Scott & Janet on Rick Steves' Heart of Italy 2016
Scott & Janet on Rick Steves' Heart of Italy 2016

It was a "serious, unfortunate event" in Rome...

(Apologies to Lemony Snicket fans!)

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It started with a perfectly lovely dinner...as told by Janet

During our walking tour, we saw Da Pancrazio, a restaurant built on the ruins of the Theater of Pompeii, the place where Julius Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March in 44 BC. We returned that evening. After dinner and a lovely bottle of wine, we toured the subterranean dining rooms and (in hindsight, foolishly) acted out the murder in a very dramatic manner, not realizing that it was the eve of the Ides of March!

(See attached photographic evidence.)

While walking arm-in-arm to the bus stop in Largo di Torre Argentina, two people on a Vespa rode up on the sidewalk and one of them grabbed my bag! I didn't let go, but instead went flying through the air and landed on the sidewalk about 5 yards in front of Scott.

That was the "serious unfortunate event" that could have been much, much worse. What followed renewed our faith in the kindness of humanity.

We were immediately set upon by helpful Italians. A medic had a blood pressure cuff and confirmed that my blood pressure was "a little elevated", a doctor asked me the concussion questions, and an elderly man who spoke very little English repeatedly assured Scott that the ambulance would be here "in three minuti." An ambulance ride to the hospital followed, where I was told there was a hairline fracture in my shoulder. The staff was kind and although they spoke little English, we communicated through hand gestures and drawings.  

Scott and I missed seeing the Forum the next morning, but rejoined our tour group on their departure to Volterra.  What an wonderful group of friends we had already made! The teen-aged travelers volunteered to help Scott with the luggage (thanks to Rick, we've learned to pack lightly), our helpful Rick Steves guide Lisa accompanied Scott to the pharmacy to find a substantial sling to restrain my arm, and a very sweet doctor on the tour monitored me to make sure the sling was fitted correctly. At our first gelato stop in Lucca, the proprietor joked that maybe I needed a cone instead of a cup (and spoon) since I only had one hand! 

What could have been discouraging to us instead offered insight into the helpful nature of strangers. We could have let it get us down, but we laughed and were thankful that the injury was not worse. In the hospital that night, I vowed that I still had one good arm and I could drink wine, eat gelato, and climb towers with that one arm! We didn't let the incident define our belief in the power of travel.

The world is too amazing to be deterred by fear.

Keep on Travelin’!
— Rick Steves

Scott CSI: Italian Edition

Largo di Torre Argentina is known to have a managed colony of feral cats. Please note that they did not lift a single paw to help us!