Rome Travel Guide

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Holiday, Roman style

We struck out for a hike on June 2, Rome’s Republic Day. Unlike patriotic - should I say it - zealots on July 4 in the US, the Romans aren’t terribly interested in celebrating their Republic, it seems, but they do love days off and picnics in their parks.

We thought we’d be hiking alone on a fairly flat trail, since the “hike” was in one of our Italian trekking books. We braved some dangerous highways (The Pontina – to Romans, enough said) to get to the turn-off, got lost in roads to military reserves, and then went down a degraded dusty road that seemed designed to beat up our scooter. But we ended up with a couple hundred other Romans at a kind of farm park.

Like Americans, the Romans now need a public Reserve, a park, to show some kinds of farm life to their children (I say to myself what would my Mom, raised on a dairy farm outside of Seattle by her Italian parents, think; but then, Bill and I sent one of our sons to a summer farm camp and their Grandma took it all in stride). Italian kids were being educated in sheep grazing, tractors, honey-bees, solar energy.

We left the farm equipment and cavorting Roman children behind and headed out on some “trails” that were mostly farm roads, then left the roads behind to slog through waist-high and higher grasses. We finally found our way to the top of a hill, with a large herd (?) of grazing sheep (thankfully, no sheep dogs) and grand views into the next valley. A Roman family of 3, panting away, managed to get out this far too - at least we think they did; we encouraged them as they were climbing up the hill behind us.

The Reserve also houses a coop, which was selling organic (“bio” for the Italians) and other agricultural products. Of course, we too had to buy some of these “authentic” products to take home. So stop by for a taste some time. Dianne

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