Pictures of Rome – 2003

Roman Forum

I did a lot of international travel at the beginning of the millennia.  The trip to Paris in April of 2001 had been planned for almost 2 years.  But then after the shock of September 11, 2001 people stopped traveling.  I was literally still missing Paris from the trip in spring, feeling almost home sick, and wanted to return.  So at New Years of 2002 I decided to look.  Sure enough, we could fly to Paris for less than to Ohio.  And I also found lodging for about a quarter the price of the cheapest place in Boston.  We were planning a ski week on a local mountain and discovered it was far cheaper to fly to Paris.   And the exchange rate was fabulous, I think about 75 cents for a Euro.  Oh yes, in 2001 we used Francs, in 2002 we used Euros.  Well, Paris for half the price of the planned ski trip, no brainer.

Roman Forum 2

I thought that was the end of it, but then in late 2002 or early 2003 I saw an article in the Boston Globe about ultra cheap travel.  There was an advertised trip to Rome that included airfare and lodging for even less than what we paid for Paris in the winter of 2002.  I called, added a couple of days for next to nothing, and went.

glowing-fountain-c

We had spent part of our honeymoon in Rome so we were very familiar with the city.   We went back to our favorite places and explored other areas of the Eternal City.

st-geovanne-from-palatine

I love Paris, but I’ll admit there is something fascinating about Rome.   For one, there are ruins.  A lot of ruins.  I love ruins.  I should say I love ruins well if they’re old enough – I don’t want to come home from work some day and find ruins instead of my house…  There is also art.  Yes, in the three trips to Paris I’ve spent at least 60 or 70 hours total in the Louvre, several days in the Musée d’Orsay, countless hours in the Rodin Museum, the Picasso museum, Musée de l’Orangerie, etc.  And yet it seems Italy has so much more art.

raphael-shool-athens

When we were in Rome the US decided to devalue the dollar as a way to stimulate the economy.  When we got there it was about 85 cents to a Euro, when we left it was about $1.45 to a Euro.  So the dinner we had when we arrived that cost less than $25 cost over $40 when we left.  Makes it tough for a tourist going from feeling rich to feeling poor over night.  This ended our international travels.  We did return to Paris in 2011, but we planned and saved for over 2 years.  And of course the exchange rate for that trip wasn’t as bad as it was for the second half of our 2003 trip.  (I just looked and the exchange rate is pretty good.  Time to plan another trip?)

trevi-003-evening

So here are some pictures from the trip.  I hope you enjoy!

 

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14 thoughts on “Pictures of Rome – 2003

  1. Corina

    My daughter recently asked me where in Europe I would want to go if we could go. (Once upon a time, before the grandkids, we had talked about traveling to Europe in the same year in which she turned 30 and I turn 60. That’s this year!) I’ve not ever gone to Europe so I don’t know. I want to see it all. At one time I wanted to see Paris more than any place as I had learned a lot about Paris during all of my years studying French. But I also want to see Rome and the Vatican. My daughter says her favorite place in all of Europe is Venice so now that is on my list too! I would go any place I could get to and any place I could afford. Not picky. I’ll take any of it, any time!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Although I’ve been a few times, what I’ve seen is very limited. But Paris is my favorite. Rome is a close second, though very different. Florence is also great. Hope you can get there someday!

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  2. aladywrites4u

    We’ve got Italy on the agenda for the fall. My son is taking me and I think we’re going to skip Rome and go straight to Napoli. It’s looking like we can expect this one to be quite expensive.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I think I’d choose Florence over Naples, but that’s just me ;) Actually, Pompeii is great and not to be missed. I didn’t spend any time in Napoli itself, but have heard both very good and very bad about it. Enjoy your trip!

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          There is a lot to like in that area – the ancient cities and museums, the food, the islands. The negatives I’ve heard have to do with crime. But then, if you’re with locals it might be easier to avoid. And no better way to learn an area than with locals.

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  3. phb2003

    I really enjoyed this post and you have a nice variety of pics.
    My sister said the same thing about Italy being better, I have not been to Italy yet so I cannot compare (yet) :)

    But I know what this feels like:

    “Makes it tough for a tourist going from feeling rich to feeling poor over night” – well have felt it a few times – maybe not overnight or on a single trip – but have felt it. and actually, we had a trip to Canada in 2008 and I wa steeling my kids about how fun it was to have the America dollar worth more – and shared stories. Well when we got there – our dollar was treated exactly the same as their dollar – but the problem was there prices were still higher – so we need up spending a lot more than expected – and had we gone even six months earlier we could have gotten much more for our money. But it was a nice trip – and sometimes my kids will point out how magazines have a US price and a Canada price and we talk about if it is different or the same.

    Also in 2008, I remember after the crash of 08 the News had Europeans folks coming to the US and spending like crazy – they were talking about how much they got for their dollar here.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Did you change e-mail again? :) I don’t know if Italy is “better”, just different. There is something about Paris I just love… But Italy is great in so many ways. And saying “better” is not the right language….
      The ups and downs of the exchange rates are funny. One thing, there was a time the US kept trying to de-value the dollar in attempt to make US made goods more competitive to China, but China had it’s currency tied to the dollar so their goods stayed cheap. The rest of the world hated it – since WW II the dollar had been super stable and had become “the worlds currency”, so with it dropping like a rock most of the world hated our fiscal policy. We finally dropped so low China couldn’t follow and so partially detached it’s currency and let it go up. As i said, the dollar and Euro are now almost 1 for 1, which is how the EU planned it, so hopefully stability is back.

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      1. phb2003

        yes I think I did make more changes – but that is how I roll these days T – ha!
        thanks for that correction – I realize you did not say better – but they did! lol – even though I agree with you about “better” is not the right language…. but seriously for them – they went two years ago and said their Paris part was their least favorite and I am not sure of the details – and very interesting to read all of that about the currency

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