I have never heard a story about driving in Rome that didn’t involve a hospital. My main memory from coming here five years ago (sans automobile) is nuns on scooters cutting you off when you try to cross the road.

So I booked a place half an hour out of Rome that had free carparking and good public transport connections.

Their website is all lies. While the carparking is free, the public transport to town involves a 15 min walk to a twice hourly bus that takes you to the metro stop, which you catch three zones, changing lines along the way.

When the prim reception lady estimated that trip at 90 mins, give or take, Paul went white. We’re only stopping briefly in Rome and don’t have time to do it properly right now, so he picked just one unmissable thing: the Galleria Borghese.

You have to book tickets in advance. We had. Everyone says they’re as strict as Gwyneth Paltrow’s diet about timeslots. And ours was in 20 minutes.

I saw her mouth the words “perhaps you should take the car”, but I heard nothing. I felt faint. I wanted to have a lie down. I was behind the wheel again in about three minutes.

We found a free park right outside the gallery! And it was great.

Paul in front of the gallery.

Filled with naïve enthusiasm for Roman driving, I proceed to take Paul on a lightning tour of Rome.

From the Trevi fountain…

…to the Vittoriano…

…to the ruins by the Forum…

…to the Colosseum…

Couldn’t resist this one.

Sure, there’s a heck of a lot more to see in Rome, but we’ll be back. And doing it by car meant we got more in than I expected. Plus, we didn’t have to pay a cent for parking, and I discovered that driving down a steep hill on centuries old cobblestones with ancient ruins within arms-length of either side of your car is fun!

I was so buzzed that I even tipped the waiter who made fun of our accents.

I regretted it within minutes.

Sunset behind the Vittoriano as we walk back to our car.

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