I was missing you as I woke up the last morning of our trip. The romance of your light and historical monuments plus the idiosyncrasies of your history, people and art will resonate with me. The abundance of tasty things to eat and drink at reasonable prices was a constant thrill. Walking around your streets for nearly 8 hours a day for 6 days straight was not enough to see all you had to offer. The seagull sitting on the head of the Moor in Bernini’s fountain above illustrates your past and present, and simply makes me smile.
In the days leading up to the trip I had an idea of what we would see but what made me put on a different thinking cap was a bag of pretzels on Alitalia.
It doesn’t matter whether the story is true but leave it to the Italians to add some romance to a bag of pretzels.
Once we arrived at Fiumicino Airport we took the Leonardo Express train into Rome for 14 euros. If you can manage your luggage and have patience it’s a good travel option. If not, jump in a cab for 48 euros. There are also buses. From the train station, Termini, we walked to our hotel Villa Spaletti Trivelli. It is a marvelous hotel located in the Quirinale area near the President’s Palace.
It was only 10 am when we checked in so we ate a big breakfast and went for a walk. The walk turned into a 3 hour tour where we saw half of the famous sites of Rome. Really. Because bf has been to Rome several times he would suggest going to see this just around the corner, or if we walk this way we may see that. I was so happy to be there I couldn’t say no.
Our first day we saw:
-Piazza Navona with two fountains designed by Bernini: Fountain of the Four Rivers and Fountain of the Moor (because the main figure resembled a Moor to someone at the time). Also home to a large Christmas market with a carousel and Santa, his sleigh and a reindeer ready for a portrait. Santa Agnes designed by Borromini (a rival of Bernini’s) anchors the piazza on one side.
-the Spanish Steps
-Campo de’ Fiori. Home to outdoor fresh vegetable and food market that fills up the piazza.
-Bernini’s Elephant sculpture with an obelisk on top, outside Santa Maria sopra Minerva just behind the Pantheon. There are 11 obelisks in Rome out of 29 known in the world!
-Palazzo Barberini. Home to 3 of 22 Caravaggio paintings in Rome. We saw 21. Also home to La Fornarina by Raphael, c. 1518-1520, a portrait of his suspected mistress Margherita Luti, daughter of a bread baker