Thursday, May 21, 2015

La Dolce Vita!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Roma, The Eternal City! As a Catholic, Rome is the epicenter of our faith; our "Graceland" as it were (thanks to Laura for that one), so it definitely was on my bucket list. I love cities, and this one is at the top of my list: Romans are friendly and nicely-dressed (I liked that!), nuns and priests are commonplace on the streets (naturally), and the city oozes culture and history from every nook and cranny. The streets teem with visitors and residents alike, and I loved every minute of it.

This was one busy day for us, here we go!

Guy taking a picture with the Arch of Constantine (below) in the background...I wonder how it came out?!

I'M AT THE COLOSSEUM! IN ROME!!! Check out Carolyn laughing in the bomber! (or maybe she was laughing at my white socks with my shoes...still didn't have our luggage...)

The triumphal Arch of Constantine, built in 315 AD, sits between the Colosseum and Palatine Hill.

One of my first views of the Colosseum. We looked up. A lot. 

The amphitheater held over 50,000 spectators. Our guide reminded us that nothing good ever happened here; only combat and death. Since the floor is missing, you can see rooms and tunnels clearly. 

A panoramic view.

The Arch of Titus, looking towards the Forum. The inside reliefs show the "Spoils of Jerusalem". 

I'm not sure which of this is the remains of the Forum and/or Circus Maximus...they're difficult to picture when so much is brain and imagination were on overload! 

Ruins of a large home off the Via Sacra (Sacred Way), the main street in ancient Rome.

Continuing our walking tour...

The Altar of the Fatherland, the largest national monument in Italy.

Galleria Sciarra, an art nouveau hotel, near Trevi Fountain. We stopped here to regroup and get some history from Gloria (and we needed a few minutes rest as well!) 

Trevi Fountain was under construction, but we still got to throw our 3 coins in the (smaller) fountain!
Coin in the right hand, aim over the left shoulder, then wish and throw! We all did it, and it was good fun!

Moving toward the Piazza di Spagna...

Column of the Immaculate Conception, with statues of Isaiah and King David on this side. With the help of a crane, a fireman places a wreath of flowers at the top, on December 8.

Looking toward the Spanish Steps...yep...that is one crowded piazza! 

Now HERE'S a photo bomb I really enjoyed! Me and a couple young Italian guys, hamming it up (how'd I get so lucky?!)

Bernini's Fountain of the Ugly Boat, at the base of the Spanish Steps. Some young guys from Slovakia (I think?) struck up a conversation with us here, and they couldn't believe we didn't know their most famous athlete, who's featured on a euro. He kept saying (in a thick accent) "Are you kidding?" "You're joking, right?" Awkward. 

Laura bought some hot roasted chestnuts, and we shared. They were pretty darn good...weird consistency (like a firm potato), but interesting!

We took a walk down the Via Condotti, housing shops like Gucci, Bulgari and Prada. Check out all the flowers on the Steps in the background. 

All I could afford on the Via Condotti was a coffee! Coffee in Italy was fabulous, and I was determined to be a part of the "afternoon espresso scene"...locals purchase an espresso, down it in 3.25 seconds, and go! (there are no seats in a coffee bar, you're not supposed to stay that long) I had a cappuccino, which takes quite a bit longer to down, so I awkwardly stood there drinking as quickly as I could! (and the baristas were wearing tuxes!) 

Ok, whew, time for the hotel...for about an hour, then we were out to dinner!

A flower stand on the way "home"

Dinner on this night was with the Tenors; delicious and so entertaining!
Our bellies were full of food and drink, so there was only one thing we could do....
drink some more! (HEY, gimme a break, we're in Italy for cryin' out loud!)

We ended up in Robin & Carolyn's room (they always got the big rooms!) I'm using my new selfie stick that I bought by the Colosseum; the selfie-stick-sellers are relentless, even when I had one in my hand, they'd try to sell me another one, ugh!

I can't wait till my next entry, we're going to the VATICAN! 
I'm headed to North Dakota this weekend for a quick getaway with the hubby, but I'll see ya next week!

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