Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rome - need I say more?

So it took forever to find our accommodation, a bed and breakfast in Della Radio Palazza.  The numbering system was very confusing in the Palazza which was one reason why we had trouble, the other reason was we thought we were looking for a hotel.  Our B & B was about five rooms in an apartment inside an apartment building.  The people running it don't live on site so I thought it was pretty lucky that they turned up to look for us about 2 minutes after we pushed the button on the street outside to be let in.  Breakfast was packaged crossaints and precooked toast - ummmm weird!

We headed straight out to explore, first to St Peters which was very impressive and the queue moved quickly and the four hotdogs we had while in line cost 18 euros!  Unfortunately we thought the line into St Peters was the line into the Vatican city to view the Sistine Chapel so when we came out and relised our error we raced off to find the entrance to the Vatican.  Double unfortunately it was closed - we had missed it by an hour.

St Peters
So we decided to walk from the Vatican across the river and to see Navona Palazza where famous fountains are and then to the Pantheon; the resting place of Raphael and then finally to De Trevi fountain (where every tourist in Rome had decided to spend the evening aswell!)  The Palazza was great because there was a lady blowing the largest bubbles in the world and the kids raced around popping them and getting covered in soapy liquid.  There are horse and carriages racing around and the sound of the hooves clip-clopping on the cobbled streets is great.
Navona Palazza

The Pantheon was quite amazing.  The dome was enormous and I never did find out if the opening at the very top was glass or open.  I suspect that Rome doesn't get enough water to actually make it an issue and when it does rain they probably just mop it off the marble floor.  We ate in the square outside the Pantheon (it is our most expensive meal yet and we only ordered two mains).

The Pantheon

The fountain De Trevi was pretty amazing all lit up, but the bloody tourists everywhere made it almost impossible to get a good photo!  Next time I think we better put an advert in the paper to let them know when we will be needing

Infront of the crowded De Trevi

As we walked through Rome we would come across drinking fountains (which never stop running with cold clean water) and we would fill our drink bottle.  The kids would put their heads under the running water to cool off and drink freely.  They were an absolute Godsend because Rome is just so hot and dry.  At the end of the day we were standing on a hill overlooking the city and as we were doing our ritual at the fountain, a local showed us that to drink from the spout instead of drinking from underneath you block the spout with your finger and a little stream squirts out the top making it so easy to drink!  How chuffed we felt at the next fountain knowing how the locals drink from the spouts!

What a laugh for us to walk down the steps from where we were at the top to discover they were the famous Spanish Steps!  We had decided not to include the Spanish Steps in our tour of Rome, but am happy to include them afterall.  So at half past nine at night, having walked the children for miles, we caught a taxi back to our B & B and we all slept like logs!

The next day we raced off to the Vatican, but not before all the other tourists planning to visit and so stood in line for an hour chatting to three Canadian's who were on a cruise.  We took the most direct route to the Sistine Chapel that we could, but still had to walk forever through room after room, corridor after corridor, but it was worth it.  The frescos and elaborate decorated rooms and corridors were out of this world, there is nothing to compare them to.  Kathryn was impressed, Dylan ... not so much.

A random room in the Vatican

So then we caught a taxi off to the Colosseum which needless to say is MAMMOTH!  I knew it was going to be big, but seriously!  I was really intrigued by the mechanics of the pulley system they had for moving animals and trees etc from underground to the surface.  We wandered around, dying in the heat, took some photos and I must look like a "safe" person because I was asked a few times to take photos of people with their cameras.

By the time we left the Colosseum, actually before we left, the children had made it loud and clear that they were hot, tired, hungry, needing to go toilet, and had sore feet.  We didn't do the Forum as planned.

Next blog Greece.