Here is Marcello. Great guy. He lives in this flat just to the east of the centre of Rome with his girlfriend and dog, Ambra. His girlfriend is away this weekend so it was Marcello, myself and the dog who had “hot” chicken curry tonight. Well, the dog didn’t get any, she just watched ambivalently from the sidelines. It was nice washed down with an enormous melon slice.
Just as with Iain in Deal, Alain in Boulogne & Simone in Pavia, Marcello has been an excellent host so far and I’ve only been here about five hours. And an experienced one at that; he has been welcoming warmshowers.com guests for four years from all parts of the World. There is even a visitors book that I look forward to both reading and writing in. Marcello met me in the Piazza del Popolo, a short cycle from the Vatican at around 6pm. It was so nice to see a friendly face after this afternoon’s battle…
Wind. Not mine, nature’s, is the least welcome climatic condition to your average cyclist. I really don’t mind getting wet and the cold is one of those things that if you commit yourself to commuting from Reading to Henley by bike every day during the winter, you just get used to. But wind is something else! Imagine Marjorie the Fat Fighters character saying that in Little Britain; that was how I thought it. It was fearsome as I cycled south towards Rome. Have a look on the Twitter feed for some visual representations of its power from an Italian flag to a tree blown down and blocking my way into the centre of the city.
But I battled through the elements and I am proud to say that I am one of the few people who can claim to have cycled into the centre of Rome from…. errr…. the suburbs of Rome. Rome is not the most cycle-friendly place if you decide to take up commuting. I didn’t pass a single cycle lane or sign let alone a bike until I was in the heart of the city itself. I got a few bemused looks as Reggie, the panniers, Henry Helium (the tent) and I meandered our way into the centre.
Photo shoot at The Vatican over – see previous post – I fathomed my way to meet Marcello. A brief tour of the town brought us back to his flat, some good food, good conversation and now, a good night’s sleep….