So today was our first day in Rome. You may want to prepare yourself. Sit down as you read this quick run through of the day and then I will do a bit more detail if you are up to it.
We woke up at 7 and had breakfast at the hotel- muesli and yogurt, meats, mozzarella cheese with honey, and tea and orange juice. Then we went to the Tritan fountain, Santa Maria de la Vittoria, San Carlo Quatro Fontane, back to the hotel for a bathroom break, the Spanish steps, Quarinale, Trevi Fountain, two other churches, Temple Adriana, Pantheon, Piazza Navano, another church , Palazzo die Tribunali, Castel San Angelo, the Vatican, another church, Campo di Fiori, back to the Pantheon, back to the Trevi Fountain and then finally back to the hotel. About 8 hours of sigh seeing. needless to say when we got back we took a quick na and re grouped and then had dinner, super market run, movie in the room and bed.
Now for more detail. The Santa Maria de la Vittoria church has famous Bernini sculptures with gold behind them so when the light hits them a certain way they look like they are on fire. We weren’t there at this perfect time of day but they were very beautiful all the same.
The San Carlo QuTro Fontana is a church with 4 fountains , one on each corner for the intersection where the street is.The Triton Fountain was pretty and close to our hotel so it was just another check on the list.
|Top of the Spanish Steps|
The Spanish steps were very tall..the church on top was dark and ornate. We ended up going down the steps…that hurt my knee a bit. We saw a guy dressed like a roman soldier who tried to get us to take a picture of him but we said no thank you. The couple behind us however fell for it and took the picture and then were surprised when the “soldier” told them it would be 10 euro now. They deleted that picture and got kind of upset. Lol. We walked past the Quirinale which is apparently their version of the White House. I asked a lady what it was since there were guards there and I think she was bait annoyed that I didn’t know. No offense people, it’s not like it’s famous like the white house…the building was uglier than most of the pretty old buildings in the rest of Europe. My bad. Not like we could go in anyways. Boo.
|Bottom of the Spanish Steps|
The Trevi Fountain. Sigh. So beautiful. We did the obligatory coin toss with pictures, just like the 9 million Asian tourists all around us.
|Maybe I will get my wish…..|
We even got a picture together by a family who spoke English. We only let other people who speak English use our cameras to take pictures of us together. Maybe that’s racist, maybe that’s safe. I don’t want my 600$ camera walking away from me. Too many pictures!
Then the Pantheon and the Temple Adriano. The temple was more like 4 pillars with a modern building around it to support it. Historically significant but not super catching on the eye. Then the Pantheon. A little piece of Roman history tucked in between buildings so much newer and surrounded by cafes and bars. It made me happy being under that roof. We touched the columns. Think how many like “Romans” touched those pillars! I feel stronger already! But there was mass going on so we couldn’t go inside of it until after 12. It wasnt even 11 yet.
We made our way to Piazza Navano which is really just a “square” with people selling items in a market and lots of restaurants and a pretty church as well. (maybe two churches but we only went into one) we had lunch at a restaurant there.
We had prosecco to drink and shared a four cheese risotto with strawberries. It sounds heavy but I assure you it was so light and fresh.
The cheese was not overpowering and there wasn’t a lot of cheese either. It was perfect. We also had gelato. I had black chocolate truffle and Lilly had amaretto truffle. Both were divine but we ended up paying twice as much for them because we had eaten them in the restaurant as opposed to the cafe. Annoying. We felt a little agitated with ourselves for spending more than we wanted on lunch but consoled ourselves with the knowledge that we were not paying for any of the other sites we were seeing today.
Then we headed down the road and ended up crossing the river to the Palazzo Giustizia. The was a free museum there so we went into it but we couldn’t actually get into the palace and the museum was on all the different cities in Italy and what they produce but it was all in italian. The air conditioner was nice though. We could see the Vatican from the bridge and Lilly didn’t believe me when I said that’s what it was. She thought it would be more lik “HELLO I am the Vatican!!!” but it really wasn’t. We walked through a market and bought some fun dried fruit like lime and kiwi and green pepper and whole oranges and other fruit we didn’t know what it was… Nd then some candy. Then we walked past the Castel/fortress that is supposed to have a beautiful view of the city but it was 8.50euro each and we didn’t feel like that was really worth it considering all the free art we could see and the other things we actually wanted to pay for. Then we mosied on over to the Vatican. No museum and church today because the line was wrapped around like we knew it would be and everything closes at 2 there. We will head there on Tuesday. But we took some pictures and headed back.
At 2 on Sunday’s all the churches close apparently…this kind of stinks because 80% of things to see in Italy are churches. If I were to do a one week trip in Italy I would fly out on a Monday and then fly back on Sunday because those are the most inefficient days to be a tourist.
We went to Campo di Fiori because we thought it was famous for something but it was just another open square and market… Then we passed the church of Saint Ignozio de Loyola. It was open! Yay! Very pretty , overwhelming, lots of gold… We realized it was open because they were setting up for a wedding and putting flowers out. We both agreed we would NOT want to be married in a church, especially one like this, no matter how pretty! We saw a statue with the woman holding the mirror and the snake. We had seen this before and tried to remember the story…I told Lilly it was like the basilisk in Harry Potter, you can’t look into it’s eyes! She said we were going to he’ll because we related a saint to Harry Potter. I think that god probably laughed at the people who built these obscene and ornate churches because they are so unnecessary and should have no impact on whether you go to heaven or not. They can keep their gold.
Then we went back the the Pantheon. The inside is just so gorgeous. I love the roundness of it, such a contrast to the other churches. And so much light too! It was lovely being in there. We then walked back to the Trevi Fountain and got gelato and sat and stared. I had kiwi and orange and Lilly had mango and blackberry. Yum!
The n finally back to the hotel. Phew! Quick nap, recoup. Dinner. We were too tired to really go out so we just went down our street to a hotel we saw earlier. The prices for entrees other than pasta and pizza seemed more than I wanted to pay and so we were about to walk away when the owner came out to invite us to sit. I asked him if he had pasta sense glutino and he. Said yes! So we decided to eat there and I had pasta alla carbonara which spaghetti with parmesan and bacon and Lilly had an amazing pizza with artichokes, olives, mushrooms, ham, and maybe something else yummy. We shared 1/2l of wine as well. All of that was less that lunch by 2 euro and we were quite pleased. I’m so very happy I finally had pasta in Italy. We went to the supermarket and brought some fruit and water and a chocolate bar to share and headed back to the room to watch a movie and relax. Now off to bed so we can get an early morning in tomorrow as well!