I don't know why we haven't traveled sooner. The flight to Rome was only one hour, and Brian was able to take off Friday and Monday so we could have a nice long weekend. It was definitely what we needed to re-charge the batteries. The only time Brian has taken off this year is when his parents visited, and this weekend proved that even though we live in a beautiful vacation destination, we really do need to get off the island from time to time.
We didn't want to overdo the touristy sight-seeing, so we had no real itinerary planned. We wandered around the hotel the first night, and found a restaurant I had wanted to go to. It rained while we were eating, and we walked back to the hotel that night just breathing in that after rain smell. The next day was for visiting the central part of Rome, and we did end up hitting a few of the "must-sees". And on Sunday afternoon we checked out one of Rome's flea markets, had some gelato, and walked to the Vatican area.
The one planned event we had was on Saturday night, when we went to a Depeche Mode concert with some friends. It was held at Olympic Stadium, and was really good! I had never been to a big stadium concert, and it was a great experience. Unfortunately, the transportation situation after the concert was chaotic, leading to crowds of concert-goers just walking down the streets at midnight. Buses weren't available and cabs were impossible to get. So we started walking. After several blocks, my friend saw a cab sitting in traffic and we took off towards it. She skillfully secured the cab after a brief conversation with the driver. I am so glad she speaks Italian:)
One thing that surprised me is the fact that it was relatively easy for me to find something to eat, being gluten free. I thought it would be extremely difficult, in a city of pizza and pasta, so I did do some preliminary research on places I could go to. To my relief, Rome is very forward-thinking in their acceptance of gluten intolerance as a real medical issue. They do not follow the American way of thinking that it is a choice and a diet fad. In fact, they take persons with celiac's so seriously that diagnosed individuals actually get a state stipend for the cost of the more expensive gluten free food. It is also required that public places such as schools and hospitals offer some sort of gluten free food choice. Many restaurants go out of their way to accommodate those with gluten issues, and I even found one that has two separate kitchens. Several restaurants in Malta offer gluten free food, but more often than not it is just poorly cooked pasta and frozen pizza bases. Here is hoping the rest of the world follows Rome's example sometime soon.
We had a wonderful time, and even after those few days I felt so much more relaxed. I would love to take another short trip before my third trimester begins, but that probably isn't possible so we might be able to do a little "stay-cation" somewhere here, maybe in Gozo. And until my December due date, I will just stare longingly at the bottle of limoncello we picked up, remembering our lovely weekend in Rome.