Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rick's Roadshow: Rome, Italy- Day 3

Welcome to Rick's Roadshow: Rome, Italy- Day Three. Our first weekend in Italy is turning out to be loads of fun. We started the day with a nice leisurely "Italian breakfast" at our hotel- complete with strong coffee, which is unusual for me, but it was so good I had several cups to drink. Fueled for a busy day of walking and sight-seeing on foot, we set out using the local bus and tram, which were very easy to use. The Biglietto (ticket) costs e1.00 and was valid for 75 minutes of travel. We headed for an area of Rome called Trastevere, which isn't a typical tourist area so we figured being a Saturday it was good to go somewhere that would not be mobbed with tourists. it was a perfect day for walking and sight-seeing. It was 70-75 degrees and sunny, so not too hot, and no humidity at all. NOTE: Please click on these photos below to ENLARGE THEM!
Chiesa della Maria del San

above: Chiesa della Maria del San (Church of Santa Maria) exterior, with close up zoom of the statues and fresco paintings of saints. (click to see details)

above: The inside the Church of Santa Maria was stunning, with incredible ceilings and stained glass windows. (click to see details)

above: The inside of the church was filling up as guests assembled for a wedding...

above: the bride arrives squished in her car.

above: The bride walks down the aisle and arrives at the altar

above: The Piazza outside the Church of Santa Maria had a beautiful fountain in the center and had several cafes as well. (click to see details)

above: I liked the sound of the accordion player and the church bells at the beginning.

above: after lunch we walked across the Tiber River to visit what is called the old "Jewish Ghetto"

above: Ruins of the old "Jewish Ghetto" area, which was quite interesting

above: more of the ruins, I was fascinated as to why these remained standing after all these years.

above left: Not remarkable except that it is the oldest church bell tower in Rome.

above: I love all the narrow streets and lovely little things you can find walking down the out of the way areas of Rome. (click to see details)
I found this Fruitteria which had delicious fresh fruits and produce. The exterior of the building had ivy vines growing on it, which looked so inviting. As I walked past, the pleasant aroma of fruits stopped me in my tracks. I stuck my head in to have a look around. There was an old woman working inside who smiled and greeted me, so I replied "Buon Giorno Signora". My Italian isn't great but I managed to exchange a few more works with her. "E' oggi un bello giorno" (it is a beautiful day today). She smiled again and nodded. I had to tear myself away in order not to buy the peaches she had in a basket.

above: views of the Tiber River, which looked so tranquil.

above: we stumbled across another church in the Trastavere area of Rome, it was the Church of Saint Francis. There was a wedding there also- the tiny car out front was full of white balloons!

above: My camera doesn't do this justice, but I found this street so charming. Like most of Rome, real working shutters on all the windows, laundry hanging in balconies and window ledges, and wonderful muted colors everywhere.

above left: I liked the detail of this wall in the distance. above right: "Turtle Fountain" (click to see details)
above left: we found this small open farmer's market with all kinds of produce, meats and cheeses. above right: Everywhere we walked we found shops with wonderful pastries in the windows. YUM!

above: Examples of the architecture found anywhere and everywhere throughout Rome.

For dinner, we decided to walk to dinner to see a few new sights along the way. This photo stood out as my favorite sight for the entire trip so far. The Pantheon ("temple of all the Gods") was rebuilt in 125 AD. It is the oldest standing structure with a dome in all of Rome, and the best preserved of its kind (and age) in the world. When my eyes first gazed upon it, it literally took my breath away. I stood in awe, in total amazement and wonder. I could feel the history of it-it was impossible to avoid. In fact, it was the single most memorable sight I have ever seen in all of my travels around the world. photo for this post.
above: here's John and me standing in front of The Pantheon. I like this photo a lot.

above: Sitting on the edge of a fountain in the Piazza Naovo, enjoying a glass of champagne.
above: this is the fountain I am in front of in the photo above.
above: after dinner John and I met our new friend Luca, who lives in Rome. He is the nephew of a friend of our back in the US. We stopped to enjoy a bottle of vino rosso and to chat about life in Rome. It was a nice evening, and we are looking forward to entertaining Luca in Palm Springs. Well that's all for today's post. Rome is a city with so much character and history it boggles the mind. Tomorrow we hired a private driver to take us around to see the major tourist sights, so be sure to check back for the "biggies" of Rome!
-Signore Ricardo Rockhill


Seamus said...

Ah! The wanderlust starts in this household! Gorgeous photos!

Desert Songbird said...

A lovely walk around the city - thanks for taking us along. I loved the "sounds" of the piazza.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh my how wonderful!!! one think i notice "ricardo", where is all the graffiti? when i was last in rome it was everywhere on everything! in fact, i finally started photographing it because it was interesting. i have many many shots. are you being careful not to show it or is it gone?

have fun my friend! i know you will!

smiles, bee

tod said...

Ahh... The Pantheon. Your pics brought back such lovely memories. We had dinner in the Piazza too and I agree, it is such a beautiful spot.

Sheila said...

Have a glass of prosecco for me Rick.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

ick...I have missed the last few days here and My Goodness, you have been A Travelin' Man.....! St. Louis.....Rome...And More Romde...
BEAUTIFUL! Great Pictures! So much to take much to see!
And now you are getting on a Boat....! You have a Good Life, Rick....! And I'm happy for you!

kenju said...

I could swear I was in all those places, and I know for sure I was in Piazza Navona; one of my favorite places in Rome. We had a wonderful meal there, seated outside on a wonderful evening with warm breezes. Love that old church!!

W.O.T.E. said...

wonderful, it's been years since I've been - thanks for taking me along as an armchair traveller!

W.O.T.E. said...

wonderful, it's been years since I've been - thanks for taking me along as an armchair traveller!

WAT said...


Rome looks so boring!



WAT said...


Rome looks so boring!



Jeni said...

Oh Man! What gorgeous sights you are seeing! Makes me very envious, for sure. Looks like I'm gonna have to start buying some lottery tickets and then pray that I get a super jackpot winner so I can go travel and see some of these things for myself. In the meantime though, I'll just be content to sit here and drool over these pictures of yours!


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