S: Kirk & Krista O'Dell Visiting Paris, Greece, & Italy 2010
BC: Mt Vesuvius
2: Our first walk in Paris, arrived at 11 AM, Sunday May 23, 2010. (luggage dropped off) Hotel Garden was quaint, 10 minute subway ride to the heart of the city or a 16 Euro cab fare. Visited the Musee D'Orsay, Napoleon's Tomb, Eiffel Tower, and hapless wondering throughout Paris this afternoon. We shopped at the local market 2 blocks from our hotel, we enjoyed our homey atmosphere. | Nation | 10 PM lights flash 5 min every hour on the hour
3: Fresco | Joseph Napoleon I
4: The Louvre 4 hours were spent viewing exhibits; frescoes, sculptures, paintings. Just a glimpse into what this museum has to offer. If you stood in front of the 35,000 exhibits for 3 seconds it would take 5 months to see all of them. | Entrance below the pyramid | z
5: The glass pyramid is the entrance, which glows after dark, the upside down pyramid is not directly below the other. The Louvre was built as a fortress in the 12th century, a palace in the 14th century, and a museum in the late 18th. It is one of the largest and most visited museums in the world. We would be more than happy to make a trip back and spend a day or two more visiting the exhibits we missed. | z | Nice Rack
6: Views from atop the Eiffel Tower. On the very top floor there is an entire room with piano that was delivered when it was built, long before the elevator. The weather has been in the mid-eighties. It was helpful that most people spoke some English, reading French was better than our attempt at speaking it. Using the metro system was wonderful. | May 24, 2010. Walked the stairs to the second level of the Eiffel Tower...Just about died!!! Had breakfast on the first level. Elevator to the top and all the way back down.
8: The Louvre's Egyptian Exhibit. While visiting the alarms were going off and were asking people to leave the museum; while exiting this is the area we walked into...Krista thought "They will have to escort us out, this is one the reasons why we came.". Artwork from all over the world housed in the Louvre as well as on loan from other countries.
9: Our Lady LIberty 1830 | The paintings are so large, one wonders where or how you begin. Evidence showed of folded canvas that at one time the paintings were shown in a smaller frame. The painting Kirk seems to be looking at is opposite the Mona Lisa. Jam packed room. | Mona LIsa painted 1503-1506; in 1911 she was stolen from the Louvre and was found 2 years later in a hotel in Florence. Missing poster signs were placed to help find this lost painting by DaVinci | Venus De Milo
10: Notre Dame
11: 700 years old, 200 foot bell towers; "Our Lady" as referred. 400 steps to the top. Considered France's most famous church. A service was taking place this afternoon, shhh Also had trouble finding lavatories, other than the ones on the streets like phone booths.
12: First night in Paris was a nice evening to cruise the Seine River. We sat on the outer edge of the cruiser. Turned on Rick Steve's and listened to the audio tour. | Every bridge is adorned with such detailed sculpture.
13: Sunday afternoon, lazily enjoying the evening by the river with your bottle of wine, I think almost everyone had one. | Our first Parisian Sunset
14: We had dinner just around the corner, the apertiff was amazing and Kirk thoroughly enjoyed the escargot. The top of the Arc holds the onlookers, it would seem that it has a jagged rooftop, but those are people. | Champs-Elysees | Montemartre | Le Swiss Restaurante
15: Arc de Triomphe | There are 284 steps to the top, we slowly managed the spiral staircase.
16: O'Chateau was our first ever wine tasting experience. A deep red, blush, and white wines were offered for palate approval. In a cellar we enjoyed learning how to taste and a bit about wine history. with bread that was chewy on the outside and soft in the center; as is most French breads.
18: View from Hotel Jason | GREECE
19: Hotel Jason is 4 blocks from the train station, in a dilapidated part of Athens; honestly most of Athens is in need of repair. Very nice hotel and the view from the rooftop was picturesque. Arriving late in the day on May 25, 2010 we ate dinner and enjoyed Macedonian wine and Greek beer with 80's American music for ambiance. 20 Euro for the entire evening = $30.
20: The Agora; the Market Place of old. Home of Zeus temple, Socrates & Plato's stomping ground along with Greek mythology, and the gymnasium . Temple of Hephaistos is the most preserved site with large steps, twice the size of present ones. May 26, 2010 this day visited was 90 degrees without a cloud in the sky, many liters of water were consumed this day. Everything is constructed out of marble and would appear that it was placed by giants. Politics were the main focal point of this area and anyone who was anyone voiced their opinion here.
21: Above center was one of many water fountains that were potable, ornately dressed up. This was our trek up the hill to the Acropolis; actually had to leave the Agora, cross the road and re-enter before heading into the main entrance............. There is always extra marble around; ready to use for the next project. | Church of the Holy Apostles, A.D. 1000 a Spanish church, Panathenaic Way is the path to follow to the Acropolis.
22: P a r t h e n o n
23: The Parthenon atop the Acropolis is 2500 years old, 101 feet wide, 228 feet long, 490 feet above sea level, and each column is 34 feet high and six feet in diameter; as you can see their size with Kirk standing next to the column. Built from 450-440 B.C. it was once a treasury and Temple. The way it is built is amazing; it slopes inward to account for the columns to look straight and for rainwater to drain harmoniously; it once had a roof that stood another 10-16 feet but was burned when a new ruler took office. It has been bombed (1687) but the 100,000 tons of marble used to originally erect the Parthenon has weathered time; in ruins now it is pinstakingly being restored. You cannot put into words the immense size! It was Kirk's desire to visit this country, the history and delectable food were just perfect. Tzaziki, brown olives, and lamb were scrumptious. The European's love their football (soccer); Kirk had to have a Greek soccer jersey and Italian soccer jersey with the added bonus of being able to watch it at any point on vacation. We walked all over Athens, even saw the riot police all geared up and ready for battle with the 20,000 folks carrying on in Syntagma Square. See the gathering where all those people are, that is a well. The water was cold and was a much needed free refreshment replenisher on such a hot and cloudless day.
24: Little Krista standing there amongst those tall columns Restoring this masterpiece in the exact way it was built is quite the undertaking, those individuals we saw working looked pretty intense about the job at hand.
25: R E S T O R A T I O N
26: Porch of Caryatids is found at the Acropolis, 421-406 B.C. | Erechtheion | This is the oldest site atop, built for Athena; there is restoration on the inside as we watched the restorers work. I imagine this is how an ant feels next to us. Ornate work surrounding each doorway and the size of the columns was puzzling to how much time it took to finish. Just to the left of this site there is a modern elevator for those that cannot reach the Acropolis on foot.
27: Out in the sea of buildings is our glorious hotel. (exiting the Acropolis) | New Acropolis Museum | Shingles | side of the Acropolis seen while exiting | The men excavating were visible through the glass flooring on the way in and inside the museum entrance.
28: STOA of ATTALOS | Ancient Mall, this was a cool place to get out of the sun; amazing at how much the marble decreased the temperature and felt as if it was air conditioned. Rebuilt in 1950 from the original of 159-138 B.C. by the American School of Classic Studies. It is 381 feet by 64 feet with 45 outer columns and 22 inner columns. It has 21 rooms that were once shops and have now become the museum section of the mall, as seen on this page.
29: The ancient bleachers were a welcoming site but unfortunately they wouldn't let us rest on them. Stadium seating of old. The building to the right we encountered on our way back to the hotel after our day of sightseeing; makes you feel right at home doesn't it? | We had lunch at a wayside cafe; grilled octopus, shrimp, calamari, potatoes, and the white grilled fish in the center is a mystery but was absolutely delicious. We asked for a large water and received 1.5 liters, took care of the thirst. | Walking around after lunch was an exciting adventure; we headed to the Temple of Zeus and after leaving that area we encountered riot police who were all geared up and ready to quiet the 20,000 folks that had gathered in Syntagma Square. We watched the news that night to catch what was happening because we didn't need to see first hand. The left picture is a group of port authority in Patra; but this was a typical scene throughout the visit in Greece. | Theater of Dionysus
30: Zues T e m p le | Traffic was horrendous, there were many times to get killed crossing the street! | Atop the Acropolis | Arch of Hadrian | Largest Temple in Ancient Greece; 700 years to finish in 131 A.D. 360 feet by 145 feet, there were 104 columns; now 15 remain. | Each column is 56 feet high
31: Florida Blue Bay Resort
32: Floriida Blue Bay was the only resort of the whole vacation: lounging by the sea and drinking a few cocktails to rid us of our day of train travel to arrive here in Psathopyrgos, Greece. Dropped off on a slab of concrete with a wall that was tagged in Greek; no directions other than our guess that the resort is near the sea. To the left hills and to the right--winding streets and a large Spanish Church as our meeting place for a taxi driver. Kirk tipped in American, almost thought the cabbie wasn't interested.
33: The Ionian Sea as a view of paradise; the water was a little chilly for us to take a dip but having our toes in the sand and shin deep in the Ionian was enough for us to enjoy a hot sunny day being lazy at poolside. Dinner was delicious with Greek salad and homemade spaghetti. | Relaxing in Paradise
34: Super Fast Ferries | lamb and rice with chocolate cake | Patra, Greece to Bari, Italy aboard in our own cabin for a luxurious ride across the sea; felt great being rocked to sleep. Great Shut Eye!!
36: Venice | May 29-31, 2010
38: Venice was a wonderful man made island to visit; foot or boat traffic, the only place that is definately not handicap accessible. Krista's favorite gelato was called Spagnola, flavorful with cherries that are grown only near Venice....needless to say this was the only place this gelato was found. Traveling on "Vaporetto's" (taxi) was very nice, quick way around the city when we were tired of being lost or traveling up and down the many water way passages to get back to our section of town. This is a tourist town and has been around for 400 years; the nice thing about being lost in this city is that it's an island and you can't get off. We didn't participate in an authentic Gondolier ride simply because it was more than $300 American. Wine comes with everything, absolutely delicious house wines; not so favorable in the ale department.
39: Santa Lucia | Roma Train Station | Hotel Moderno or otherwise known as Hotel Zecchini was our place to rest our bodies. Traveling from Santa Lucia Train Station, past the Nazereth Church, a few pastry and chocolate shops we found our hotel. Arriving in Venice May 29, 2010 on the last train onto the island. Settled in, changed our clothes, and sought out a nice restauraunt. We ordered squid spaghetti with cuttlefish; it looked like mud with rocks served over noodles!! Mud in the teeth while eating. | The Roma station was one of the busiest places we encountered; switching trains from our ride in from Bari to glorious Venice. We took the Eurostar on many different occassions which was a nice and clean environment to travel.
40: Stopping for breakfast | Brand new art, the very next day it had a glass enclosure. (as seen above). | Floating Restaurant | Lido
41: Rialto Bridge | We took a tour by vaporetto within 45 minutes listening to Rick Steve's commentary. | Rush Hour Traffic
42: St Mark's Square | The horses atop St Marks are replicas, the originals are inside and they are life size. Ornate decor inside and out bring out great impression of the lifestyle of those who lived during the times. Pigeons flew everywhere and the general rule was to walk as if it is not remotely on your mind. | Campanile
43: Doges Palace | The pillars of Doge's Palace have statues as part of their decor and the pillar Krista is resting her arm on tells a story. This story is of a man and woman meeting, falling in love, marrying, having a child, but tragedy strikes and takes the life of the child.. The story is told in the form of art sculpture. While visiting this area we were blessed to watch a new couple pledging their faith to one another, not a wedding but the pictures they were taking and using this as the backdrop, both in wedding attire.. | San Giorgio Maggiore | St Mark's
44: Inside Doges Palace | Built in the late 14th century, The Pink House-The Wedding Cake-The Tablecloth refer to this church and prison combo. We were not allowed to walk The Stairway of the Giants. | Stairway of the Giants | The Lion of St Mark is depicted on oil canvas but is redundantly seen throughout Venice; it's significance is strictly related to the Grimani Family giving 3 doges; their coat of arms emblem. This palace is filled with artwork yet again massive in size, adorned with marble throughout; between the marble and artwork it looked 3-D. | Lion of Saint Mark
45: Stairway of the Giants | This prison was used up til 1930, on the walls can be found drawings and writings of the incarcerated. They were given a wooden plank for a bed, a bucket for .... and a shelf ??? no idea why the shelf. | Mosquitos in Venice, we thought we left them in MN. | A far cry from any form of humanity, the courtyard top left was the view for some prisoners to have a room with a view. Doge's entire palace was a must see, Krista's favorite.
46: San Stae Chruch
47: Frari Church
48: Inside various churches we ventured, ornate sculptures made of every color of marble. No matter of what the exterior of the building the interior was breathtaking. | Bottom left, Church of Nazereth interior; we walked past this daily and not much to the exterior.
49: To the left in this picture we would walk to our hotel. Kirk is standing over the waterway bridge home to the taxi service of vaporetto's and the first bridge seen when walking out of Santa Lucia train station. | These tall rose colored lamps are all over the island.
51: Along the Grand Canal these buildings were used as canvases to show off businesses; also the facade is the only side of the building painted.
52: Doge Monument Giovanni Pessaro | Commercialized version of the Bridge of Signs
53: Built in 1230 and refinished in 1492 The Frari Church took us by surprise inside, as the Doge monument seen to the left is an example of the tombs that lie inside. Hallways, entrances, grand rooms are all littered with Murano Glass, such as the chandelier hanging from the ornately designed ceiling. | Authentic Italian Lasagna | We wondered aimlessly as times through the winding streets and found off the beaten path churches and studios with art exhibits. It was very nice to be in a city that the only traffic is feet traffic and the noises mainly heard were church bells. Coincidentally we ran into a couple from Minnesota. | Ceilings are never bare.
54: Our destination of adventure; as a gateway to Pompeii we left Venice a half a day early to be able to have an early start in the morning. Scenery is never a disappointment, there is always a new horizon with new new landscape around every mountain, hill, and volcano. We made ourselves comfortable with a trip to the hotel lounge and poured ourselves into luscious seating, ordered a cocktail, and topped off the rest of the night with great conversation.
55: Naples seemed to both of us a place where the unaware would be harmful to your safety. Arriving in the train station was very busy and full of organized chaos; stepping outside the doors of the train station brought to our attention that American tourists should stay in crowded touristy areas. The first day we arrived we followed a group of children escorted by two ladies who were so kind as to put us on a city bus to the Holiday Inn. We arrived and to our delight Monday's are not busy days; we were given a suite apartment on the 19th floor. As seen all the photos taken were from our private balcony. (not the traffic photos) Finally a room that had a queen sized bed, not two beds pushed together. | Positively speaking about the traffic conditions, we arrived at our hotel safely and to the train station safely. There is total chaos on the road, we didn't observe safe driving rules . The shanty town had a power source. The globe was a hub of business suits. The garage was so pitiful looking, but the view from our room is better rather than the view we had as we ran past the first night getting to the hotel.
56: Believe it or not; all the photos taken but one were taken from the balcony of our hotel room, can you guess which one? The odd one out was taken at Pompeii. Watching the sunset was amazing, with an unbelievable view of the Tyrrenhian Sea who would ever think of complaining? As the sun went down we noticed two lovers unable to control themselves, glad to see they went somewhere more private. We watched neighborhood boys play soccer in the business courtyard till dark, an adult game was going on down the street on a real field, and off to the distance there was some sort of church festival.
57: Mt Vesuvius
58: June 1, 2010 Hopped on the commuter train to the ruins from Naples,,, it took 25 minutes to travel with standing room we made it and met some very nice Australian women. Arriving at Scavi Station we disembarked making our way to the entrance; stopping long enough to pick up the pocket guide otherwise known as "the red book". With Rick Steve's guided tour of Pompeii down-loaded to the IPOD we headed to the entrance. Of course when the local guide was trying to drum up business he gave Krista the look of death when mentioning Rick Steve's...LOL... Not knowing what to expect when arriving the entire exca-vation site was absolutely stunning and flourishing with greenery. The temperature was a balmy 90 degrees and all the humidity you could ask for. Kirk expertly read the map and wound us through 95% of the ruins, of course spending six hours covers a lot of ground. We did find so much intact; frescoes, housing, artwork, and the city itself. It was destroyed by Vesuvius on August 24, 79 AD and buried under 20 to 22 feet of ash. Pompeii was a port city in its hayday; consisting of 20k residents, 40 bakeries, 30 brothels, 130 restaurants, bars, and hotels. Most of the buildings were made of ground marble stucco. | Porta Marina
59: Exiting the site | Port of Vesuvius
60: This group of 13 casted bodies was found in 1961, left to lie as found they are known as "The Garden of the Fugitives". | View #1 | Views 1 & 2 are connected, Krista stood in the road and snapped in both directions | Vesuvius 5 miles away
61: This is a vineyard behind the wall of the Garden of the Fugitives. | Mill | View #2
62: Temple of Apollo | Mosaic Tile | Arch of Caligola | House of the Large Fountain
63: Mosaic floors, colorful frescoes, sculptures, gardens, and every city would most certainly have their colosseum. This amphitheatre was built in 80 B.C., the oldest known. | Krista | Temple of Apollo | Fresco of Venus
64: Roma : Rome | June 2-5, 2010 | Victor Emmanuel Monument
65: The Roman Forums | Arriving in Rome we found the streets cornered off due to a celebration of 49 years of liberation, seen to the far left the Victor Emmanuel Monument to the Colosseum (about 1 mile) would normally be traffic heavy but today free to walk on the streets. Toured Palentine Hill, which is where the Roman Forums picture was taken from. Rain clouds loomed in the background but never formed. Our taxi driver was able to give us a mini-tour as we wound our way to St. Peter's Vacancy. (our B&B)
66: Spanish Steps | Fontana della Barcaccia 1627
67: Trajan's column 113 AD to the left, right is the Piazza Del Popolo, and below is a four person pedal bike. 7 hours of sight-seeing this day after the early start we had visiting the Vatican City had brought us to the conclusion that we were staying in; on the way back to the B&B we stopped at the local market and picked up dinner---fungi pizza (mushrooms) and beverages. Indulging ourselves of gelatto; spagnola and nutella flavors were most sinful! | Piazza di Spagna & Sullustian Obelisk looks over the square and the twelve flights of steps that lead to its top to the Church Trinita dei Monti, 1723. (left) From Termini Station in the cab ride over, this was the first site seen; of course the cabbie took us to all the sights to be seen with a little bit of history, which we paid for when we reached the B&B..not too expensive though. | Kirk is enjoying the view from Capitoline Hill overlooking the courtyard below.
68: The Vatican
69: Galleries, Chapels, Museums, Interim, Staircases, Atriums, Gardens, Sculptures, Libraries, and Towers fill the Vatican walls; 4 miles of art. It is a country all of its own within the city of Rome, smallest country in the world, 0.2 sq miles. | St Peter's Basilica | Was. that surround the Vatican City stretching for over 3 miles
70: This is the view we saw daily as we rounded the corner to the major thoroughfare (left). | 5,000 folding chairs to be used for mass, the ledge seen right in the center of the pillars is where the Pope emerges to be seen by the congregation. Previous page showing the front view, was designed 1937; we had lunch on this street.
71: Curiosity of what is considered sacred in other cultures. The two mummies laid to rest were adorned with jewelry. Some of the jewelry made in the 5000 BC and 10000 BC were incredible, the ornate artisan crafted these with the tools of the trade of their time, magnifying glasses were set up for the gazer of today to look at the finished design on a canvas as small as your pinky nail with curved dimensions. Armor and weapons of 3 million years ago was proudly displayed as young as 170 AD. The doors crafted for this dwelling were 12ft tall with head room to spare, amazing.
72: Pius-Clementine Museum as part of the Statue Gallery. | Perseus holding Medusa's head | Founded in 1839 these rooms contain monuments and artefacts of ancient Egypt partly from Rome, Tivoli, and from private collections,. The Popes’ interest in Egypt was connected with the fundamental role by the Sacred Scripture in the History of Salvation. The Museum occupies 9 rooms.
73: Gregorian Egyption Museum | Krista's fascination with the culture and artwork overtakes her senses! | Era of collection dates 2600 BC to 200 AD
74: It is entirely too hard to describe what is seen inside this church, so to speak, how can one put to words that the artwork displayed on walls, floors, and most importantly in any area that is above the head. Our roommates from the B&B, who are women from Hong Kong, were visiting the Vatican the same afternoon we were. Only one of the gals spoke English, very nice group. Walking to home through the tunnels we were lucky enough to have music playing, what we thought was a CD through a speaker system turned out to be a young man playing Metallica on his guitar and singing into a microphone of his own...talented!!!
75: Gallery of Maps | The geography depicted on each map was grossly in error, where the artist thought a location should reside that is where it was drawn.
76: The Vatican is the home of the Sistene Chapel; very sacred room and is treated as such; we quietly admired Michelangelo's frescoes in the dimly lit room. Turned on Rick Steve's commentary, cranked our necks and was awed by the knowledge of its creation. 1508-1512
77: Marble of every color was as far as you could see, life size monuments with detail that is mesmerizing. Krista's favorite color is green marble, Kirk didn't have a favorite just marveled in them all. The door to the right is one of hundreds of frescoes carved into the heavy wood. The iron door center-bottom of page is only opened every 25 years on christmas. Not sure why, ritual? The confessional below is so large you could move in and live comfortably. St Peters Basilica housed The Tomb of the Pope's, as seen lower left page. Kirk stated often that the artwork was too much.
79: Arch of Constantine and Roman Colosseum | Hopped a bus to the Coloseo (opened in 80 AD) enjoyed people watching, a meal of Linguine and Pesto, and ended the day with a walk along the Tiber. Lazily walking along Kirk was approached by a fellow and asked if he was Krista's bodyguard (LOL). 80 degrees and a light breeze we strolled hand in hand, stopping and going at our leisure.....wonderful location and not a cloud in the sky to suggest rain on this day.
80: Dramatic Entrance | Uphill from the National building we wound through narrow streets and found this treasure amongst spray- painted garages. Purchasing the Roma Pass was smart, the line to get in was at least 2 hours long; with the pass we strolled right to the front like we were special visitors and started enjoying the site. | Fire Drill at the top
81: Flavian Amphitheater, known as the area inside that housed the spectators and the gladiatros. Seen in the photos to the left , the gladiators lived there; bottom right is where the prisoners and animals were held prior to their debut in the arena. Discussing the fate of the contestants, how intimidating it must have been hearing 50,000 voices were cheering for death; sad really. The "festival" would last 100 days with so much bloodshed of more than 11,000 deaths of animals and humans that purfume was sprayed often to mask odors. | World's first domed stadium in its hayday. | The parade that afternoon forced the closure of streets which made site-seeing so much easier; of course we were given a lesson on paying for a cab ride from this interesting friendly fellow from Oslo, Norway...."always have exact change for everything".
82: Courtyard of Palazzo Nuovo at Musei Capitolini Capitoline Museum | Fountain of Marforio | Venus | Michelangelo's creation in 1536 | Reliefs 221 B.C. to 1453 A.D.
83: June 2, 2010 Today is the 49th year of Rome's Liberation, missing the epic parade by two hours. We stumbled upon this museum after visiting the Coloseum, The Forums, and Palentine Hill. Many exhibits were on loan from around the world; paintings and sculptures that would only be seen in their native land.....very lucky to find this gem of a museum. | One corner of the museum displayed a sizemograph, an active piece of equipment monitored daily. The amount of museum tourist traffic is recorded and the information is used to decide how much shifting and safety there is in the building to protect the sculptures on display. | Capitoline Galation 241-197 B.C. | Bronze of Constantine
84: Roma Fountains | Fontana del Tritone in Piazza Bernini, 1663
85: Piazza Navona | Fountain of the Four Rivers, 1651 | To the left of the Bernini building, we found the Capuchin Crypt; unable to take photos of this unbelievable type of artwork. Picture frames, clocks, fire-places, chandeliers, beds, windows, patterns on walls made out of the bones of more than 4,000 monks. We purchased the book in order to be believed. There was a woman laying outside of this crypt in a torn and weathered looking wrap with a boy in her arms looking to be 7 years of age, however, she claims she was poor but the young man she was holding was in a very white t-shirt, jeans, and leather shoes in pretty good shape. Actually everywhere we traveled there were beggars, we assume that when foreigners visit America they see similar behavior.
86: Baths of theDiocletion at Piazza Esedra, 298 AD | This building is very deceiving from the outside, some of the most beautifully sculpted artwork are inside.
87: The fountain to the left looks rather enormous until it is in front of a building that is enormous, as seen above, picture of the same fountain. | In this piazza there were flower sellers always trying to earn a buck, one came up to us and tried handing Krista a flower saying it was a gift while asking for money at the same time....Kirk wasn't having any of it. | Piazza del Popolo as onlookers stand on Pincian Hill | 1793
88: Fontana Di Trevi | 1751
89: With map in hand we walked for hours throughout the city streets, ambiance flooding our senses. Rain clouds loomed for many hours before pouring down, running down a vendor for an umbrella wasn't difficult. We sat down under a tent at a restaurant across from the Four Rivers Fountain, enjoying a half liter of wine; watching all the makeshift flea market sellers scrambling to cover all the touristy souvenirs was quite entertaining. After the hour long shower we were off. Everything sculpted was never designed to be of normal size, it would seem, working with beautiful marble and intricate detail was mesmerizing at every turn. Completely impossible to take a poor photograph! Thinking back to when we were in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace December of 2008, Krista was wondering why the entire length of the ceiling was painted in the fashion it was with blue skies and fluffy white clouds. However, that question came full circle when those very visions were seen and she stated the realization how well they captured that vision. The Trevi Fountain was happened upon, we were trying to find our way there on the map and we were not having any luck; so we decided to keep walking and just sightsee, just so happens a large group was gathering in an area so we thought we will see what everyone is doing.......look what we found. Surrounded by couples it just made you want to snuggle, something to be said to be with your mate in Roma! | The meal directly to the left was our last on this trip....sad but yet we were exhausted. Sitting outside the Colosseum watching the traffic and the passersby was always entertaining. This day we rode the public bus system, we had a Roma Pass but didn't purchase a city bus pass...however a local stated that we were tourists and they rarely check to see if we are using one. Kirk was spent at the end of this day. Enough sightseeing!
90: Obelisks are found throughout Rome, Piazza's are plentiful, and so are the areas of exchange. In any area such as featured on these pages you will have no trouble trying to obtain cash, however the buyer's market is great.....each one is trying to give the best rate. The best rate we found was at the airport in Chicago, for every dollar we recieved 0.85 euro. Also found in these areas are pigeons, the best advice we heard regarding the droppings was that if it landed in your hair let it dry so it's easier to remove, if landing on you any-where else..feel free to remove.
92: The Ruins of Basilica of Maxentius Constantine constructed this found in the Roman Forums 308 AD | This formidable structure was once a great aqua duct through Roma, now it stands as meeting place for students and as seen below it is being used as a rock concert arena. | Basilica's otherwise known as "halls of imperial baths"
93: Palantine Hill
94: Castel Sant' Angelo | 130AD | Archangel Michael | This fortress really is one large mausoleum today, at one time it was a prison and one the bloodiest wars Rome has known, The Gothic War. It was a pivotal location as a defense for the Vatican and is connected to the Vatican as elevated passage. Standing before the Archangel and looking in 360 degrees, the view are absolutely stunning! We had gelatto in this museum area as well, who wouldn't? | While visiting and standing catching a fantastic view, we couldn't fathom the immense size of the statues that embossed the bridge. Imagining what this looked like prior to civilization as we know it today, one can only assume that it was mesmerizing! Located on the Tiber River it is full of stairs and walkways.
96: These marble sculptures are found in the Vatican | Unsure as to the story behind so many horses being attacked by lions, but they were flawless and color- ful. Many of the same type of artworks were in Greece depicting the horses demise. "The Animal Room" was so full it was over- whelming with all kinds of animals made of marble.
97: Too bad the parks and the city streets here at home do not have this intensity in them. No modern tools to create this, the ambition to eat was a great motivator.
98: We had this hidden gem of a restaurant to ourselves for the better part of an hour. They would bring out pizza after pizza, the aroma was salivating, and we enjoyed every moment. Krista kept taking pictures of pizza, when one of the owners came out and invited her to cut the first pizza and Kirk was instructed to take a picture, what an honor! We found this place by complete accident, we wanted out of Piazza Popolo and the first exit out was to walk between Santa Maria Maricoli & Santa Maria in Montesanto. Strolling through the street this young man handed us a flyer (right), we said what the heck and went; it was down an alley, which we would have never walked down. | The Oyster family visited Rome about 2 weeks after we did, we suggested that they try this place, unfortunately they didn't experience the same atmosphere we had...they hit lunch hour. | Pizza in Italy is nothing Americans associate with it. No pepperoni, light sauces; lots of vegetables, whole pieces of cheese and stone fired almost everywhere.
99: Santa Maria dei Maricoli & Santa Maria in Montesanto | Bulls were all over the city
100: Pantheon | Pistachio gelatto was deliciously enjoyed before entering this temple. The Meridian Line (seen left 2nd photo over); lines the floor and is made of gold. It gives the day of the year, solstices, and clock time throughout the world. This is found in a church nearby the Pantheon. | While in Rome we did listen to Rick Steve's audio tours, read his books for all of our locations, and they were a tremendous help. Each had tips and maps, that was a useful tool when trying to sightsee and avoid getting lost. Thank goodness for cabs and public transportation, which was so easy to use.
101: This place is interesting, the dome at the top is open; if it rains then it rains inside, the floor is sloped so it can drain. There is a span of 142 feet from floor to the dome, the open area across is 30 feet. Upper left the sun comes through that hole and shines on the floor; on the floor the days of the year are there, lights up the spot for the day of the year it is.......guess this day said June 3, 2010. This dome is the inspiration for the Vatican & Washington DC's; built in 27 B.C. it was dedicated to all the gods.
102: Arch of Septimius Severus, 203 AD | The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina
103: Kirk stated that the Roman Forums as a must see! The above statue right was close to the bathrooms just off to the side, barely anyone noticing it. | Caesar is buried here, matter of fact, to my right, not seen in this photo is his burial ground, it is covered with fresh flowers and a fire burns.... On any building you can find the story of their history as found sculpted or painted, just as these tell a story of a campaign between two houses. Hercules and Mars are mentioned, as it were, sculpted. (Arch) This was visited the first day of our visit to Rome. Storm clouds loomed overhead, but the 3 hours we strolled through this large museum we lost all concern for rain and enjoyed history.
104: The bowl can seat 40 people comfortably
105: Temple of Vesta, 191 AD | Thoughts were that virgins of Rome brought to this temple the spoils of war, specifically Troy
108: Authentic restaurant around the corner from the B&B; no one spoke English and the menu was in Italian....the food was so very DELICIOUS! This many days in and Kirk says, "Maybe I should learn to like wine, it is sooooo much cheaper than any beer I would like to drink".
109: Our last night in Italy, sitting in an Irish pub just a couple blocks from our B&B; funny thing is no Irish owner nor does anyone speak English. However, many US license plates mounted to the wall (as seen behind us) and the alcohol served was imported (Irish refreshments) with little local variety. After returning to the B&B Krista spent the next couple of hours chatting with the girlfriend of the owner, Anna from Philadelphia, she was getting ready to go back after being in Italy for the last 6 months. Joseph (owner) dropped us off at the Fiumicino Airport, gave Krista an Italian kiss and we were off to our 10 hour plane ride to home. Arriving back in the states with feet swollen and no sleep for 22 hours, it's 9PM and there is a 3 hour drive home...........but with thoughts of the most wonderful vacation fresh in our minds it was a quick ride. Krista slept, Kirk drove. | St Peter's Vacancy Via della Cava Aurelia, 183-00165 Roma Packed and ready to head back to America, our host at the B&B taxied us to the airport. Wonderful location!