Saturday, November 21, 2009

Inspiration: Roma, Part I

Yes, the bus ride to Rome was less eventful and the transition from bus station to hotel was effortless. This time our home for a few days was a Roman apartment just outside the Vatican Walls (the north eastern area of Rome).

Once settled in we headed out to explore. Rome was the last European city I visited in 2005 with Christina and Lindsey on our Graduation Trip. I was our tour guide then and it seemed fitting I'd be the tour guide once more. Rome is not for the faint of heart. It's for lovers of life and people. It truly is the heart of modern civilization. I'm still flabbergasted by the blend of modern structures and ancient ruins.

Since we were right next to the Vatican we headed to St. Peter's Square. Just as we saw a wedding in Siena earlier that day we came upon two wedding parties in SPS. The light during the early evening was very pretty and made for a great walk.

One of two of Bernini's fountains in the piazza. This obelisk is the only remaining Egyptian obelisk from ancient Rome still standing.

From St. Peters we walked toward the Tiber River to cross the Ponte Sant'Angelo. Yes, that is where Dan Brown's book Angels and Demons reached the climax. It's a stunning bridge faced with travertine and adorned with ten angels.

Continuing our journey in typical Alicia fashion I had my head buried in a map determined to retrace some of our steps from my last trip to Rome. I love the energy and excitement of dining outside in Rome thus we made our way to Piazza Navona. To save you hours of reading my nonsense here is a brief history- in ancient times it was as stadium where Romans would come to watch the games, it's home to Bernini's Four Rivers fountain, Porta's Fountain of Neptune and is considered by many a fine example of Baroque architecture and art in Rome.

Apparently Andrew still thinks we're in Germany. What the...? Bathed in evening light here is the Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone. The church marks the site where Saint Agnes was martyred.

My lovely parents.

From Piazza Navona we made our way through the streets to the Pantheon and Piazza della Rotonda. The original Pantheon was build by Marcus Agrippa in the 2nd century and has been used continuously throughout history.

There is a fabulous gelato shop just outside in the piazza and many great restaurants to enjoy the endless people watching. Not to mention, the best espresso I've ever had is just off the east side of the piazza known as Tazza D'Oro. Four years ago I had my first true espresso there and of course I brought Dad and Andrew (Mom doesn't like drink coffee) to experience the goodness. Dad loved it but Andrew not so much. We still have our beans we use for espresso when the Kroll's come to visit- right Jay?

And what would be a night in Rome without a trip to Trevi Fountain? I could try and explain the rush of people, trinket sellers and tourists or the impressiveness this fountain exudes but I can't. This post is already getting too long!

Andrew is tossing a coin into the fountain for good luck and a return trip to Rome. Over 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day!

With a full day ahead of us we made our way back to our apartment. Tuscany in the morning, Rome in the evening. Who lives like this? Apparently we did! Next up- Musei Vaticani, St. Peter's Basilica, the Colosseum and Pentecost.


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