Rome wasn’t built in a day… if it was there wouldn’t be so much to enjoy.
But if you’ve only got one day (and maybe the next morning)…
Then what to see and what to miss out?And how to do it for less than €50 spending money.
Bohemian Trastevere next door past the Circo Maximo is a better bet.And I recommend the welcoming and economical Hotel Trastevere although remember there’s a €4 a night city tax.
Walk the walk
It’s free and it’s fun… to people watch, window shop and you can take pictures at your leisure.
You’ll pay for the privilege of eating and drinking near St Peter’s Square and the Trevi Fountain.
Instead grab a pezzo (slice of pizza) on the go for about €3, fill your water bottles from the ornate water taps that proliferate around the city.
Rather than buy it from the shops.
Or just go into a grocery or supermarket and buy a picnic of bread and cold meats. For about a fiver.
This is free
Walking boy the Colosseum and The Forum never loses its appeal but you don’t have to go in, the audio guides will only tell you what you can find out online anyway.
And he’s free
Book an audience with the Pope. It’s Mass but he plays to the gallery and the backdrop of St Peter’s can’t be beaten.
If you can’t get an audience, and you’ll need to book in advance, then attend Mass in St Paul’s Basilica – you’ll be in there anyway.
Or any of the churches in the city, they double as art galleries.
The Sistine Chapel is a truly wonderful work of art but frescoes can only really be enjoyed if you’ve got time, space and quiet.
Besides every church in Rome has a stunning fresco.
The best fresco, of course, is in the Pantheon, the 7.8m diameter hole in the dome, because God made the view.
It changes every day.
When it rains on Rome stop whatever you’re doing and rush to the Pantheon.
Spend a penny
No, not that penny, although I can recommend the toilets in the oh-so English Barrington Tea Room, near to the Spanish Steps – Byron, Keats and Shelley lived around her.
More Babington Wee Room, if you like.
No, spend a penny by throwing one over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain.
It’s a cliche, and a superstition but it’s everything that people say it is.
Of course, they know you’ll come back to Rome… how could you stay away?
Skulls and bones
When you’ve seen everything else – and definitely make time for the Castel Sant’Angelo (€10.50) https://www.castelsantangelo.com which is next to St Peter’s Square where rich Papal history was played out.
WHERE TO EAT Glasgow’s national dish is not haggis as you might have been told but ‘a cheeky wee Ruby’, no she’s not a good time girl from the Gorbals. A ‘Ruby’ or ‘Ruby Murray’ is Jockney slang for a curry.
And did you know that the Chicken Tikka Masala was invented in Glasgow.
When Ali Ahmed Aslam, the owner of the above mentioned Shish Mahal improvised by putting tomato soup and some spices into a chicken curry.
For a Glasgow bus driver who had complained that the original offering was too dry?
Not to be confused with the Chicken Tikka Mo Salah which has Egyptian spices and is served in Liverpool!
Best bar none
WHERE TO DRINK The Park Bar, 102 Argyle Street is a popular hang-out for Heelanmen and women, or Highlanders to you and me.
Serving tips: don’t wear ‘colours’, that’s hats and scarves with the colours of your sporting team, greens and blues are particularly divisive on account of the two big soccer teams Celtic and Rangers.
A pint of heavy is what we know as a pint of ale or Smithwicks and even if it is pronounced the same they spell whiskey without the e. It tastes just as good though.
TAP Air Portugal tapairportugal carried 1.23 million passengers in January, 145,000 more than this month last year.
Its biggest destination is, of course, Portugal but it also flies to Europe, North America and South America.
Rio by the sea-o anyone?
Of course we’re all big fans of Portugal around here… Secret Portugal.
Women’s Day in Iceland
Isn’t it just typical, I went and missed Bondadagur, the start of the Porri season (on January 24), again.
Bondadawhat I hear those of you who are not either Icelanders or Icelandophiles ask.
Well it is Men’s Day and as luck would have it, for Herself, Women’s Day is still to come… on February 22.
That’s Konudagur then and it’s when men pamper their women and give them flowers.
Which maybe I’ll keep from The Scary One – she’s got Valentine’s Day coming.
And I’ve already taken her out for a night this year… and it wasn’t even her birthday either.
The good news (for me, heck and for you too) is that I’ll be back in Dublin in mid-March.
Don’t tell the Scary One but I’m hoping to be back a lot sooner.
I’ll be flying Stobart Air, partners of Aer Lingus from Edinburgh and Aer Lingus, from Dublin to Miami.
And when I can I always will.
I’m only hoping that as a loyal Aer Club member and a proud kiltie wearer I can rack up enough points to earn me one of their super-duper new crew skirts.
Anyhoos, back to their deals: London, Amsterdam and Paris from €27.99, Toulouse or Bordeaux and much more besides.
Usual conditions apply. Visit www.aerlingus.com.
And don’t you just know I’ve played and prayed all over these fab destinations… The London life, Pictures of Amsterdam and George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel. And The Lourdes prayer and The Boat D’Azur.
And not forgetting Ryanair
Ryanairwww.ryanair.com has just released its early bird summer fares.
MEET YOU IN THE SKIES