Ahhhh! Feeling much more human. I woke up at 6 this morning and despite a bit of nocturnal screaming from Freddie, had a reasonable night's sleep.
We are getting into the Roman swing. Flossie and I went site-seeing yesterday. We saw the big monument to the father of Italy, Victor Emmanuelle II...
and the Colosseum...
She walked for miles, despite having woken at 3.30am. We had a great time discussing how we had to imagine what the Colosseum might have looked like. But her favourite thing was jumping on all the stepping stones outside. We stopped for a gelato on the way back - 75% cacao chocolate for her, which I think was a bit too much of a good thing.
We also saw a lovely wall of butterflies...
We bumped into Rob and Freddie having lunch in a local cafe on the way back. Freddie was entertaining the whole restaurant by sucking up individual strands of spaghetti carbonara. They had had a relaxing morning hanging out and people watching.
There is a little children's shoe shop right next to our apartment, so given Freddie wants to walk everywhere and Flossie's shoes are too small, they both got new pairs. Rob bought some sunglasses and I snuck off to the local fabric shop for 3m Italian wool, 2m cotton and 1.5m of delicious pink and navy silk.
In the afternoon we wandered over the river to Trevestare - a bit more grungy/trendy than where we are staying.
We had a drink in a bar and then let the children run wild in a piazza next to the breath-taking Santa Maria church, covered in mosaics and with a wonderful carved, gilt ceiling.
Flossie had begged to go out for dinner, but when we got home she said she was too tired. Given how far she walked, that wash't really surprising. They were both tucked up by 6.45pm after another dinner of takeaway pizza.
Today, Rob went to Pompeii and the children and I walked to Villa Borghese after breakfast at our local cafe (location of Freddie's spaghetti sucking yesterday). He is a big favourite and got given a biscuit and an orange.
The Villa Borghese is the biggest park in Rome. Italian parks are not big on grass, but we found a tiny spot to sit on. Flossie picked every daisy in sight and Freddie ate every stick and leaf that he could get his hands on. Floss had a ride in a pink princess pumpkin on a carousel managed by possibly the surliest man in Rome.
We walked back, stopping for lunch and gelato on the way. Flossie has regained her appetite and ate a huge slab of pizza. While the gelato we have had so far has been good, it hasn't been anything better than we get in Australia. Until this afternoon, when we queued at a little shop in a very posh street. I had some sorbet that was nice, but Flossie's vanilla was the best ice-cream I've every tasted (and as you probably know, I am something of a connoisseur).
I needed to get some things from the chemist, so we called in at the pharmacy on the way home. As we were leaving, a man rushed up to Floss with a bucket and spade set and gave it to her. Freddie was crying because he didn't want to be in his pram, so the man ran off and bought another one back for him too. So that brings the free things that my children have scored today to 4: 1 x biscuit, 1 x orange, 2 x bucket and spade set!
We didn't get home until after 3pm and spent the rest of the afternoon playing with the balloons that the children were given at the shoe shop and the buckets and spades from the chemist!
Tomorrow we fly to Malta. I'm sad to have missed the Sistine Chapel and eating one decent meal at a restaurant, but Rome has been wonderful. It is so true that you connect with people in a different way when you travel with children and the Romans really could not have been more welcoming or generous with my two. And of course, that brings out the best in them - they both seem to be having a great time, especially now everyone has had a bit more sleep.