Ospedale Gemelli – If Tequila does not help, then the Pope goes here

Rome, we are coming !

One of the many ‘kilometre cottages’ on the SS2 to Rome
View of Lake Bolsena, intermediate destination achieved
Coffee break in the park in Viterbo

After 100 kilometers, the last stretch on the four-lane SS2, we hardly believe it – we are in Rome!

We camp on the tent green of city camping Flaminio, together with eight to ten travel biker. So different from 2019, when we met fewer travel bikers in seven months than now in the first few weeks. They come from Holland, Germany, Switzerland and Great Britain.

We meet Menne again. The world is small and Rome even smaller with its 2.9 million inhabitants. Menne, the funny travel cyclist from Holland, has already crossed our path in Bologna. Then we have taken different ways, although we all rode roughly towards Florence. On our first day of excursion in Rome, we suddenly see a travel cyclist in Piazza Poppolo whose attitude on the bike seems familiar to us. I is Menne. ‘Rome – see and die’: this is how we said ‘goodbye’ a week ago. And here we meet again, in the middle of Rome, and later on the tent green of Camping Flaminio.

Menne from Holland, learns German on his trip to Italy

From the nearby train station Due Ponti we drive into the city. Lennart sends us tips to help us pick out a few of the large number of highlights. The Michael Müller city guide, shopped as an ebook, also supports us.

Piazza Poppolo, our starting point for exploring the city
If possible, we hung out in the shade.
View of Piazza Venezia
In the middle rear the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica
Roman Forum, in the middle of the city, right next to the Capitol, from where Rome is ruled
Collosseo: this is where the Romans played their gruesome games
Chiosko in front of the Vatican
Piazza St. Peter
The afternoon sun shines through the dome above the altar in St. Peter’s Basilica
No audience with the Pope, but … Lights off, spot on !

For Dad: all popes at a glance. In addition to all antiquity and history, we also recall the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, when Jutta Heine from Hanover, formerly at the DHC, then at Hannover 96, brought home two silver medals in the 200m and in the legendary 4*400m relay. You are a vintage !

Dome in St. Peter’s Basilica

The Church has rarely played a good role in its long tradition. Often it was about oppression, domination and demonstration of power against the “sheeps”. So certainly also in the construction of such huge churches. In any case, it is an impressive building. With the Vatican, we mark another European state on the map.

Fontana di Trevi
You are probably never alone here – and bathing in it, like Anita Ekberg (famous actor in a famous movie in the 1960ties) at the time, you are no longer allowed to
Roman Town Hall: Everything is so big here!
For 1.50€ you go using public transfer through the whole of Rome
… and back to the campsite in the evening
Camping Flaminio in the north of Rome

Here we also meet Rosanna and Timon from the Netherlands. They have five months and travel with their mountain bikes as a bikepacker, have experienced a lot and interesting plans. So we exchange with our experiences of Albania which will be one of their next destinations, and their plans to go to Abbruzzo, five days, escape the heat and maybe see a bear or wolf.

Expert discussion with Timon

But first we have to get fit. Astrid’s lumbago was easy to get under control as usual and with standard therapy. The allergic reactions of the countless, itchy mosquito bites are not worth mentioning. But we did not expect juicy renal colic. On the second day in Rome and out of the blue, Rolf was caught. This hurts one tremendously and stresses us both. Luckily, we have virtual medical care – thanks a million to Tommy, a pharmacy that sells us prescription drugs due to Tommy’s messanger chat, water and lots of exercises on our sightseeing tours of Rome. Because there was no improvement after two days of massive pain, in the early morning we take a taxi to the emergency entry of Rome’s most famous clinic:

Visit to the Ospedale Gemelli

The famous University Hospital is a multiple of the Marburg University Hospital. It operates 1800 beds, treats 20,000 patients a day and has always reserved a few rooms for the Pope in case he needs medical care.

In the emergency room Rolf got ultrasound, again ultrasound, CT and waits for the doctor. Rolf stays in the hospital and Astrid comes back to the campsite alone in the early afternoon. The cyclists have all left. Menne is already on its way to the ferry to Sardinia. The intermediate status reports do not sound very reliable, and so Astrid is already thinking about what she will do the next few days, with a tent, two bikes and all sorts of other luggage. How such a return trip will work if the wheels are no longer moved by the cyclist. Around 7.30 pm Rolf arrives at the campsite. With multi-page findings and therapy recommendations. Well taken care of to visit the local pharmacies and for the further advice of our virtual doctor. We stay two more nights and use the time to comfortably cycle to Rome.

Cycle path along the Tiber

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