Karen and Lee Duquette's FLASHBACK to Rome, Italy with their son, Brian Duquette
July 28 - 31, 1984
Flash Back signclock running backwatds

After leaving Milan, Saturday, July 28, was spent traveling. Once again, the bus driver took a wrong turn and got lost. She drove in circles and caused everyone to arrive at the hotel in Rome long after the other busses arrived. When some people complained to "International Weekends" they were told that the delay was because the bus driver stopped for gas and that was why the bus was late. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Since the bus driver was originally following other busses, there was no reason for her to turn off the highway at the wrong place. But at least the bus did finally arrive at the right hotel in Rome.

Welcome to Italy sign
TomaMetropolitana di Roma ticket

Rome has been the capital city of Italy since 1871 when it became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. It continued to be the capital of the Italian Republic are the monarchy was abolished in 1946. Now, in 1984, Rome is the country's most populated commune and the third most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. Rome's history spans 28 centuries.

Rome is known as "The Eternal City" and has beautiful architecture and monuments, great works of art, and world-renowned food. The Grand Romantic ruins, opulent monuments, graceful fountains, and ornate statues are all testaments to its wealth and beauty. Karen and Lee Duquette wanted to experience Rome with their son, Brian Duquette, who loves history.

This European vacation is a flashback because it was not posted on this website until many, many years after this website started when Karen and Lee Duquette began RV travel in 2008. Many photos from previous travel have been lost, including Rome and most of Europe, but still, it is worth a mention here. Karen Duquette did her best to label the photos as correctly as possible.

Italian money

Below: Notes about the hotel that Lee, Karen and Brian Duquette stayed at and a view from the window of one of their rooms. First of all, the hotel turned OFF the elevators during the day to save electricity because most tourist were out sight-seeing. Many of the bus people, including the Duquette's, were on the sixth floor and they did not enjoy walking six flights of stairs after walking around all day sight-seeing. Some rooms were lucky enough to have air conditioning and some did not. However, the air conditioning was turned off again after most people fell asleep.

One night, Karen Duquette wanted to have the balcony door open for air since the air conditioning was turned off. But some old lady down by the pool was cackling loudly for many hours. Many of the hotel workers were rude. The cafeteria workers all claimed not to speak English, but one morning when someone told the cashier that he was cheating people with change, he said - in English, "All Americans are rich, why shouldn't we get what we can!" One person told the hotel employees that they were crooks and should be in jail. It was amazing how rude they were. Yet, this was rated as one of the best hotels in Rome, at this time.

Karen and Lee Duquette could hear the people in the room next to them, sneeze, cough and even FART! That is how thin the room walls were. The closets in two rooms were back-to-back, and Karen Duquette could see between the cracks of the closets and know if the lights were on or off in the next room. BrianDuquette was in a room on the other side, and Lee told him not to call on the phone, because they could just talk through the wall. There were NO luxuries here. The bathroom sink fell completely off the wall and the hotel employees acted like it was no big news.

ATA Hotels hotel pool
notes about traffic in Rome.

Below: Karen Duquette dipped her toes in the water by the fountain.

Karen Duquette dipped her toes in the water Karen Duquette dipped her toes in the water
ice cream
sign about ice cream

Below: Karen Duquette bought several postcards because she was having trouble with her camera.

Rome postcard

Altar of the Nation (Postcards below). The Victor Emmanuel II National Monument is a national monument built between 1885 and 1935 to honor Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill. It was conceived as a modern forum, three levels connected by stairways and dominated by a portico characterized by a colonnade. The complex process of national unity and liberation from foreign domination carried out by King Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, to whom the monument is dedicated, has a great symbolic and representative value, being architecturally and artistically centered on the Italian unification. For this reason it is considered one of the national symbols of Italy. It also preserves the Altar of the Fatherland, first an altar of the goddess Rome, then also a shrine of the Italian Unknown Soldier, thus adopting the function of a secular temple consecrated to Italy.

Victor Emmanuel II National Monument Victor Emmanuel II National Monument
Victor Emmanuel II National Monument postcard

Below: Arc of Settinio-Severno (postcard), at the northwestern end of the Roman Forum is a marble triumphal arch dedicated in 203 AD to commemorate the Parthian victories of Emperor Septimius Severus and his two sons, Caracalla and Geta, in the two campaigns against the Parthians of 194-195 and 197–199

Arc of Settinio-Severno

Arc de Titus (postcard shown below) is a 1st-century AD honorific arch, located on the Via Sacra, Rome, just to the south-east of the Roman Forum. It was constructed in c. AD 81 by Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus's official deification or consecratio and the victory of Titus together with their father, Vespasian, over the Jewish rebellion in Judaea.

The arch contains panels depicting the triumphal procession celebrated in AD 71 after the Roman victory culminating in the fall of Jerusalem, and provides one of the few contemporary depictions of artifacts from Herod's Temple.

It became a symbol of the Jewish diaspora, and the menorah depicted on the arch served as the model for the menorah used as the emblem of the state of Israel.

The arch was the inspiration for the Arc de Triumph in Paris. It holds an important place in art history, being the focus of Franz Wickhoff's appreciation of Roman art in contrast to the then-prevailing view. The photo on the right below, is looking up into the arch.

Arc de Titus Arc de Titus

Below: Piazza del Campidoglio, on the top of Capitoline Hill, with the facade of Palazzo Senatorio

Piazza del Campidoglio

Two postcards and one photo below: Saint Peter's Basilica is an Italian Renaissance and Baroque church located in Vatican City. It is is one of the most renowned works of Italian Renaissance and Baroque architecture and the largest church in the world by interior measure. It is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines and has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world", and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom."

Saint Peter's Basilica Saint Peter's Basilica

Below: (same as shown above) Saint Peter's Basilica photo by Karen Duquette in 1984.

Saint Peter's Basilica Saint Peter's Basilica

The Vatican Plazza is a complex of many buildings and covers 5-1/2 hectures and containes abnout 1,400 rooms. The Pope lives here in a small apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square. Most rooms house the library, museum and art collections.

inside the Vatican inside the Vatican
ceiling inside the Vatican inside the Vatican
statue statue
inside the Vatican inside the Vatican

History bookThe Arch of Constantine in Colosseo Square stands 21 meters high with a width of about 26 meters. It consists of a large main arch at the center and smaller, identical arcs on both sides. The Arch is located near the Coliseum, which is partially shown in this photo (and also shown below). The arch was constructed between 312 and 315, and dedicated by the Senate to commemorate ten years of Constantine's reign (306–337) and his victory over the then reigning emperor Maxentius (306–312) at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on 28 October 312, as described on its attic inscription. Not only did the Roman senate give the arch for Constantine's victory, they were also celebrating a series of games that happened every decade during the Roman Empire. On these occasions they also said many prayers and renewed both spiritual and mundane vows. However, Constantine had actually entered Rome on 29 October 312, amidst great rejoicing, and the Senate then commissioned the monument. Constantine then left Rome within two months and did not return until 326

Arch of Costantine

Below: (4 postcards). The Roman Coliseum is a magnificent building, of which only the stones bare of gold and marble exist. It once served as an arena for gladiators fighting against wild beasts. The Coliseum is the largest Roman amphitheatre in the world (capable of holding an estimated number of spectators between 50,000 and 87,000, located in the centre of the city of Rome. It is the most important Roman amphitheater, as well as the most impressive monument of ancient Rome. It was Included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1980.

The Roman Coliseum The Roman Coliseum
The Roman Coliseum The Roman Coliseum

The building forms a polycentric oval with a perimeter of 527 m, with axes measuring 187.5 and 156.5 m. The indoor arena measures 86 × 54 m, with an area of 3357 m². The current height reaches 48 m, but originally reached 52 m. The structure clearly expresses the Roman architectural and construction concepts of the early Imperial Age, Arches and vaults are linked together in a tight structural relationship.

The first photo below was taken by Karen Duquette. The other photo below is a postcard.

The Roman Coliseum The Roman Coliseum
Roman Forum information

The Roman Forum is a rectangular plaza surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.

The Roman Forum The Roman Forum
The Roman Forum The Roman Forum

spanish Square information
Piazza di Spagna ("Spanish Square"), at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, is one of the most famous squares in Rome, Italy. It owes its name to the Palazzo di Spagna, the seat of the Embassy of Spain to the Holy See. There is also the famed Column of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the middle of the square is the famous Fontana della Barcaccia, dating to the beginning of the baroque period, sculpted by Pietro Bernini and his son, the more famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

The imposing 135-step staircase was inaugurated by Pope Benedict XIII during the 1725 Jubilee; it was released (thanks to French loans granted in 1721–1725) to connect the Bourbon Spanish embassy (from which the square takes its name) to the Church of Trinità dei Monti.

Spanish Square postcard
Pantheon Pantheon

Below: Brian and Karen Duquette inside the Pantheon

Brian and Karen Duquette inside the Pantheon inside the Patheon

Below: The Pyramid of Cestius is a Roman Era pyramid in Rome, Italy near the Porta San Paolo and the Protestant Cemetery. It was built as a tomb for Gaius Cestius, a member of the Epulones religious corporation. It stands at a fork between two ancient roads, the Via Ostiensis and another road that ran west to the Tiber along the approximate line of the modern Via Marmorata. Due to its incorporation into the city's fortifications, it is today one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome.

The building to the right of the pyramid is Porta San Paolo (English: Saint Paul Gate), one of the southern gates in the 3rd-century Aurelian Walls of Rome, Italy. The Via Ostiense Museum is housed within the gatehouse. The Duquette's did not visit there. They did take some photos next to the Pyramid, but those have been lost.

Pyramid of Cestius

Below: A restaurant in Rome

restaurant in Rome
Olympic napkin ambasciata D'abruzzo Restaurant patch
ambasciata D'abruzzo Restaurant cartoon
ambasciata D'abruzzo Restaurant information

ambasciata D'abruzzo Restaurant menu

Plus mixed plates of various fish, meats of veal, roast beef, land and wild boar. Then came mixed fruit, grapes, watermelon, peaches, and nectarines. Followed by cake, ice cream, and three bottles of after-dinner drinks.

Below: A waiter posed for a photo with Karen Duquette and pinched her as he left, and each time he passed by Karen.

a waiter and Karen Duquette ambasciata D'abruzzo Restaurant

Menus were always scarce in Rome. Usually they gave only one menu for four people. Once Lee, Karen and Brian Duquette, ate with eleven (11) people and only got three menus. There were different menus for natives and tourists. Once Karen tried to order what a native person seated nearby was eating, and she was told no, she had to order from the menu she was given,

Below: Lee and Karen Duquette with Corrine and Frank Sosnowski, plus Rita, Paul and Stan.

the Duquette's and friends the Duquette's and friend
the Duquette's and friend food

Below: While being a tourist in Rome, this is a photo in the public restroom of the facilities. Both men and women came in here. Often the public toilets would not have toilets at all, just a porcelain hole in the ground as shown below, even in the ladies room.

toilet in Rome
Rome policeRome ptch

The Italian men stared and stared and stared. There was a lot of pick-pocketing. Rome was a very dirty place and many of the people were very nasty.

Rome airport ticket
typed information about the trip