Wednesday, June 5, 2013

When in Rome…

From Amul:

It is our last night in Rome before we move on to Florence.  The last few days have been lots of walking and lots of sight seeing. It amazes me how many ruins, churches, monument and fountains there are in this city.  It seems every corner you turn or block you walk you run into something worthy of mention in a history book.

We arrived Sunday evening and we warned of two things: the city’s transit workers would be on strike on Monday (no public transit except for morning and evening rush hour) and the weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday (our only full days in Rome) called for “heavy rain”.  Seizing our seemingly only shot at good weather and working transit, we headed out for a long night walk through Rome hitting all the major sights, but first dinner.

We ate at a restaurant next door to our B&B recommended by our host.  It did not disappoint.  Veal scaloppini with porcini mushrooms, pasta bolognaise, and a five euro carafe of house wine that yielded about 4 generous glasses. 

Properly fed (and happy from the wine) we hopped on the metro and rode it to the other end of the city all the way to the Vatican.  For about 2 hours we meandered back home through Rome passing St Peter’s Basilica, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Coliseum and various other monuments and ruins before arriving back home very tired.

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Only two things in Rome are open on Monday, the Coliseum and the Vatican Museums.  We prepared for rain and spent the day at the Coliseum and the neighboring ancient roman forum.  After 3 hours of sightseeing we stopped for lunch and noticed the busses and trains are still running and the sun was still shining.  We did not complain!  After a brief nap back at our B&B we headed out to revisit Trevi fountain and had dinner in Piazza Navona. We did the obligatory coin toss over the shoulder in to Trevi fountain to ensure our eventual return to Rome.

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Today the weather held out for use yet again with relatively clear skies and just a quick thunderstorm. We visited the Galleria Borghese which housed the private art collection for the Borghese family and is now a public museum.  It contains some the greatest marble statues by Bernini, and the building walls, ceilings and floors themselves contain museum quality frescoes, tile mosaics, and carved reliefs.  No pictures were allowed but I’ll say I think it was the highlight of our time in Rome so far.

We just awoke from our afternoon siesta and are read to plot our last evening in Rome before we head on to Florence tomorrow.