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  • Trip Report Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

    Well it has certainly been a while since I've posted a trip report. Those who follow my blog flowerstales.blogspot.com will understand why.
    Theresa and I had a beautiful baby boy back in November and my free time disappeared.
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    I do have a trip from the summer though that I never did get a chance to post.

    In June, Theresa and I headed out to Italy for a week and then joined up with Jacob and Ruston in Paris for another week. It's taken me a while to go through all the photos, but I'm almost done so I figured I'd go ahead and start posting my trip report. I'm thinking I'll be breaking it up into 3 different reports. This one for Rome, a second one for Florence, then a third for Disneyland Paris and the rest of Paris. On to the report!

    Ready for another adventure?
    Every year we try to take a big vacation around July 4th. Previous trips have included Tahiti and Bora Bora. This year instead of a relaxing vacation, we're going back to some places we've visited before but didn't spend enough time.
    Follow along as we go to Rome, Florence, Disneyland Paris, and Paris!

    We're flying on free airline tickets (that's a whole other post) on Air Berlin. The way we're routed, we're leaving Los Angeles at 6pm and taking an 11 hour flight to Dusseldorf Germany. The next morning, we'll catch a flight to Rome. We left work just a little early on Thursday to head to the airport and have dinner.
    Even though we'll be gone for a little over 2 weeks, we still only do carry-on bags. Each of us got our tickets from the Air Berlin counter and they actually weighed our carry-on bag. There's a limit of 10kg (22 pounds) and each of our bags was right on. I'm really glad they didn't ask to weigh my camera bag! With all my lenses, the laptop, etc, it might look small but I bet it's over 10kg.

    Goodbye lovely Los Angeles.

    Welcome to Dusseldorf! Our landing goes smoothly and we taxi right up to the gate. We breeze through immigration and customs and find a sign directing us to our hotel.

    T booked the Sheraton right by the airport and we walk right over. The hotel staff is nice and we get a decent room overlooking the runway. It's a good size and not the mini European room we've had in the past.

    Our German food tonight. A sausage in a roll and a pretzel.
    Also check out:
    Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

    Joe's Epic Tokyo Disneyland Trip Report - 15 days
    Disneyland Candlelight Processional Photos - 2014 (Beau Bridges), 2012 (Kurt Russell), 2012 (Edward James Olmos), 2012 (Dick Van Dyke), 2012 (John Stamos), 2011 (Gary Sinise), 2010 (Tom Skerritt), 2009 (Jon Voight), 2008 (John Stamos)

    Or visit my blog at http://flowerstales.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy



    We got all our bags packed up and left the room around 5am. The airport is literally right next door so we walked over there for breakfast. The only thing open at that time was the McDonalds so we ordered off an automated touch-screen and soon picked up our food.



    We breezed straight through security. They only checked our boarding pass and no IDs or even passports. One of my many nicknames from T is Chupa Chup, so of course after seeing a giant one, a picture is required.



    With no checked bags, we got off the plane and headed straight to the Leonardo Express train into the Termini station in the middle of Rome. The airport is 15 miles from city so it's either the train or a taxi. When we got to the station, there was a train there and leaving in 6 minutes. We grabbed our tickets from the green and white automated machine with no problems. The guard manning the gate validated our ticket and we jumped on the train. Within 3 minutes, the train took off and we were on our way into Rome.

    We started in the beautiful country.

    But before too long we were into the city. The thing we noticed here was the ridiculous amount of graffiti everywhere.

    T booked us a great hotel right in the middle of the city. The Vatican is to the West, Pantheon is a couple blocks South, Coliseum is South East, Trevi Fountain a couple blocks East. We're really right in the middle of Rome.







    See Rome down there at the bottom? Apparently there is another Hotel Nazionale 350 miles North and that's the one we booked...



    Theresa and I had looked up how much it would be to book a room with this hotel directly and saw the cheapest room for four nights was 1090 Euro. Ouch. Roberta was on top of that one too for us. She looked through all their discounted rates and was able to book us in a room for 960 Euro. Of course we were thrilled with that.



    It's a beautiful room.

    With a nice bathroom.

    And we even have a great view of Piazza di Monte Citorio.









    The Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola is just down the street and it's still open, so we go explore the first of many churches on this trip.



    We wandered the church, marveling at all the statues and paintings. It impresses me when they make stone look completely like something soft, like cloth or drapery.

    We crossed back in front of the Pantheon to find a grocery store.



    A short walk and we were back at the hotel to drop everything off. At 6:30, we got recommendations from the front desk on where to eat dinner, and started half of the Rick Steves Heart of Rome walking tour. Our first stop was the Trevi fountain. It was crazy busy of course, but we made our way down to the front.

    We asked a couple to take our picture, and then we took theirs. Theresa must look very trustworthy because lots of people were asking her to take their picture. There were plenty of guys who would take your picture then ask to take one of you with their polaroid camera to sell to you. They were all over the place and constantly asking. As is tradition, we each tossed a coin in the fountain, ensuring we'd someday return to Rome. Our next stop is the Spanish Steps.



    We sat at the bottom of the steps by the Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Old Boat) and watched as the police patrolled the area and all the illegal vendors ran in the opposite direction. This fountain was actually designed in 1627 by Pietro Bernini and his famous son Lorenzo Bernini. We'll see a lot more of his work later.

    When I think fountain, I usually think chlorinated recirculated water. Here in Rome though, they were so proud of their abundance of fresh water, that there are multiple free public fountains where you can drink and fill up water bottles. I just take a sip and then we continue up the steps.

    Lots of people enjoying a picnic dinner here on the steps.


    The church and obelisk at the top of the steps.

    There's a good view over the city. Doesn't Theresa look beautiful with these lovely roses?

    Yeah, here's the zoomed out view of the same picture. T had to get quite stern with this guy to get out of her face.

    At the top, we explored the church . Theresa did warn me though not to take her into too many churches because it was entirely possible to get burnt out on seeing so many of them. That happened in Japan after seeing shrines and temples multiple times a day for many days in a row.



    As we exited, there was a beautiful sunset over the city. We enjoyed that for a little bit then continued our walk.



    It's a beautiful sky tonight.

    T was pretty hungry after not eating much for lunch. On the recommendation of the hotel, we stopped at a high end restaurant. It looked a bit expensive and they required you to wear pants, not shorts, so we decided to give it a go. Without an English menu, we went with the recommendation of our server. Theresa got spaghetti again and I got a spaghetti carbonara. I enjoyed mine. It had cheese, bacon, a cream sauce, plus a zesty kick to it.







    After just a little pushing and shuffling, we both got up to the counter and got our cones. T got a strawberry cone that she really enjoyed. Maybe she'll rethink her position that it's not worth waiting in line.

    I got a super rich chocolate and coconut, and they topped it off with fresh whipped cream. Mine was very tasty too. It's so hard to eat though before it drips all over your hand.

    When we left our room earlier, we noticed the ceiling had started to drip. I put a towel down to catch the water, and by the time we got back, the towel was soaked and yellow. After telling the front desk, they sent someone up to look at it, and then suggested we move to a different room. It was still an Executive room and still overlooking the square. Does this room look even bigger?

    Check out this floor plan I found. Our bathroom takes over 1/4 of the room beside us. To me it looks like the biggest room on the floor. Who'd have guessed after the debacle this morning, we'd be in a room this nice.

    Also check out:
    Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

    Joe's Epic Tokyo Disneyland Trip Report - 15 days
    Disneyland Candlelight Processional Photos - 2014 (Beau Bridges), 2012 (Kurt Russell), 2012 (Edward James Olmos), 2012 (Dick Van Dyke), 2012 (John Stamos), 2011 (Gary Sinise), 2010 (Tom Skerritt), 2009 (Jon Voight), 2008 (John Stamos)

    Or visit my blog at http://flowerstales.blogspot.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

      Wow, this report has been amazing so far! I've never been out of the U.S. before (except Hawaii but that doesn't count), so it's quite interesting to see what it's like being in another country. I'm learning quite a lot! I can't wait to see the rest of your Euro Trip! Also, congratulations once again! Ian is just so dang adorable D:
      My Adventure Blog

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      • #4
        Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

        There's lots of fun stuff to see today.

        I thought this might be a fun way to keep track of all the places we ended up going. Our hotel is at #1 and we continue from there.

        Leaving there, it was just a short walk to the Borghese gallery just outside the city walls. At least it was a short walk to the garden entrance.

        It was still 600 meters or so to reach the museum itself.


        The story is as follows: Zeus was holding a banquet to celebrate a wedding of two gods. Eris the goddess of discord was not invited and angered by the snub, threw a golden apple into the banquet with the words "for the fairest one" written on it. Three goddess stepped forward to claim the apple, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, asking Zeus to declare who was the fairest. Not wanting to take that on himself, he deferred to a mortal man named Paris. Each goddess offers him a bribe, but eventually he chooses Aphrodite.

        Dominating the room below the painting on the ceiling is a statue of Pauline Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister and wife of Camillo Borghese. Created in 1805 by Antonio Canova, this statue caused controversy because while it was typical to depict a goddess nude, it was not common to show royalty naked. An even more bold statement is the apple in her hand, showing that even above the goddesses, Pauline is the fairest of all.


        Entering the next room, we see a statue that amazes both of us. Apollo chasing Daphne also by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Bernini was commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese to create multiple sculptures for the Medici household, and this was one of the last.

        Apollo, having been struck by Cupid's arrow, sees Daphne, the daughter of the river god Peneus. He chases after her, but Daphne has been struck by Cupid's love-repelling arrow and runs away. Just as Apollo catches her, Daphne prays to her father to change her body so Apollo can't have her. Peneus changes her into a laurel tree, and that's the exact moment this statue captures.

        You can see Daphne's skin turning into the bark of a tree. From her fingers, branches and leaves are suddenly sprouting.

        The most amazing and intricate work was done on the leaves in between the two of them. I'm amazed by how much stone was actually cut away, creating such a perfectly natural looking bunch of leaves. The angles and positions they must have used to carve away everything that wasn't a leaf just boggled my mind.

        Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius is another sculpture by Bernini. Only 20 years old when this work was completed, it shows the story of Aeneas (the progenitor of Rome) leaving his city after it had been attacked by the Greeks. He carries his father and his son follows him. It's been said that Bernini drew inspiration from one of Michelangelo's sculptures called Christ Bearing the Cross. We'll try to see that one later today.

        Bernini certainly has quite a few statues here. The last one we'll look at before we go upstairs is The Rape of Proserpina (Persephone). In it, Persephone is abducted by Hades and carried down to the underworld.

        We can see Hades' fingers digging into Persephone's thigh and side. It really looks like skin transformed into stone.

        We also get a peek at Cerberus, Hades' three-headed dog.

        I think this is the first Raphael painting we've seen on this trip. Check off our first Ninja Turtle. This 6 x 6 foot painting titled Desposition was kept in the church of S.Francesco in Perugia in 1507. The Borghese's wanted the painting for themselves and 101 years later the painting was taken overnight by a priest and sent to Pope Paul V, Scipione Borghases's uncle. He then gave it to his nephew and it thus became the property of the Borghese family.

        Boy with a Basket of Fruit was a painting by Caravaggio in 1593. The work remained in the collection of Giuseppe Cesari, one of Caravaggio's teachers, until 1607. Cardinal Borghese became obsessed with the painting and used his power and influence with the Pope to throw Cesari in prison and seize the painting. This has to be the 5th or 6th painting we've heard the same type of story of how it came to be in the collection of the Borghese's. He's want a painting, has the person accused of something and thrown in prison, then offer to get them out if they give up what he wants. He sounds like a bit of a jerk when it comes to collecting art.

        Diana is the goddess of the hunt, and in this painting of Diana and her Nymphs by Domenichino, we peek into their secret world and see them at play. There is an archery contest going on, two women returning from the hunt with a deer, and even a wrestling contest in the distance.

        For men to be caught spying on these women would mean death, but to the far right of the scene, we see two men risking it. One holds his finger to his lips, imploring us to stay quiet, as we too are gazing upon them unawares.

        But it's too late! The nymph bathing at the bottom has certainly caught us spying on them.

        At 2:50, we were through all the exhibits, and would be escorted out anyway in 10 minutes, so we moseyed out. We walked back to the bus stop and waited a few minutes for the bus, but then just decided to walk through Rome and back to the hotel.

        On the way, we swung by the supermarket and picked up a late lunch.

        Once we got back to our room there was another surprise waiting for us. A fruit tray! That was very thoughtful of the hotel.

        Here's all the stuff we picked up from the grocery store. I got bread and butter, plus a prosciutto and cheese tray. T got salad, chips, cookies, etc. Strangely, our whole time here and even at the multiple grocery stores we went to, no one had salad dressing. Everywhere only offered olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

        The dome on the inside is pretty impressive. The room inside is exactly as wide as it is tall. A sphere 142 ft tall would fit inside perfectly. This dome was the model for another dome inside the Duomo that we'll see in Florence later, the dome on top of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, and even the US Capital Building dome.

        It was fairly busy when we first arrived. We took a seat on the benches up front and listened to the Rick Steves' audio-guide.

        In the niches are tombs of famous Italians. Raphael is buried here. Also buried close by are the tombs of two of Italy's kings, the Savoys, along with their queens. One of those is Margherita di Savoia, for whom the margherita pizza was named, with green basil, white mozzarella and red tomato sauce, the colors of the Italian flag.

        Around 6pm, we were told that the Pantheon was closing and it was time to leave.

        The trick to getting these shots and not being asked to leave by the attendants was to always get a little closer to the entrance than 1-2 other people. That way they are the ones getting asked to hurry up, and you can stick around just a little longer.

        We hung back, so as to be one of the last ones out, so we could enjoy and appreciate it with no people crowding it and it was almost quiet inside. It was awesome!

        And this is what she's really feeling like.

        So this is the back of the Pantheon. Not quite as impressive as the front of the building, and you can see that it's made of brick and cement instead of marble like some other famous sites. The base of the walls surrounding the Pantheon are over 20 feet thick to support the weight of the huge dome atop it.

        The very back of the Pantheon has alcoves that look to have once housed statues. Now though, all the attention is at the front, and we saw hardly anybody back here.


        Just down the corner from the Pantheon is Santa Maria sopra Minerva, which houses a Michelangelo sculpture called Christ bearing the Cross. The statue I showed earlier of Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius by Bernini was supposed to have been inspired by the pose of Christ. It may not look like much from the outside...

        ...but inside it looks pretty amazing.

        Our timing was poor though. Mass was being held and the entire front half of the church was closed to visitors. We'll have to try again later. Good thing our hotel is so close.


        This fountain is also the fourth stop on the Path of Illumination from the Dan Brown book Angels & Demons. This fourth altar of science of course represents Water.

        I remember when we were here 6 years ago, Theresa had what she described as the best strawberry gelato ever at a shop just behind here. We've got to eat dinner first though, so we walk back to the hotel.

        But first we see Fountain of Neptune, showing Neptune battling an octopus.

        A quick stop at the hotel, then we were ready to head out to dinner. The front desk again recommended the place around the corner for pizza, so we went there. This time, it was an enjoyable experience. We sat outside by the walkway watching people walking up and down the street. The sun was just setting and the sky was a magical blue. Our table was lit by candlelight and just a few yards away was an accordion player playing classic Italian love songs. I demanded Theresa hold my hand and make this romantic.

        Also check out:
        Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

        Joe's Epic Tokyo Disneyland Trip Report - 15 days
        Disneyland Candlelight Processional Photos - 2014 (Beau Bridges), 2012 (Kurt Russell), 2012 (Edward James Olmos), 2012 (Dick Van Dyke), 2012 (John Stamos), 2011 (Gary Sinise), 2010 (Tom Skerritt), 2009 (Jon Voight), 2008 (John Stamos)

        Or visit my blog at http://flowerstales.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

          I am loving this trip report! My husband and I are going to Europe for the first time in May, and I need all the info I can get! You two are adorable! Thank you for spending the time to write it!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

            Today we're spending most of our time at the smallest country in the world, the Vatican, population 770.

            Here's all the places we went so you can follow along below.


            Along the river were fun art and book stands.

            We could have done a bicycle tour?!?






            Arriving at the museum entrance, there were two lines open. One for people waiting for regular tickets (which was really long and stretched a few hundred yards), the other for group reservations. There was a third line that was for individuals who made reservations online but closed off





            The windows were open and we had a good view into the city.

            This was a giant bath carved from a single piece of stone that was used by Emperor Nero. The floor also had an interesting mosaic.


            Surrounding the room were statues of various gods and heroes.

            Including my favorite, Heracles.

            We continued through an Egyptian section, seeing various sarcophagus and temple decorations.

            Some interesting statues here.

            In the back of this next room is a copy of the greek discus thrower.



            The map room.

            Like everyone else, we came to a halt while we waited to get inside the Sistene chapel.

            Looking out the window towards the basilica dome.





            The ceiling tells of the creation of man and leads up to the flood. From the left to the right, we see in panel 1, Separating the light from the darkness, Creation of Sun Moon Stars, Separation of Land and Water, and the Creation of Adam.

            The creation of Adam is the centerpiece of the ceiling.

            Continuing across the ceiling is the Creation of Eve, Temptation and Expulsion from the Garden, Sacrifice of Noah, The Great Flood, Drunkenness of Noah. Kind of a strange way to end the ceiling with Noah being drunk.








            Here's what the chapel looks like from the outside.



            So you've got to pose in front of it.

            Exiting the museum there was a cool staircase, which looks awesome from the top.

            And even better from the bottom.

            Even though it was a zoo, it was a fun time at the museum. We've got to get over to St Peter's Basilica pretty quick before it closes. We spent a lot more time here than we were planning inside the Sistine chapel.

            In the square, we were greeted by a ton of chairs, and the whole center is blocked off. Guess I won't be able to make my way to the obelisk at the center and find the 2nd clue leading to the Path of Illumination from the Dan Brown book Angels & Demons.



            Posing in front of the largest church in the world.


            A giant sea of chairs.



            These bronze doors are huge!

            The Pieta. This statue has always impressed me. The pose, the detail, everything just wows me. I had just seen a copy at Forest Lawn 8 days ago, but this one combined with the setting just overwhelms you.




            We marveled at the statues lining the long hallway leading up to the altar. We admired the 7 story altar piece designed by Michelangelo and listened how he even designed the basilica.


            Like the bronze gilding the altar piece? The Pantheon ceiling was previously covered with bronze, but in the 1600s, Pope Urban VIII took it and used it for the altar piece.



            Here's a 360 view of the main altar area.



            Here's a 360 view of the nave.

            We took a few pictures near the entrance and then were told they were closing.

            Can't forget the baby in these photos.

            Just as we exited, they shut the main entrance gate.









            We passed in front of the Castle of the Angels, featured in Angels & Demons, but more famous for being the burial site of the roman emperor Hadrian. We didn't get to go inside


            Another over mile long walk back to the hotel where we hung out until 8:30pm then went out to dinner.








            We got a few nighttime shots of it, plus a couple of us together.







            The guys here have really got their craft down. Once they scoop gelato or whipped cream, they sling the scoop back into the ice cream. Here he's tossing the whipped cream scoop into the bowl from a few feet away.

            Getting my tasty cone.



            Back up at the hotel we chilled for a while and got to bed by 1am. Here's the view looking out our window to the square in front of Parliament.

            Also check out:
            Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

            Joe's Epic Tokyo Disneyland Trip Report - 15 days
            Disneyland Candlelight Processional Photos - 2014 (Beau Bridges), 2012 (Kurt Russell), 2012 (Edward James Olmos), 2012 (Dick Van Dyke), 2012 (John Stamos), 2011 (Gary Sinise), 2010 (Tom Skerritt), 2009 (Jon Voight), 2008 (John Stamos)

            Or visit my blog at http://flowerstales.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

              I am glad you enjoyed Rome. I was in Rome, Florence and Venice in March if 2010. I also went to the Vatican, London, Munich, Fussen, Oberamergau, Triberg, Salzburg, Zurich

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              • #8
                Disneyland Resort Paris: | 1999 | 2001 | 2002 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 (2 visits) | 2008 | 2009 (2 visits) | 2010 | 2012 | 2013 |
                Disneyland Resort California: | 2005 | 2008 | 2010 | 2012 | 2013 | Walt Disney World: | 2011 |
                Disney Cruise Line: | 2012 |

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

                  Originally posted by KiMcHeEfOrLiFe View Post
                  Wow, this report has been amazing so far! I've never been out of the U.S. before (except Hawaii but that doesn't count), so it's quite interesting to see what it's like being in another country. I'm learning quite a lot! I can't wait to see the rest of your Euro Trip! Also, congratulations once again! Ian is just so dang adorable D:
                  And he just keeps getting cuter and cuter! He's started smiling really big now when he sees you and you just have to go "awwww".



                  Originally posted by Kateyandstitch View Post
                  I am loving this trip report! My husband and I are going to Europe for the first time in May, and I need all the info I can get! You two are adorable! Thank you for spending the time to write it!
                  I hope you have a great time! My biggest tip is get the international data plan for your phone. Having GPS and internet capability when you're in the middle of a foreign place gives you so much more confidence that you can go anywhere and find your way back.

                  Originally posted by brendonb28 View Post
                  I am glad you enjoyed Rome. I was in Rome, Florence and Venice in March if 2010. I also went to the Vatican, London, Munich, Fussen, Oberamergau, Triberg, Salzburg, Zurich
                  Theresa and I did something similar back in 2007. We took an 18 day bus trip all over and went to London, Holland, Germany, Austria, Venice, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Switzerland, and Paris (I know, I know, mixing cities and countries). For our first trip there, I wouldn't have done it any other way. We got to see the highlights of a bunch of cities with a guide who figured out the transportation, lodging, and tickets to all the cool things. After that 18 day trip, we could then decide where we wanted to spend a lot longer the next time we went.

                  You are correct in that I don't think I ever saw a pretzel in Rome.
                  I really was wishing we could have explored Germany. And not just the sights but also the food! The last time we were there in 2007 I found this amazing chocolate bar with bits of honey in it. I haven't been able to find it anywhere since and I was really hoping to locate it again. Maybe on our next trip we'll have better luck!


                  Time for our last full day in Rome!
                  Also check out:
                  Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

                  Joe's Epic Tokyo Disneyland Trip Report - 15 days
                  Disneyland Candlelight Processional Photos - 2014 (Beau Bridges), 2012 (Kurt Russell), 2012 (Edward James Olmos), 2012 (Dick Van Dyke), 2012 (John Stamos), 2011 (Gary Sinise), 2010 (Tom Skerritt), 2009 (Jon Voight), 2008 (John Stamos)

                  Or visit my blog at http://flowerstales.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

                    Today we're going to the Colosseum and anything else we happen to squeeze in.

                    Here's a look at the places we'll be visiting.








                    We did try to keep to the shade and took a few stops for water breaks, but eventually we made it.





                    The view from the Emperor's Box inside the Colosseum. It was hard to believe that this whole place was built in only 8 years back in 72 A.D.

                    .
                    Can you imagine 50,000 screaming fans here and all the battles they witnessed? It was written that 9000 wild animals were killed during the inaugural games.







                    Circling the lowest level, we arrived in the center at the Vestal Virgin's box, looking back towards the Emperor's box. I took a 360 view of the entire Colosseum from this box. Click here or on the photo below to see it.





                    Originally called the Amphitheatrum Flavium, because it was built by the emperors from the Flavian dynasty.



                    Looking over to the Arch of Constantine, erected to celebrate a battle won in 312 A.D.



                    And looking towards the Temple of Venus and Roma.



                    Looking over the Colosseum from the highest point you can climb.



                    I joined back up with Theresa a short time later. Our entrance ticket gets us into the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palantine Hill, but since we only had a light breakfast, T needed to eat something. On the way down, I saw this pedestal and had to get a classic photo on top of it.



                    We had a fun time at the Colosseum this time. It was great to explore at our own pace. Maybe next time we'll upgrade and get the tour that takes you to the floor level.







                    I ordered the spaghetti carbanara, which is pig cheek, eggs, and cheese. I have to say it was probably tastier than the carbanara I had a couple nights ago for dinner.












                    The inside looks quite a bit different from the outside.



                    This church has some darker themes. A grim reaper.



                    And skeletons supporting a bust.



                    Inside the reliquary are what the church is named after,












                    Not as impressive as Michelangelo's David, but still interesting.






                    We grabbed a museum map and headed downstairs to one of the finest Roman coin collections around. Seriously, they have coins all the way back to the beginning of Rome and almost every year up to the present. We start in early Rome with a non standard coin of bronze that was only valued on the weight. Everyone had scales to see how much it was worth. Also these things were pretty large, so just a few would fill your pockets.



                    There were at least 60 such display cases containing coins like this. Each had a write-up about the coins from that period.



                    We learned how the various emperors introduced silver then gold, then different denominations, purities, etc to control the market of coins. It was quite an in depth guide speaking about each of the coins from the times. The stamps on the coins were interesting too. T liked the horses and chariots.



                    She found one of Hercules for me from 80 A.D.



                    I really enjoyed seeing these coins showing old buildings. I recognize the Colosseum in there.



                    So where did this huge collection of coins come from? Quite a few came from Castle Vicarello 23 miles north. While renovating the bath complex there in 1852, the well leading to the hot springs was discovered to be filled with metal coins. The deepest layers contained bronze coins dating back to 800 B.C. Progressing upward, newer coins were found.



                    The Vatican also had it's own minted coins.



                    Finding a little bit of Disney in everything, Theresa suggested this pope looked a bit like Buzz Lightyear.



                    Simba and Nala?









                    We walked quickly through the rest of the levels of the museum. There were lots of statues here of various gods, heroes, and nobles. A statue of a modest Aphrodite.



                    Theresa in front of a very old calendar and rules of what you were allowed to do on each day.



                    Again finding Disney everywhere, The Lion King.



                    And this girl with the long hair must be Rapunzel.



                    I liked this guy's armor.



                    One of the best early Roman copies of the Greek Discuss thrower.






                    One of the most detailed sarcophagus I've seen.









                    Theresa saying "This is not all for me!"



                    After the snack, we continued our walk to the church.



                    Again, not that detailed from the front.



                    Though inside it looks very different.



                    Up near the altar.



                    It was an interesting statue I guess. Like the audio guide said, the statue by Bernini in the Borghese museum of Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius fleeing Rome was posed in a similar way.









                    Just behind the Pantheon is a restaurant recommended by Rick Steves called Miscellania. Their prices were pretty decent, and they have a fantastic location. I asked for a polenta with sausages, but they were out. Instead I had Ravioli, which was just okay.




                    A few musicians came by to play for the tables and ask for tips. One guy had his guitar and played Beatles music, another couple had a guy screeching away on a violin while she sang. Theresa said neither of them improved upon the silence. The servers did a pretty good job of keeping them from bugging the tables, and shooed them away when they were done. They were free to get people to come give them tips voluntarily, but not to go table to table asking for money.



                    After dinner, I suggested walking to Piazza Navona to the four rivers fountain to end our night with some gelato.






                    We walked around the two fountains, taking pictures and thinking of the fun time we had in Rome.






                    Tomorrow we board a train to Florence!
                    Also check out:
                    Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

                    Joe's Epic Tokyo Disneyland Trip Report - 15 days
                    Disneyland Candlelight Processional Photos - 2014 (Beau Bridges), 2012 (Kurt Russell), 2012 (Edward James Olmos), 2012 (Dick Van Dyke), 2012 (John Stamos), 2011 (Gary Sinise), 2010 (Tom Skerritt), 2009 (Jon Voight), 2008 (John Stamos)

                    Or visit my blog at http://flowerstales.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

                      Great album - I am stoked for our trip this coming May!
                      Ah, how strange! The molecules are so active now!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

                        The next day, Theresa and I headed up to Florence Italy.
                        I've started another MC thread and you can read all about it here: http://micechat.com/forums/other-des...nce-italy.html

                        Also check out:
                        Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

                        Joe's Epic Tokyo Disneyland Trip Report - 15 days
                        Disneyland Candlelight Processional Photos - 2014 (Beau Bridges), 2012 (Kurt Russell), 2012 (Edward James Olmos), 2012 (Dick Van Dyke), 2012 (John Stamos), 2011 (Gary Sinise), 2010 (Tom Skerritt), 2009 (Jon Voight), 2008 (John Stamos)

                        Or visit my blog at http://flowerstales.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

                          Great trip report! It reminded me of my own trip to Italy, but you saw so much more.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Joe's summer trip to Rome Italy

                            Originally posted by mikeland View Post
                            Great trip report! It reminded me of my own trip to Italy, but you saw so much more.
                            Thanks mikeland!
                            Sometimes I wish we'd take it slower, but then who knows when we'd come back again. Might as well cram as much in as possible.
                            Now those tropical island vacations, those are the best ones to relax at.
                            Also check out:
                            Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

                            Joe's Epic Tokyo Disneyland Trip Report - 15 days
                            Disneyland Candlelight Processional Photos - 2014 (Beau Bridges), 2012 (Kurt Russell), 2012 (Edward James Olmos), 2012 (Dick Van Dyke), 2012 (John Stamos), 2011 (Gary Sinise), 2010 (Tom Skerritt), 2009 (Jon Voight), 2008 (John Stamos)

                            Or visit my blog at http://flowerstales.blogspot.com/

                            Comment

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