Wednesday is Rome touring…Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Castel San Angelo…and then rain.

(A preamble/disclosure:  I have saved this post several times and tried to unstick some of the words and photos which run together at the beginning.  Maybe it will work this time, but my apologies for the lack of cohesive editing in this one.)

Nancy suggested that I figure out how we could put in the sound of car horns and motorcycle exhaust as we heard last night through our slightly open window.  It’s sure different here in the city.

This morning we met Manuela (another guide arranged by Pam Long) at our Hotel Barocco after a leisurely hotel breakfast in their cozy dining room…only open for breakfast.  There’s a bar later that we used to warm up after our rain exposure.

We jump ahead in the schedule to show you the best place we visited today.  This photo will be the background of the post, so it should be a good one.
We jump ahead in the schedule to show you the best place we visited today. This photo will be the background of the post, so it should be a good one.  Any guesses?  (Not you, Patricia.)

Nancy has misplaced her very expensive sun glasses, so we need to start by finding a very fancy store to replace these gems.

She finalizes her purchase after professional advice from Manuela, the guide.
She finalizes her purchase after professional advice from Manuela, the guide.

The Spanish Steps are open and crowded in the morning.  The church at the top is being renovated and hides behind scaffolding and an ad-draped covering.

This obelisk has been used here for many years; formerly from the ancient city and the Forum. It was originally from Egypt....commissioned by a Roman Emperor.
This obelisk has been used here for many years; formerly from the ancient city and the Forum. It was originally from Egypt….commissioned by a Roman Emperor.

Looking up the steps, you can see that humanity is drawn here…to sit, to pose and to meet up.

This is a true melting pot of the world's divergent peoples.  Many poised with cameras to capture the moment.
This is a true melting pot of the world’s divergent peoples. Many poised with cameras to capture the moment.
A conference ensues to choose the route for our three hours.  We want to end somewhere near the Castel San Angelo...another of Patricia and Craig's suggestions.
A conference ensues to choose the route for our three hours. We want to end somewhere near the Castel San Angelo…another of Patricia and Craig’s suggestions.
The Trevi Fountain, too, is undergoing some major clean-up renovations. Still a major monument with crowds, but no water going and no pool to throw your coin...we made a wish to come back to Rome...even without the coin in our right hand, throwing it over our left shoulder.
The Trevi Fountain, too, is undergoing some major clean-up renovations. Still a major monument with crowds, but no water going and no pool to throw your coin…we made a wish to come back to Rome…even without the coin in our right hand, throwing it over our left shoulder.

We stopped and saw some other columns and monuments and buildings, too.  But the next highlight is the Pantheon…the oldest building still in use in Rome.  It has been a Roman Catholic church most of its life…it’s architecture and construction are amazing.

There is major art here, but the Oculus and dome are the main attraction for us. It had rained in the AM hours, so they had roped of an especially slippery marble area in the center of the floor to keep
There is major art here, but the Oculus and dome are the main attraction for us.
It had rained in the AM hours, so they had roped of an especially slippery marble area in the center of the floor to keep “slip and falls” to a minimum.
You can see the velvet ropes they use to keep the wet floor off-limits to us Pantheon pilgrims.
You can see the velvet ropes they use to keep the wet floor off-limits to us Pantheon pilgrims.
The four of us needed to take this photo to assure Patricia Boyd that we had fulfilled our promise to take her regards to the Pantheon.
The four of us needed to take this photo to assure Patricia Boyd that we had fulfilled our promise to take her regards to the Pantheon.
Manuela led us through lovely alleys toward the Castel Sant'Angelo, which was our
Manuela led us through lovely alleys toward the Castel Sant’Angelo, which was our “lunch stop” and last visit for the day.

Our after-lunch-at-the-cafe approach was across the Tiber River to this fortress that was originally Emperor Hadrian’s tomb.

From the battlements, you can see down the Tiber to some more domed monuments.  And, over to the right, you can see St. Peter's dome.  They made a secret passageway for the Pope to escape an attack on the Vatican and come here to be protected.
From the battlements, you can see down the Tiber to some more domed monuments. And, over to the right, you can see St. Peter’s dome. They made a secret passageway for the Pope to escape an attack on the Vatican and come here to be protected.
In about 90 minutes as we were touring, the clouds rolled in and the rain began.  Not just a brief shower, as earlier this week, but heavy, long-term, serious rain drops.  You can see them here.
In about 90 minutes as we were touring, the clouds rolled in and the rain began. Not just a brief shower, as earlier this week, but heavy, long-term, serious rain drops. You can see them here.

We joined the band of umbrella-open tourists fleeing the rain.

We had come across the bridge to the castle just a short time before in masses of sun-dappled folks on this same road.
We had come across the bridge to the castle just a short time before in masses of sun-dappled folks on this same road.

We drifted back across the bridge to one cab stand, tried to find another by the last big square we had visited (Piazza Novona), then tried another.  Then, as our map was getting a bit shredded, we decided that we should try to walk back to the hotel (we weren’t sure exactly where it was and Butch had to purchase his own umbrella from one of the middle eastern guys).

All of a sudden, a bunch of cabs started arriving, we jumped back in line and in a jumble of Italians and other tourists, who aren’t adept at queueing, we got our own cab.  Bless you crazy-driving cabbie.  We made it to the hotel soaked but happy.  We decided to go change and meet in the bar downstairs to see if we could find a mid-afternoon bartender.  Tea, Prosecco and Montepulciano are elixirs…plus the man brought some munchies, too.

I guess we should have paid closer attention to the sky behind this lovely "saint-someone-lady", who was trying to point to the sky as we walk toward the castle.
I guess we should have paid closer attention to the sky behind this lovely “saint-someone-lady”, who was trying to point to the sky as we walk toward the castle.

chiproach

Lifelong Philadelphia area Realtor. Now a 13-year citizen of Sanibel, Florida. Married to Nancy for 53 years. Three children (2 in Devon; 1 in Steamboat Springs, CO) and 5 grandkids (2 in college). Helping with charities involving poverty, kids and education.

8 comments

  • You’ve had a wonderful trip with some terrific people. All the best to you and them ! Dick & Linda

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    • Dick and Linda…thanks for being along. We talked about Valter and Lucca many times. And, about your upstairs chamber thing-a-ma-jig.

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  • All great spots in spite of the rain. We were there last September to start our trip south to Positano and Sicily. You hit all the great spots. Continue to enjoy your adventures.

    Frances & Jon

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  • One of our top 3 favorite trattorias is located just a block south of the Castel Sant Angelo in the Piazza della Rovere, and we’ve gaily stumbled “home” sotto cielo di Roma past their statuary many a night.
    Thank you Sigre Chip e Sigra Nancy…what a treat for us to follow along on your adventure italiano!
    As they say in Pine Island, “Now you done made me wannnnnit”.

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    • You can talk English, Italian and Pine Island. You are quite a woman. It was very educational having you on my blog shoulder, pointing to more things we are eager to learn. Prego. Is it 9:12PM or 3:15AM in Wayne, PA. Just staying up to fold the wash. Nancy has hit the hay. Chip

      Chip Roach 610-YES-CHIP

      >

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  • I love it! Great fun in Rome. I feel about the Trevi fountain like I did when I arrived in Vienna in late September, 1970, and the Lippizaner horses were still on summer vacation. Well these things have to be taken care of… I have so enjoyed your travelogue (and it doesn’t entail hours of slides after you get home). Thanks again for a wonderful trip! Love, Christy

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    • Thanks for being with us. The journal is great to have for our recollections and putting the pictures into it right after we’ve seen the sights makes it easier to re-enjoy the trip later. See you soon. Garden time at the shore coming up.

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