The wandering interests of JamaOwl

Posts tagged ‘Rome’

Italy – day 3

Day 3 was totally packed, possibly one of the most packed we’ve had.  We started at the Vatican Museums with lots of sculpture and other art.  There were discussions of how the Church reconciled its self to the religious beliefs of the pagans over the years.  Some of that resolution was shown in the arts.  We finished this part of the tour at the Sistine Chapel.  The brightness of the paintings and their techniques and the obstacles Michelangelo faced were very interesting.

We next went to Saint Peter’s Basilica which is right next door.  It is the largest church in the world and the holy center of Christianity.  The apostle Peter was buried in a shrine built in 64 AD.  Bramante and Michelangelo were the chief architects of the Basilica.  There was a range of examples of different architecture styles.

We went to lunch at a restaurant in the area.  Lunch was only 2 hours – starting with an eggplant and pasta, then pork with vegetables and finishing with a chocolate mousse.  Much simpler than before.

After lunch we went to the Trevi Fountain – yes Brianna the only place you knew about before we took you to Europe.  What a beautiful fountain.  The white marble and the blue water will make you immediately feel much cooler, just don’t stand in the heat too long or the cool goes away.

We went to past the Spanish Embassy and the Spanish Stairs – on to the Spanish steps which aren’t really Spanish, but are in front of the French church and were paid for by the French.  Who knew?

After returning to our hotel and cooling down some, we went souvenir shopping.

We had a free evening.  We found a pizza shop (the best part according to Evan) and ate a simple pizza.  It certainly didn’t take 3 hours.

 

Italy – Day 2

What a day!  Started with a stroll through the Roman Forum.  We had a local guide who was great.  So many things to see (old stuff according to Evan).  There were a lot of ups and down, climbing some then going back down some.  The ground was originally level, but Rome had a lot of fires and things were built on top of the rubble.  Even since Rome fell, the piling continued.  We saw a church from the 1500’s whose door was about 15 ft off the ground.  The rubble had piled up that high and they didn’t really know what was under it.

After the Roman Forum we went to the Colosseum.  We had seen a lot of pictures of the Colosseum, but the real thing is so much better.  The guide had a book that showed the Colosseum as it is now, and then had overlays that showed what is originally looked like.  (He used the same book for various parts of the Roman Forum.)  It really gave you a taste of what the area was like for the Romans.

Both sites had a lot of people, the Colosseum more than the Forum which we went to earlier before the crowds got as bad.  They are right next to each other so we walked from the Forum to the Colosseum.

After this we took the bus to the Underground Stadium of Domitian.  Underground now, but it wasn’t when it was built.  There was a 3-D movie running that showed the Stadium and many of the other places as they are and as they were.  I was so impressed, I bought the DVD.  I had no idea that Rome was so crowded.  So many things so close together.  When I thought about how many hundreds of years they had to collect buildings, I realized that we are doing the same crowding in Washington D.C.  The Washington Mall is a perfect example with the additions of the Vietnam Memorial and the WWII memorial between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.  We’ll get as crowded.

For lunch, which was around 2, we went to a trattoria and had Noodles with Pecorino cheese, then meatballs and potatoes, then a salad, then tiramisu for dessert  Less than 3 hours, but this was lunch.

We went on a scavenger hunt while most of the people went back to the hotel to rest.  We were looking for things to put on a pizza.  This being Sunday and this being a great vacation, we didn’t go to a shopping center.  We went to an area knowing for it’s little shops and cafes.  We found our mushrooms, anchovies, water buffalo mozzarella, red pepper, a number of sausages and some ham.   At 6:00 everyone left for the restaurant to make pizza.  The restaurant was all set up for it with spots for everyone, floured boards, rolling pins, aprons – the whole works.  We made our pizzas and they were cooked in a wood burning pizza oven.  After the pizzas we had gelato and fruit.  One of our guides made a nutella and banana dessert pizza.  It was pretty good.  Not nearly as much food, but plenty since everyone had made their own pizza.

Back to the hotel at 9:00 and it was still quite light, but by the time we were ready for bed it was also quite late.

Italy – first day

We’re in Italy.  Evan’s trip.  First day.  Arrived at 8 in the morning after an 8 hour flight.  Not bad.

Rome.  We’ll be here until Tuesday.  Lots to see. We walked around a little bit after dropping our bags at the hotel, but it was hot and humid, just like DC.  Returned to the air conditioning of the hotel.  We’ll be meeting the rest of the group in a couple hours.

Our first trip was to Capolitine Hill for a meranda – a bit to eat, an afternoon snack, with the whole group.

After a short break at the hotel, we are going off to dinner.

And now after a 3 hour dinner we are back at the hotel.  Tomorrow I hope to give a better report.  We have a full day.