Italian, Dutch, German, French and Spanish words floated in the air as I waited in line to check my mail at the internet cafe, while Mozart swam in the pool, or when we just walked around the campsite. We have grown quite accustomed to this life of constant foreign tongues, but suddenly there was a new voice in Rome, one we have not heard in some time. American!
So this is where all the Americans are hiding in Europe. In eight months here we have hardly seen any and all at once they seem to be everywhere. I should have guessed as there were American voices on the ferry over here, more than we have heard since we started, but still it was a surprise. I thought only English, Oz or Kiwi accents were found in campgrounds in Europe, but there seems to be plenty of young people here who have discovered this one, Camping Roma.
As we toured we also ran into many Americans of all ages and heard their voices and talked to a few. In fact, I seem to hear many more American English accents than any other English. It is only May, but Rome is packed with tourists and hot. I find myself with slightly mixed feelings about all of these Americans.
I am glad to see so many enjoying Europe, but I have gotten used to our unique status and suddenly feel a little demoted to be just one of many. Still we feel more like expats now instead of tourists and it is kind of fun to hear that oh so familiar American twang again. It was just a little discombobulating after not hearing it much for so long and in this never experienced context.
We set our GPS for this campsite when we got off the ferry and made it in short order, around two hours drive. We put on a little music from the movie “Life is Beautiful” allowing it to serenade us as we enjoyed the countryside. Long ago I lived in Italy for almost a year and I have not been back sense, so it was exciting to be on Italian soil again. I love the sounds of Italian and how expressive they are and miss that, the food, the land and the way of life.
We always have two worlds when touring a city. One is the city itself and the other is life at our campground which is a totally different world. There are usually lots of good campgrounds along the ring road of all major European cities and Rome is no exception. They are also all pretty similar and quite nice with trees, pools, restaurants and great resort like facilities. This one has the marble bathrooms, a pizza restaurant and a playground Mozart likes. It even has a kids bathroom which she adores with colorful showers, toilets, mirrors and sinks just her size.
We picked this one because it has a hypermarket right across the street and that is something we wanted. Once we set up camp (which is real easy for short stays when we do not undo the bikes or set up the tent and things), Mozart got a quick dip in the pool with a Tuscan like view, then DaVinci and she headed for the store while I got supper started. We had some yummy salmon, potatoes and corn with fresh bread and lovely raspberries for dessert.
There are lots of rocks here which pleased Mozart who soon made up a project for herself, putting all the letters on them and writing messages. Hmm, it was dirt that pleased her in Barcelona and rocks in Rome. She enjoys these projects and pleasures as much as the touring and we are entertained by what she comes up with using her endless creativity. She adapts well to the movement and seems to feel right at home in foreign cities and different campgrounds which is a fun life.
We found a couple of good kids books on Romans and the Colosseum to add to our collection. We got them here, but if a family is just coming to Rome or Italy, it might be a good idea to track them down and order them before coming. One is a book about a ten year old boy who dreams his way back 1900 years to experience the Colosseum and Rome during the emperor Trajan’s time. It was written and illustrated by Irene Stellingwerff and the ISBN is 888795507-7.
The other is a Roman activity book put out by The British Museum Press. It is called simply, “The Romans Activity Book” and it has some good information with fun games for kids. They both pass the Mozart test as she likes them both and especially enjoyed doing some of the activities.
I like the calmer, quieter nature here at the campsite. This one is not the quietest one that we have been to, nor the cheapest, as we are here in the busy season, but still is quite tranquil and a great bargain for Rome. Cities and touring can take a lot out of you, so it is nice to have a quiet place in nature to relax in between jaunts. It is nice to wake up to birds chirping and greenery. We love to explore, but we also like our comfy leisurely existence in the unique world of European campgrounds.