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Azamara Quest - Mediterranean Cities, October 28-November 4 2021


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Norris, good to see that you are both well and have travelled again. 

I am looking forward to reading and seeing terrific photos.


I also arrived in Rome sans luggage last time we left from Civitavecchia. Fortunately we had booked 3 nights in Rome first which allowed the luggage to catch up.    It must have been really tense for you as   your flight had also been delayed. 


Reading your GSJ is sure to start the day off well .






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Off we went through the narrow streets and managing not to get squashed against the walls by the many delivery vans as there is often no sidewalk.

Soon we came upon a church we wanted to visit-Sant Area della Valle which features in one of our favorite Puccini operas-Tosca. Alas it was closed for a couple of hours but we would return on our way home to the hotel.




Further on we spotted a nice little park where we could rest our feet



San Basilio square and a lovely spot. I should mention that we had tickets for the Borghese Gallery this morning but the timing was too tight due to the time spent in FCO filling in the lost luggage forms and rushing was out of the question. We had been there before-and we will go again next time in Rome.


We crossed over the Tiber. It was a lovely warm Indian Summer day in Rome - we had been watching the weather for weeks before flying and it had promised rain but our luck held. I foresee a time when we fly to Rome and spend some time there (and a few days in Florence) without a cruise being involved. We owe it to ourselves after this one full day visit!



Trastevere was my idea and I really wanted to eat at a restaurant that I had picked out on TripAdvisor. The area was full of outdoor restaurants and character and graffiti . It's not full of highlight antiquities so no compelling reason to return but it was good to visit once. It was lively with people though.

We were tired trudging and needed to use Google Maps to find our way through the warrens of streets.

We arrived at the restaurant called Tonnerello and found we weren't the only ones...




The Hostess had told us a 20 minute wait and she was correct. Prior to getting in line we asked to use the toilets and had to go inside and walk up a narrow staircase jammed with people. There was only one toilet for men and one for women. There was water and soap but no paper towels so we had to do the rapid handshake, which is a primitive version of the Dyson AirBlade which is ubiquitous in Italy it seems.


Getting closer








It's a hive of activity, in the narrow rooms on two floors inside, the tables just outside where we sat and across the cobblestone street. Every table full and more waiting when we sat down. We were hungry and I could sure use a nice cold Nastro Azzuro Peroni beer.


Carol's favorite pasta dish- caccio e pepe (Pecorino cheese and pepper-so Roman!)



And mine -spaghetti alla carbonara (Guancale, cheese and egg)



Delicious belly busters priced right at 10E each if I recall, 27 for the whole meal with drinks



Time to mosey through the backstreets and return to the church




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Masks must be worn anytime you are indoors in Rome


There's a mirror to save you craning your next towards the ceiling







We are planning a replica of this in our hallway...something simple



This is the church that features in the Metropolitan Opera in New York's production (now retired) of Puccini's Tosca and we are visiting it on October 27th 2021 which is the 27th Anniversary of Carol and I meeting in 1994. We happened to have the seats next to each other and on stage was Tosca with the great Luciano Pavarotti. A memorable night and here we are in Rome to celebrate it with  a dinner by the Pantheon!


Norris and Carol, needing a nap soon.


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4 hours ago, Grandma Cruising said:

Thanks for the journal - as ever interesting and entertaining.


Just a thought - does your travel insurance include cover for additional expenses due to delays - I ask because my annual travel insurance does.

 Greetings Grandma and glad to see you here!

I will check with Carol on Insurance.



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Carol keeps copious notes in her phone as we stroll and eat etc so I have them to consult as I write this without my brain (already half-way there) turning to mush. 5.27 miles they tell me for our first day in Rome! These boots (scarpe) are made for walkin' and that's just what they'll do...


Back, retracing our steps to the Pantheon and our cosy home. There's a nap to prepare for tonight's sunset in the rooftop bar on the floor above us. Sunset was @ 6.pm.

I had a refreshing beer whilst waiting for Carol...



The waiter also brought some olives from the trees by the bar

There's still a line for the Pantheon





Let's enjoy a sunset....











Carol had booked a table at a favorite restaurant 50 yards or so away. Luckily for us as it was busy with some groups of men dining together inside. No rain as prophesied so we could sit outside. Score!

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2 minutes ago, singinalot said:

That Pantheon view from Albergo de Senato gets me every time


Crystal- me too!

But click on the photos to see the big detail !


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Lovely to have you back posting, Norris. Have followed your adventures for many years. Our next cruise will be on Azamara Quest in June 2022 - Baltics, (fingers crossed, third time lucky etc.!) Michelle

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31 minutes ago, offonhols said:

Lovely to have you back posting, Norris. Have followed your adventures for many years. Our next cruise will be on Azamara Quest in June 2022 - Baltics, (fingers crossed, third time lucky etc.!) Michelle

Thanks for coming forward Michelle!

You'll eventually see a lot of Quest photos!


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Oh our Med cruise was our all time favorite and we loved Rome. I remember reading a review of yours a few years back when you were in Rome. Can't wait to hear about the Azamara ship. I like the smaller size ships and they are getting hard to find. Sorry about your flying issues - so stressful! But happy you made it to that wonderful city.

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Carol leaves our table after a fine celebration meal (pranza). What did we eat?

Carol enjoys a hearty arty-choke when in Roma



Norris with his calamari, deep fried anchovies with squid ink blobs



Carol's filet of beef Rossini with pepper sauce



Norris is in heaven with his veal saltimbocca . Era squisito!



Dolce-Carol's ricotta tart with dried cherries and Norris' Sambuca Romana and espresso



the room was humming harder, as the waiter brought a tray.....with two comped glasses of Limoncello!


Now if you thought the meal looked delicious look at where we are sitting...



Simple Italian grub is what we like. In Italy we don't look for Michelin Star or spa cuisine. We don't even look for red sauce likka mama a used-ta make. We're more Roma than Napoli and two or three ingredients is just fine. If you've ever eaten a tomato (pomodoro) in Rome you'll be wondering what those red things are that you've been eating all these years. We were well served here and will return.


Catch of the Day



and of course the vino


Now, if you don't mind I'll show you just a few pics of our walk home-each one a reason why we stay in Piazza della Rotonda!

(Singinalot may need a stiff drink as she knows it so well)



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6 minutes ago, Bimmer09 said:

(Singinalot may need a stiff drink as she knows it so well)




so so true!

I would have won the bet if you had asked me where I thought you'd be eating (and getting coffee upon arrival!) 🙂


salivating over here and looking around for my wine glass.

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1 hour ago, Laganlady02 said:


You are a wonderful story teller - do you think it has anything to do with your Northern Irish roots ?

Thank you so much for this.


Thank you-most kind. Northern Ireland is certainly where my humor comes from. My dad (a ship's Captain) certainly had a very dry sense of humor and I caught it as has my niece Julie who is Treacle Scone on CC. I see her in my own sense of humor.


I read a lot when I was very young so much so that when I was 5 years old I would be taken into the year above me to read aloud to them and have always been a letter writer where I entertained my correspondents.

I will say that I have been subdued over the past couple of days and am sure it will go better once in my mind the pitfalls of travel have left me. In the story I still don't know two key things;

1 Will my luggage arrive tomorrow?

2 Will we pass our next Covid test at the ship?


If the answer is those to both is NO then we are in a whole world of pain.

Answers soon...


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Norris, what fun to be reading another one of your fantastic reviews.  What a nightmare you and Carol had getting to Rome.  And, it's not over.  I sure hope you get your luggage soon!!  We have been on 8 cruises since the shut down; all short and out of LA, so no flying (we live in Henderson, NV).  It is so great to be back on the open seas!  Meredith 

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This is the square that means most to us in all the World. 





In normal times there would be the sound of an accordion playing in the square as we walked past all these happy diners enjoying the warm night air. Don't you just want to be sitting here taking your time over a great meal and a smooth bottle of wine?





Home, Sweet Home and an early night, ready for what tomorrow might bring....



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3 hours ago, silkismom said:

"these boots are made for walking"    Nancy Sinatra    if we're playing that game again.

Yes , the hidden song lyrics are with us again, LOL!


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