walked by several minutes earlier and this time walked into the center of the square. Low and behold we had finally arrived in the correct place, albeit about 45-minutes late.
Our host then gave us a brief walking tour of neighborhoods that she had worked in years previously and we talked as if we were childhood friends reunited after years of separation. It was an amazing time, hearing about the neighborhoods of Rome from someone who actually lives there and talking about our shared adventures of blogging. Just a few blocks from our hotel, we stopped and enjoyed a bottle of wine together and chatted about life, blogging, travel, and our common interests. It was not only a magical experience that we shall cherish forever, but an affirmation that the time spent sharing our experiences is not just an anonymous endeavor. We hope that everyone will go out and check out Writing From My 14th Country, it is a wonderful site that is fun to read and provides insight into Italy in ways that only a local can provide.