Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Roman Holiday: In Rome!

I love love love Audrey Hepburn. And now that we've made it to Rome without incident (Ok, maybe there was one little incident that involved us walking 3 miles pulling our luggage through the streets of Rome. But somehow, it wasn't so bad, at least the streets were lined with people cheering for us.) I can share this with you:

We spent our first afternoon in Rome wandering through the historic district. Our cheeky Lonely Planet Rome Encounter describes Piazza Navona, "extravagant fountains and spritz-sipping poseurs in shades: Rome's most iconic piazza..." where the Fontana dei Quattro Fuimi, by Bernini is found. After I got past the author's constant attempt to be hip and witty, which I found annoying at first, I read some actually funny one liners and we found that sticking with his restaurant recommendations were by far, the best food we had. Detail from the Fountain of Four Rivers:

I found Rome to be a bit dirty and certainly crowded, but the sites are unreal. It is one thing to sit in an art history class and see slides of historical places, take notes, and read about them. It is completely another level to stand in front of a structure that dates from 120 AD.  The Pantheon is amazing:

You can pay the gladiators outside The Pantheon to have your picture taken with them. Or you can stand 20 feet way and shoot them with you 100-200 lens, but then they accuse you of being paparazzi. But, if I was being shot with a zoom lens like that, I might feel the same way. But, your husband may have wandered into the Pantheon without you, and then the gladiators might start hitting on you. Maybe.

Looking into the Pantheon:

Lots and lots of walking, much to see:

Have I mentioned the walking? Along the Tiber River:

Now to find dinner... which is easier said than done, based on the fact that Rome has this weird way of numbering buildings on streets. The numbers follow numerically down one side of the street and then seem to continue way back down at the other side of the street. We ended up walking by so many things and then having to turn around and go back! It was well worth it to eat at Da Baffetto! Somehow, we managed to get in without having to wait in line! Well, we did have to share a table with two other people, but that seemed to not be out of the ordinary to anyone but us. The pizza was simply amazing! Tomorrow we're up early to see St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel!!! 

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