Italy
Piazza Di Spagna

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    • Day 2

      Next Rome report

      September 23, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      It’s now 4 pm Saturday, and we are back in our room having a little break. So I’ll write up about yesterday afternoon and evening, and this morning as again tonight I think I will be ready for bed. Already I have been falling asleep just now….I think yesterday we were pumping adrenaline, but today has been a bit slower…

      After settling into the hotel we set off again, spotting more famous Roman sights. Along via Sistina to the church Trinita dei Monti at the top of the Spanish Steps, along via Condotti and the Corso, found the Campo di Fiori by a rather circuitous route and then wended back to the Piazza Venezia to our favourite bar and had a drink watching the chaos of traffic and people….perfect!

      Walked back, rather tired by then, but decided to have dinner at our very favourite restaurant, where Amr first discovered in 1982, and where have been on every visit to Rome. Last visit to Italy was 2011, but the waiter - who is one of the brothers who own it - remembered us (Amr actually, everyone recognises Amr!!) and we felt royally welcome. We showed him photos of us there, and with him, over the years! Lovely food as usual - grilled radicchio, salad, pasta and grilled calves liver, followed by tiramisu and with a half litre of house red. We were revived after that.

      But quite an early night - in bed by 9.30 and slept fairly well. Breakfast in hotel - perfectly fine, but Italian pastries don’t match French ones (now I am being picky)…had a hot chocolate there, as was saving my coffee experience for the best coffee shop near the pantheon - La Tazza d’oro. So we set off to conquer Rome again, but this morning have to admit was feeling rather spaced. First we walked down Cavour and up a huge staircase to St Pietro in Vincoli where there is the magnificent Michelangelo sculpture of Moses. Then we continued down, past the Colosseum and lots of wonderful rubble on our way to the coffee shop…more pep after that and we continued on to Piazza Navona via a church St Louis dei Francesi where there is a wonderful Caravaggio painting - the calling of St Matthew.

      Ended up at the Campo di Fiori again which now was filled with markets (last night it was totally cleared, no sign of markets, just the restaurants round the edge) and lots of activity. Sat down for a little lunch to revive and give us strength to walk back here. It has been quite crowded today, quite busy dodging people and managing the cobbled roads. Realise it is Saturday, so lots of weekend visitors to Rome, and we’ve seen quite a lot of tour groups being guided along, and bicycle tours careering through the crowds!! We love it!
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    • Day 14

      The Spanish Steps

      September 30, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Very large staircase... not gonna lie, too tired to climb but looked fab from the bottom.
      Very impressive fountain at the bottom and a lovely church at the top.
      Fill those water bottles now whilst you have chance!!Read more

    • Day 16

      Renaissance (and more) Rome

      March 18, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Rome is known for its ancient history as well as its renaissance art and architecture. In fact, some of its best known sites are from the Renaissance and baroque periods.. Here are some that I visited.
      The 1st picture is the Trevi Fountain, the largest baroque fountain in Rome. It dates to the 18th century. It replaced previous fountains in this location and is carved from travertine marble quarried nearby. The water in this fountain is supplied by a Roman aqueduct built in the 1st century, 1 of 2 that still supply Rome with drinking water today.
      The 2nd picture, albeit not a very good picture, is of the Spanish Steps, another baroque masterpiece. The fountain in front of the steps is the 17th century fountain of the longboat, named after a boat dropped here by a Tiber flood. The steps were built in the 18th century by the Bourbons to link the Spanish embassy at the top with the Holy See at the bottom.
      The 3rd picture is of Mussolini's monumental structure. If you've seen pictures of IL Duce giving a speech or reviewing a parade, it was probably here. The statues on the roof are the largest in Rome, and the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel, Italy's 1st king is the 2nd largest. To give sense of scale, the equestrian statue was opened by Mussolini's people and a dinner party for 20 was seated inside.
      The 4th and 5th pictures are of the 16th century Jesuit Church of Jesus: the facade and the interior, respectively. This is the mother church of the Jesuits. It is said that this is the 1st truly baroque facade. The 5th picture is the high altar.
      The 6th picture is the Piazza Navona. In the center, with the obelisk, is the fountain of the 4 rivers by Bernini. The obelisk was Domitian's. To the right is the Church of St. Agnes in Agony.
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    • Day 67

      Rome's Piazzas & Fountains

      July 8, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

      We then went for a walk around the areas close to our hotel and retraced some of our steps from yesterday. We climbed down the Spanish Steps and spent time at Piazza Navona. We also went back to the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon to see if the crowds were any smaller than yesterday ... they werent.

      Today was 36 degrees and humid, so the beer and pizza tonight was well earned.

      P.S. We had a quick stop at the Colosseum on the way back from the Vatican. We will be back there in a few weeks.
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    • Day 21

      Vatican City / Rome

      April 18, 2023 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

      Started the day with a run around Rome. Fair to say it’s not a welcome city for morning runners - the sidewalks are broken, the roads are often cobblestone, the people are all smoking and blowing it at you - and there is little flat ground. I still had fun though - albeit got a little lost.

      After some breakfast we found 4 tickets for a Vatican Tour via our concierge (only $400 for the family). From there, in short, we spent most of the day travelling from our hotel to the Vatican (getting metro tickets alone was a challenge) lining up for the Vatican (the tour company we booked our tour through made some mistakes which set off a chain reaction of problems for the 30 of us in the group - which meant we waited an extra hour for our tour to start….), then a 2 hour tour of the Vatican. At the end, we took the exit from the museum and found ourselves out on the street. We had meant to stay in Vatican City and see the square…. 🤷‍♂️

      But well worth every second - I’m not sure I’ll ever see anything quite like it again. They’ve got some serious cash the popes! 🤣

      Finally made our way back to Rome for some shopping, the Spanish Stairs and some Aperol and dinner out.
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    • Day 2

      Where's the Lego Store?

      November 8, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 59 °F

      We saw signs like this all over Rome, advertising several places where we wanted to shop, but after following the directions on several of the signs we saw posted, we were never found any of the places these signs were directing us too. Why are they putting up signs directing us to places that don't seem to exist? It's very frustrating!Read more

    • Day 2

      Still Waiting

      November 8, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 59 °F

      When we got back to Hotel Mozart a room still wasn't ready for us but we were assured that one will be ready momentarily. We decided that, rather than going out again, we would just wait in the lobby. At this point, Kathy and I really needed to sleep for a bit. Not a long sleep, since we wanted to adjust to the local time, but just napping for a few hours should make us feel so much better.
      We only had to wait for few minutes before we were taken up to room 108, on the first floor. It was small but most European hotel rooms are. As soon as we put down our bags, Kathy and I slept. All of our tiredness finally caught up with us.
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    • Day 2

      Street Art

      November 8, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 55 °F

      I saw these tree pots painted to look like Lego people as we were walking around Rome. As a Lego fan, these caught my eye right away. I was hoping that this was where that elusive Lego Store was but it wasn't. Still, this was a great find. I'm going to watch for more street art like this.Read more

    • Day 2

      Gelato!

      November 8, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 55 °F

      Before going back to the hotel room, we stopped off to get some gelato. I was the only one who got some. Kathy tasted it but prefers ice cream. I'm very surprised. I love ice cream but I think that gelato is so much better. I tried the banana flavor and it was amazing. There's so many more flavors that I still want to try. I'll definitely be having more of this!Read more

    • Day 2

      Blame it on the Rain

      November 8, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 55 °F

      The rain still hasn't stopped. If anything, it's gotten much heavier. It's coming down so hard, in fact, that it woke me up. I really hope that it's not like this tomorrow morning. We've got a lot of plans for seeing the sights in Rome but it won't be as much fun in weather like this. I'm going back to bed and will just hope that this rain blows over.Read more

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