Our first visit to Italy was the week of New Years Eve in 1997. New Years Eve Day was our second anniversary. On New Years Day 1998 we participated in the Roman custom of walking the ancient Appian Way (Appia Antica), closed to traffic on that day.
We had learned to get around on the buses and the Metropolitana subway, but had not ventured beyond the central areas. Our plan was to take a bus along a route that more-or-less paralleled Appia Antica, walk a cross street over to the ancient route, and then walk along Appia Antica back into Rome.
Coupled with our crippled parliamo italiana, no sense of distance, and unfamiliarity with the route, we missed an appropriate intermediate stop and ended up taking the little bus to the end of its route where the bus did a layover until returning toward Rome. Vicki used the opportunity to befriend a local cat. We had seen many cats in the city, and I was learning Vicki’s inclination to become acquainted with every cat in her path. Fortunately, we were far enough away (and our three) that they couldn’t follow us home.
And with the attention that Romans lavish on the local cats, I don’t think there was too much chance that one would stowaway to the US.
[update 2009-04-16T20:53Z I am also fascinated by these little Schmap!! widgets, so I am including one here. Once we came out on Appia Antica, we were close to the place shown on the map for it. I haven’t figured out how to have the widget show the map at a given zoom with the picture frozen in place. I am sure there is a way. Meanwhile, the lowest-right photo symbol on the map of Rome will locate Via Appia Antica. These photos on Flickr also have location maps.
update 2009-04-16T16:49Z I corrected the grammar of the title, from “Gatti a Roma” to “Gatti di Roma.” The explanation is here.]