Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rome, ah Roma: romantic, historic, gastronomic, engaging -- all the better with a good guide


Rome's Trevi Fountain has been drained and fenced off, and a $3 million bridge project financed by Fendi, the
big name fashion house, is underway with a renovation project to allow visitors to view the famed fountain from above!
The Colosseum is one of Rome's most popular attractions. A private
guide will give you time to enjoy it, ask questions and never be rushed.

Motorcycles are a part of Rome culture.
A tour guide explains the fascination.

Cookie and expert guide Lucilla Favino pause near the Commons of Old Rome.


WE ALL KNOW the cliche, "Rome wasn't built in a day."
But if you only have a day or two in one of the great cities of the world, you can pack a lot of wallop into your time, with planning and a private guide.
We recommend hiring a guide, and you won't find any better than Lucilla Favino, a native Roman who loves her city and knows its history as well as any university professor. That's because she has passed the rigorous five-hour guide test and has a doctorate in archeology.
"Old Rome" features ruins where Plato
and others strolled, conversed and lectured.
Monuments, plazas, history at every
turn is yours when you visit Rome.
We've spent times on three different trips with Lucilla, including one six-hour personalized tour which brought us into parts of Rome we'd not seen on a half-dozen previous visits.
It also included the standard "big attractions" -- which never bore.
LUCILLA'S BRILLIANCE in her chosen profession -- she is a true expert in Roman history -- is steeped in versatility and depth. Besides her vast knowledge and engaging storytelling ability, she has a gift for time management.  We never felt rushed under her touring of the Eternal City, but we saw more in each of our three days with her than we'd seen in days of touring by ourselves.
A good guide knows the history of every piazza in Rome.
Instead of being crammed in a long bus, or walking with a dangling earphone with the guide a block ahead, you'll stroll arm-in-arm with her, walking where Caesar and Aristotle strolled, staring up at the ceiling Michaelangelo painted on his back high atop a ladder, listening to your guide's commentary. Picture the shouts of the crowd as lions roared at the doomed prisoners in the Colosseum. Lucilla had stories!  Remember to visit the famed Trevi Fountain, with the coin toss so you are sure to return. (Even though it's under restoration, you can still toss a lucky coin in a revised pool while Lucilla explains the restoration and the innovative skybridge coming, above it.)
Keller captured this classic Roman look on our recent trip to a favorite city.
NO CITY on earth can compare to Rome. And no guide can compare to Lucilla.  Her love of history is enhanced by her devotion to Rome's art.  She points out architectural details one might miss, and she stops at the shops to indulge her penchant for chocolate, which we share!
Romans love their sweets -- here a shop window of wonders!
With our private guide, Lucilla, we tried some samples.
With her pleasant and engaging commentary, you'll walk the same streets the ancients walked and view some streets of ancient Rome several layers beneath today's streets. Our visit to "Old Rome" truly captured the feeling of life then!  With Lucilla, we also visited and toured the Vatican, the smallest independent nation on earth, then we walked the stylish shopping streets to see how modern Romans live alongside all the historic splendor.
AS YOU STROLL the one-time epicenter of the Roman Empire, gazing over the largest Roman amphitheater, you might decide to book Lucilla to see the Pope give his weekly address in St. Peter’s Square.  She'll set it up! She'll also help you test your resolve at the Mouth of Truth, learn to fight like a gladiator, and sample a pizza to see what sets Roman pizza apart from the other pizza of the world. Few cities entertain as Rome does but a good guide helps keep Rome from being overwhelming.  Lucilla knows how to navigate its fast-paced, varied options. She gives time to ponder - and takes breaks to sample the city’s famous wine, coffee and gelato.  "I love my city," she says.  "I love to answer the questions, to stop when someone shows particular interest in a place.  If someone is tired, I can sense it.  Then we go sit and have a cappuccino and I answer a question or tell a story."
 WE RECOMMEND Lucilla, for a guide with intelligence, a sense of fun and a love of her native city.  Her contact information is: Lucilla Paola Favino, (+39)338.9221760 (Rome phone), or lucilla.euroacademy@gmail.com
Red Lodge, Montana, is a picturesque mountain
town, with beauty in all four seasons.

COMING UP:  From Rome to Red Lodge!  What makes this picturesque little mountain town in www.whereiscookie.com
Montana so darned much fun?  Whether you're looking forward to ski season or planning a trip to Yellowstone Park next summer, have a look at Red Lodge with its lively eateries, fine lodging, shops, wildlife and more.  Remember to explore, learn and live and check us out Wednesdays and weekends for a fresh look at arts, travel and life: www.whereiscookie.com

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