We expected Festa della Republicca on the 2nd of June to be special and it was. We witnessed the build up to the parade as we shopped for pastries early that morning. We took advantage of 'Open Doors' at the Italian Senate in the beautiful Palazzo Madama and we queued for the once a year opportunity to visit the gardens of the Quirinale Palace. What we didn't expect to see was Il passaggio delle Frecce tricolori - the flypast. This hadn't taken place for the past couple of years for financial reasons so imagine our surprise when we heard the jets approaching then saw the smoke in the colours of the Italian flag - quite an emotional moment.
Our Scooteroma tour was a big tick on our 'bucket list'. The whole experience was amazing but one moment will stay in my memory forever. We were travelling along Via Casalina ,an ancient Roman road that leaves Capua near Naples and enters Rome at Porta Maggiore.As we travelled along this road on an iconic red Vespa I realised that this road sums up Rome perfectly - the mode of transport is different but Romans have been travelling this road for at least 2000 years. Ancient and modern side by side - everything changes but everything stays the same.
Music evokes memories and whenever I hear 'Summertime' in the future I will be transported back to a summer evening in Campo di Fiori. An impromptu feast of baccala and prosecco was enjoyed in the shadow of Giordano Bruno, accompanied by a saxophonist playing the aforementioned Gershwin classic. Magic!!
As this was our eighth visit to Rome we adopted a leisurely pace. We had time to 'stop and smell the roses' - literally!
Some of our happiest moments were spent sitting watching life passing by in various parks and gardens around the city. We particularly enjoyed seeing the dog walkers, even though it made us miss our 'girlies' back home.
The final precious memory must go to the Pantheon. Each time I step inside this amazing building and look upwards to the oculus my heart misses a beat.
The moment that will linger in the memory from this trip was when we introduced our friends to the Pantheon and they obviously had the same reaction - breath-taking.
What was even more awe inspiring was the shower of rose petals fluttering down from the oculus on Pentecost Sunday.
Those self same petals have provided a lasting reminder of a memorable visit to this wonderful city.