August Phenomenon and Questions

When I think of August, I think of unbearably hot afternoons, school supply shopping, first days of school and the craziness of the upcoming fall semester hitting with a bang. Those are all US memories though. Here? NOTHING. Europe closes down for August. Schools aren’t back in session yet (don’t be jealous, they didn’t get out for summer until July 22) and everyone is on holiday. In the Expat community, August is a big travel month so there have been almost no activities at the AWC. Many of my friends are traveling home to see family this month. The breakfast bakery that Mike and I like to frequent has been closed on random days. Some small businesses will shut down for weeks at a time. Mike and I walked to a restaurant the other night in the middle of the city near tourist heavy Oxford Circus and saw a sign on the window that they were closed on every Monday in August. Not for inventory, not for deep cleaning- just because. We have always heard never to travel in Italy or France or Spain or other big tourist destinations in August because the only people there are tourists and the people who stay to deal with the tourists. I believe them. I do like the holiday culture over here- people usually get at least 4 weeks vacation and are expected to take it. But it is like living in a different place. The central part of the city is crawling with tourists but the outskirts of the city feel empty. I have never lived in a city that has so many tourists, and while I appreciate the business that tourism brings the economy as a whole I find myself frustrated more often than not when I go into the city lately. In short, I am ready for September. Let’s get this fall started already!

Questions: Mike and I are trying to plan a long weekend in Rome some time this fall. We have no idea what to do, where to go, what to eat or where to stay. If you have been and have some tips, they would be much appreciated. If you have heard of something wonderful to do there, please let us know! Eating pasta and seeing the Colosseum are the only two things on our list right now. Fun as they sound, I think we should try for a few more things! So any suggestions would be lovely.

About fishandchipsandsalsa

This is the story of a newlywed-ish couple in Dallas about to pack up their lives and pups to move to jolly ol' England. They will miss good family, good friends and good fajitas.
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3 Responses to August Phenomenon and Questions

  1. Carole says:

    My favorite memories of Rome: Breakfast at a small coffee shop (think pastries, freshly squeezed blood orange juice, and incredible coffee) near our hotel. The Scavi tour which is a tour of the excavations under St. Peter’s. To get tickets, we had to go past the Swiss guards and the password was “Scavi.” St. Peter’s, especially the Pieta. The Vatican Museum – HOWEVER, I seem to remember you don’t love museums. It is one of my favorites ever and I do enjoy a really good museum. Rome was one of the best cities I’ve ever visited and I will never know if I enjoyed it so much because it was Rome or because I had just spent 2 years in Central Asia.

  2. Lollie says:

    My experiences with traveling in Rome all come from “Roman Holiday” with Audrey Hepburn. I don’t know where that face where Cary Grant puts his hand into the mouth is but that would be a classic photo op. I have it on DVD so I’ll watch again and give you some tips from this world traveler.
    Remember not to go to the Colosseum at night you might catch something (that’s from some movie, too), the catacombs seem too creepy for me to want to go to, all I can invision are cobwebs, spiders, and bones. YUCK.
    The Pope mobile is a must try, I mentioned the Pope Mobile in class one day and my students thought surely I was kidding. I had to prove it by finding it on the internet.
    I want to know if the Sistine Chapel ceiling colors are crisp and vivid or faded and old. (saw that in the movie with charlton heston)
    I always see those little scooters, a day touring on one of those would be an adventure, (ok, maybe that was from a 1950’s movie)
    But the real story is: any time you and Mike are together no matter where, You are always enjoying your time together.
    Ok, you miss August in Texas. It is 106 degrees when I get into my car in the afternoon after school. There is nothing like teaching math right after lunch, (that time has been devoted to napping during the summer). School supplies are fun to buy but they usually bring work with them. And new school shoes mean hurting feet to me. It is fun to be back at school with fresh faces and faces that look too familiar because you had both their parents in your class (could it really have been 17 years ago???)

  3. Kate says:

    Okay, off the top of my head my favorite thing we did in Rome was going to Trestavere (I’m actually not sure if that’s how it’s spelled). It’s a neighborhood within Rome with tons of cute cafes and laundry hanging everywhere. Just how you picture Italy looking. Definitely don’t miss spending a beautiful day walking around there. I think the best thing to get are those “Day by Day” books by Frommer. That’s what we used in Rome and they make it so easy to decide what kind of trip you want and where to go to make it happen.

    We are just now getting settled in Chicago, but I’ve been wanting to catch up with you. If you have a chance email me and let me know what’s going on there in London. Surprisingly, I’m really missing being there! Hope to hear from ya soon!

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