For our last day in Rome, we decided to just take it easy and go on a boat ride (our favorite thing to do). We had seen a brochure for a “Hop-On Hop-Off” boat along the Tiber River. Perfect – we could ride down, hop off for lunch, and ride back home.
If you haven’t been to Rome, the Tiber River is not that big. It is muddy with a swift current and has a series of rapids part-way through the town. So the range a boat can go is somewhat limited. But we still would see a different side to the city.
We excitedly made our way to the riverbank, where there was a huge rowing regatta going on, bought our ticket and waited. About 15 minutes later, this little barge with plastic lawn chairs on top chugged up to the dock, listing a little when the passengers turned this way or that. Just our type of adventure!
We boarded and had a marvelous time taking in the river sights. We saw a number of rowing clubs with beautiful boathouses, along with restaurants and even houseboats. My favorite scene in “Roman Holiday” was when Audrey Hepburn went to the dance on the barge along the Tiber River, so I loved this.
Eventually, we ended up at Tiber Island, the only island in the river. We got off and wandered around awhile before going to the mainland on the other side to the Jewish Ghetto. Rome’s Jewish population first came here 2,000 years ago. Then, in about 1500 AD, the city decided they should be segregated in a 4-block area next to the river, which at the time was undesirable due to flooding. The area still is the home to a beautiful temple, thriving kosher restaurants, and galleries. We had lunch at a place that specializes in whole fried artichokes, which are in season right now. Delicious.
We came home, packed, and had a final toast in our lovely apartment. We are a little sad to leave Rome, but we are super excited about our next destination – Sicily!