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Jim Zurer

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!

Zurers in Italy 2022: Tuesday: May 24
Day 29: Rome​

I wake up in the middle of the night with a sore throat and spend a sleepless hour worrying about the chance of a positive covid test in the morning. We get up early and self-test--thankfully we are both negative which reduces our anxiety. My sore throat has also disappeared.

After breakfast, we walk along the via Giulia to the Farmacia Santa Lucia for the official antigen test that will allow us to fly home tomorrow. We pay our money (Euro 22 each) and are directed to a small tent across the street where the tests are given. We wait our turn (there are two people ahead of us) and get swabbed....the swabbing here is much less vigorous and briefer than directed in the self-tests we have taken. The pharmacist says we could wait for ten minutes for the results but that it isn't necessary because they would be sent by email as well. We go and sit in a nearby park to await the results and, in less than 15 minutes, we get emails notifying us that the tests were negative for the virus. Needless to say, we are thrilled.

With the tests out of the way, we are free for the rest of the day but the combination of the very hot weather and the fatigue brought on by the covid-induced tension of the past couple of weeks lessens our enthusiasm for more activities. We sit on the roof for a while piecing and reading. For lunch, we have another excellent sandwich from Sto Bene. We then hang out for the rest of the day in the room. In the late afternoon, we take a short walk for our last gelato (lemon and lemon cream for me, fior di latte and stracciatella for Diana) at a shop around the corner and then begin the process of packing for our trip home. It has cooled down by the evening and we have a pleasant al fresco dinner at the nearby Hostaria Farnese. I have a very tasty rigatoni alla gricia (large pasta tubes with a sauce of guanciale, cheese, and oil), and a delicious plate of osso buco with mushrooms. Diana has an okay ravioli and an excellent plate of carpaccio. We drink a very good Rosso di Montalcino and finish up sharing a panna cotta with chocolate sauce. A very pleasant last dinner in Rome...

It's a short walk back to the hotel across the Piazza Farnese.

Tomorrow a car will pick us up at 7:45 for the ride to the airport.

Jim and Diana

Jim Zurer

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!

Zurers in Italy 2022: Wednesday: May 25
Day 30: Rome - Home​

The day doesn't get off to an auspicious start...I get a call from our driver who tells me that there is a lot of traffic and he is sorry but he will be about 20 minutes late. But he drives like a bat out of hell and we make it to the airport by 8:30.

The trip home in brief: the line at the check-in desk for United was very long but a United representative saw Diana with a cane and whisked us to the head of the line. We still had to wait for a very long time for a wheelchair to take us to the gate (there was a lot of competition for the service and it was quite disorganized) but we made it with time to spare. The flight was long (about nine hours) but we both had empty seats next to us so it was fairly comfortable. There was another long wait for a wheelchair at Newark but Global Entry made clearing customs a breeze--all you have to do is get your picture taken at one of the machines and show the printout of the picture as you leave. Our baggage took a while to arrive but, with the help of the man pushing Diana's wheelchair, we negotiated the train to the car rental office with our luggage quite easily.

The drive home from Newark was extended by a stop at an inept Starbucks on the New Jersey Turnpike but we made it back home by 8 pm..about 18 hours after we left the hotel in Rome.

We are very happy to be back in our apartment. The trip turned out to be a lot different than we planned...but, given all the challenges, it could have been a lot worse. We got to see some of our friends in Italy and we ate very well when we were not self-isolating.

We are so grateful for the support and hospitality of Pamela Sheldon Johns and Johnny Johns at Poggio Etrusco during our Covid stay there and we very much appreciated all messages of support from those of you who were following our trip.

We still love Italy and hope to return next year. Stay tuned for Zurers in Italy 2023.

Jim and Diana


100+ Posts
I've only just read about your trip and I expect you are well and truly recovered by now. It may not have been the trip you planned, but it sounds wonderful nonetheless.

I am physically aching to get back to Italy but the thought of crowds chills me, I'm thinking of a February 2023 return.

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