Last weekend we had the pleasure of a last minute Roman holiday with our cousins, Mitchell and Neil and their wives Natalie and Laura. It was great fun to have la famiglia together in Italy!

It was a busy weekend in Rome. Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day – not as widely celebrated in Rome as in other countries, but still there were plenty of celebrants jamming the piazzas that evening. Campo de Fiori was particularly crowded as we made our way back from dinner in the Trastevere. Sunday was the Rome Marathon, and we enjoyed watching the race as we made our way along Rome’s historical sites. We couldn’t help but wonder if the runners had been kept awake all night by the St. Patty’s revelry, but we reasoned that they were racing in what’s got to be world’s best city for carbo-loading, so we didn’t feel too badly for them.

Saturday we had our own little marathon, in the form of a guided tour of the Colosseum, Forum and Pantheon with a lovely Roman woman called Sonia. Four hours of Roman history education is quite intensive – even for a couple of rocket scientists like Mitchell and Neil!  The accomplishments of the Romans never get old. We can’t imagine how visits to the Pantheon or Colosseum would ever fail to impress. In Campo de Fiori, our hired Italian friend Sonia parted ways with us, with two kisses each to the cheek. Then we refueled, dining al fresco in the beautiful weather and trying not to provoke the attention of a mischievous street clown, who expected money for slapping innocent passersby on their tushy.

The rest of the weekend can pretty much be summarized as all trips to Italy go: walking around, admiring historical buildings, window shopping, people watching, gelato sampling and always pondering options for the next pasta feeding. We really enjoyed the very “Roman” Trastevere neighborhood where we had a couple of excellent and inexpensive meals. On Sunday before we left, we made sure to throw a coin into Trevi Fountain to hopefully ensure our return to this great city.

For more pictures, check out our Roma photo album dated 19th March 2012