For me it is pretty well impossible to capture the essence of Rome in a blog post.
To try and capture it in pictures is also beyond my capabilitiy.
So much of the place is on a grand - yet intricately detailed level, it is a
complex study of contrasts on so many levels.
Well I'll try my best to give you a sample of the place and since we've been to Rome,
then Naples, and finally are now in Florence - I'll also start to get back
up to date with my posts.
Saying good-bye Eric & Pat in Pisa, we headed about 220 miles south to Rome.
Arriving at our Parking Garage we tried to find a spot that would accommodate our car.
The garage was packed, and most of the spaces were very small.
After several dead ends and 3-point u-turns, this nice gentleman
who could have been Burt Lancaster's body double, came running over to offer his assistance.
He worked at the garage and when I told him that we would be there for 10 days,
he told me in rather good english to follow him and that he would show me a perfect space.
As I followed him, he jogged in front of us and led us down a couple of levels, waving to
me to follow him as he ran.
Soon he brought us to this perfect wide nook with a chain stretched across.
He took down the chain and led us into this large deluxe spot right under the security
camera and told us that we would be safe and secure there for our entire stay.
Salvatore was his name. Such a nice gentleman who gave us the perfect welcome
to the eternal city!
|Deluxe Parking Spot at Parking Ludovisi Rome
From here it was about a 1 km (.6 mile) walk to our apartment.
And... since Rome was built upon 7 hills the walk was not flat.
The 90° temps had us hot and sweaty by the time that we made it to our flat,
but upon entering the door our cares melted away as we felt the cool refreshing
air greet us into this large and stylish space that we would call home for the next 10 days.
We had the night to ourselves - our company from the US - Jim & Donna were
scheduled to arrive about noon time the next day.
Meanwhile overnight - Gracie vomited on our white bedsheets at 3am.
No doubt a reaction to the medications, and the fact that I was not giving them
in the proper order with food.
So we were up washing bed linen for our first night!
At noon, Kate prepared a welcome breakfast for Jim & Donna who arrived on schedule.
Soon we were off out and about on the town.
We took this self portrait at the Spanish Steps.
Later we were at the Trevi Fountain.
And the Pantheon.
Built during the first century is it one of the best preserved buildings from Ancient Rome.
this is likely due to the fact that it has been in continuous use....
first as a Roman Temple, later as a Catholic Church.
|Entering the Pantheon, light shines down from the Oculus
The Pantheon is an engineering marvel today and considering it was built
2,000 years ago is incredibly amazing!
The dome - a perfect sphere - to this day it continues to be the largest un-reinforced
concrete dome in the world.
The illustration below shows how the distance from the oculus to the floor,
and the circumference around the dome all form a perfect sphere.
Quite amazing when you consider when this was built~
A panoramic view inside/
Kate discusses the finer points with one of the docents.
Outside on the square.
Last time we were in Rome we stayed at a hotel that overlooked the Pantheon.
Our hotel has been in continuous use as a hotel for over 800 years!
After the Pantheon, we walked to nearby Piazza Navona - one of the more famous
Piazza's, or squares. in Rome.
|Piazza Navona - courtesy Google Images
Below a common sight in Rome.
I'm not sure about the white habits...
Normally even in summer most Nuns that I saw wore black.
Another days destination was the Colosseum.
At the far end you can see some flooring that would have extended over the entire
surface covering the labyrinth below that housed the gladiators, animals,
and infrastructure that supported the activities above.
Looking thru one of the portals you can glimpse a peek of the Roman forum
that lays just beyond.
We did not make it there this time, but last time Kate and I did spend a full day
of exploration there as well.
Meanwhile about 1/4 of the way around the globe, our house in
Marana, Arizona has begun to take form.
|Home sweet home....in about 4 months
While here - Kate had made it her mission to see one of the general audiences with the Pope.
So way ahead of time she wrote the Vatican and got tickets.
I did not have my long pants with me (supposedly required) and I had to work,
so Kate jumped a cab all by herself, and made her way across Rome to the Vatican.
During orientaion she learned the secrets to a good seat...
Get there at 0730, get an aisle seat, and be near a baby (the Pope likes to bless babies)
So Kate got there super early and scored a primo seat.
Then she waited in the hot sun for over 3 hrs
But her patience was rewarded.
I was proud of her - how she made her way there and back by herself, and
fulfilled her dream of not only seeing the Pope - but from a few feet away.
A couple of days later Kate, Jim and Donna went to the Vatican.
We'd been before and I had much work to do so I stayed behind.
|St. Peters Square Rome
Inside - of the the many amazing spaces is the Gallery of maps.
The photo below (courtesy google images) shows what it looks like empty.
The walls are adorned by maps commissioned by Pope Gregory
in the 1500's and the ceilings are also adorned by endless works of art by numerous artists.
The photo below was taken during our prior visit.
A closer look taken this time.
and an even closer look of the detail in just one small section.
The amount of detail in this hallway... then in the building...
then in Vatican City....
Then in every church, and other nooks and crannies all throughout the city...
it is all just beyond description!
|Dome in St Peters Basilica in the Vatican
|St Peters Basilica in the Vatican
St Peters Basilica is so vast that it was impossible to catch a single photo that gives
you a broad perspective.
It had to be photographed in pieces.
|St Peters Basilica in the Vatican
|St Peters Basilica in the Vatican
One of our favorite things to do everywhere...
but especially in Italy - is to visit the churches.
The ornate stone work created by the Italian Craftsman is amazing!
Even in the local out of the way churches.
Below - just a local church on Via del Corso.
And just the shot of the upper dome of another.
Like I said.... the amazing details are EVERYWHERE!
No visit to Rome would be complete without a mention of the food.
Well... by now we've been in Italy long enough, and have eaten enough Pasta and Pizza
that we were really looking for something of a different venue.
So when we saw a wood fired, rotisserie chicken with potatoes for two
Kate and I jumped on it.
It came with sizzors so that I could cut it in half for us.
So much more to mention about Rome.
One thing of note was that on the second day our air conditioning broke down
and we spent a fairly warm time there.
Fortunately the old stone building holds the cool fairly well, and a fan
on us at night helped with the heat.
Leaving Rome, Jim & Donna will take a train and meet us at our next place
south of Naples, as there is just no room in the car for 2 more people as the photos
below clearly show.
|Room for Doodles in half the back seat
|Hatchback filled to brim with not a square to spare.
Meanwhile Gracie's lumps have gotten smaller but now the rate of decrease has slowed to be
almost imperceptible, or has stopped.
I've scheduled to see another vet for a follow up visit in our next stop (after Florence) in a
few days. She continues to seem fine so I try not to worry too much.
Next stop... Pompeii & Herculaneum