March 12, 2009
Oh, those hills, about seven too many for Leveler comfort, but don't let that stop you from traveling to and enjoying the Eternal City.
Yes, everything you want to see will be at the top of one hill and at the bottom of another, so pace yourself. Between rigorous sightseeing, take advantage of some of the world's best people watching by lingering over a beverage in an outdoor cafe.
Tip: The Coliseum is a must-see so do it the easy way. Look to the left of where you buy your tickets. There's an elevator there and it takes you up to a very good vantage point from which you can walk around to imagine what it must have been like during Roman times.
The many piazzas are blissfully level, albeit cobblestoned, each has a church worth a look-see, most have a fountain and a cafe for relaxing.
Sure, throw a coin over your shoulder into the Fontana di Trevi - if you can muscle your way through the crowds to its edge - but don't waste too much time there. After all, the myth that if you do so you will return to Rome came from the movie, Three Coins in the Fountain.
Tip: The Spanish Steps and Via Veneto are not to be missed. After shopping the windows along the Veneto, something cool at the Hassler atop the steps will bring a touch of elegant civility. As you approach the steps, veer off to the left; you'll find an elevator there.
Avid traveler and sometimes Leveler Diane Till told us about this but Leveler Joan Monsky reminded us that the elevator stops running early, around 8 p.m.