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When in Rome

Man, they drive like crazy people over there!

sunny 26 °C

So on we head from Florence down to Rome….a huge city bursting with life,ruins,people,noise,cars,vespas(!) and cobblestone roads everlywhere.
It takes about 1 ½ hours to get to Rome from Florence and a beautiful train ride down through the hills.We got ourselves taxied to Via Pesini…which is the tiny little cobblestoned st right next to the amazing Pantheon- what an address? A few steps to the most beautiful church that is still functioning as a church after 2000 years.Its quite beautiful with its enormous domed ceiling that features a 7ft hole across the top to allow light in ( and rain, but they thought of that and engineered the marble floor for special drainage!!!
Our appt was lovely but on the 4th floor, but thank god- it had a lift for aching pins!
The square around the Pantheon is so beautiful and busy as hell with buskers(fantastic lives music all day/night long), cafes,shops,fountain and what seems like zillions of people! A very happening place it is and great to be somewhere that doesn’t require much transport to get there.
A great version of the now infamous on/off bus is the Archeobus…that does a similar thing but around all the ruin sites..it took us around the Colosseum,Forum,Palantine Hill, up the Appian way (oldest Rome road where Sparticus and his 3000 marched)and onwards up to the Catacombs(miles of underground tunnels where they buried everyone- well, at least the dead ones!)
Mahony and I walked up past the Piazza Navona(with a stunning Bernini statue) up the Tiber(not the Kyber) right over the river to see St Peters basilica. After queueing for an hour or two we finally got into the church and what a church it is!??
Unbelievable and quite something to experience. Michaelangelos ‘Pieta’ to start with and then it just gets more incredible,opulent and downright overwhelming!
We did try and search for the entrance into the Sistine chapel..but of course, being Italy…nothing is signed anywhere and impossible to find without a map!! Nevermind, it was pretty much a stimulus overload as it was…on our way out we noticed a huge number of people in the St Peters square( which is round, by the way!) who were milling around anxiously waiting for the Pope to make his weekly appearance! Just as we walked by! Pretty good timing eh?
We all had a great time in Rome-
verdict….. a fantastic city with so much to see its hard to know where to start….shopping is fantastic but not perhaps as good as Florence…Restaurants wonderful but better if you stay away from the touristy bits…they’re always a bit xxxy and we learnt you can eat really well around Trevestere and the Jewish quarter( Clare,Mahony and I went for a walk one night and stumbled across a little gem called ‘Sora Ellas’ which is a fantastic little eatery on the mini island of Isola Tiberina between the 2 sides of the river just down from the main sights-) it must be good cos there were a heap of priests there hoeing into the local fare!
So much to see and you can walk the whole place( well, no room for cars and the ones on the road are bloody deadly,ripping around the place with little regard to any rules!!) but with all the cobblestones it can be pretty wearing on the joints….and once again, Moy takes a tumble….damn cobblestones…such an embarrassment being picked up off the streets by the locals!!lucky,no damage except to my ego!!
After 4 days in Roma we’re off to Naples and the Amalfi coast tomorrow- for a bit of sun,surf and sand....well, not sure of sand!

Posted by Escapees 13:52 Archived in Italy Tagged italy hill rome pantheon forum collosseum palantine

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Moira, lovely to see you and your friends at my little church last Sunday, but next time please remember to put money in the plate when I wave to you from my window.

by Pope Benedict XVI

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