Day one. Off to Rome. My daughter surprised me with an early Mother’s Day present and updated my ticket to first class! I WAS IN HEAVEN!!!!!!! Everything is so much nicer in first class. I could select meals from a menu with several choices and eat delicious food with real forks and spoons. I ate steak. To sleep I just pushed the button for the seat to maneuver into whatever position was comfortable for me. I slept great! In no time we were landing in Rome.
We took a cab from the airport to St Brigida Convent in the heart of historic Rome. The cabbie didn’t fail my expectations by stopping or even slowing down at stop signs. The signs are only suggestions in Italy. Sister Gertrude met us at the huge oak doors and let us into the convent/hotel located in the Farnese Piazza next door to the Palazzo Farnese, which is now the French Embassy. In the meeting room we were greeted by an older nun who could not have been over four foot eight and spoke only Italian. Sister Gertrude is the only fluent English speaking nun here at the convent. Most of the nuns are Indian or Italian. Showing us to our room on the third floor we managed to get our luggage and three people in the elevator meant for one. I was so thankful for that elevator though! Our room was spotless and the size of most Italian hotel rooms. To get there we passed a small television room and chapel. My daughter and I unpacked and quickly headed out to explore Trastevere, an old neighborhood where the locals live just across the Tiber River. The streets are narrow and the crowds are not here so it is great to explore. We stopped at a small restaurant with outdoor seating called Gabriels and Gabriella’s right next door to the Church of Santa Maria. With the bells tolling we dined on fresh pasta and homemade foccaccia with rosemary served in a paper bag. As it was getting hot we went back to the Convent to rest before going out into the piazza at night.
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