First Class Rome

I can´t remember if I have blogged before about what I consider to be the best travel guide in the world: Eyewitness Travel Guides. (Swedish: "Första klass reseguider"). I discovered them more than ten years ago, when we were planning a week in Prague. I bought one and it so informed our stay there, it just became one of my best vacations ever.

Thing is, what I need from a vacation is to be stimulated. I need that much more than rest, probably because I make sure I get enough of that during the year. Burning both ends of the candle never seemed a very attractive option to me, perhaps because what I love to do requires a rested and alert mind. It forces you to take responsibility for your health if you don´t want to find yourself in a state where reading just becomes impossible, let alone thinking a complicated thought. I have been there, I have no desire to go back.

Anyway, these guides are gold struck for anyone who wants a historical background, an overview, detail, suggested walks, a few tips about tipping, hotels, customs, what to eat, what to drink, where to shop. The books are heavy, of course, being so packed with information, but I have a solution to that. I read it, find the pages that are interesting, photograph them (the camera is a fabulous notebook, haven´t you noticed?), make a few lists in a small notebook/diary, and leave the heavy book at home. Or return it to the library, as I´m about to do with this one.

So what am I looking for in Rome? Well, if the weather gods are with us (November is apparently the rainiest month of the year in Italy) we will see the city from the outside. Walk, walk, walk. Forum Romanum, the Vesta Temple, the Colosseum, all those (hundreds of?) churches, the Pantheon, the Tiber. If it rains, there are a few museums on my list. But with only two days, one must realize it´s impossible to see it all.

And then there´s the food: the spaghetti, the cheese, the cookies (who knew they had world famous cookies?), the bread, the porchetta. What I will try to avoid is what the call "the fifth fourth", which is the intestines. Something of a specialty that, tripe and such. Not so interested in that.

Only a month until we go!

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