Tag Archives: Trevi Fountain

Rome in Winter

10 Feb

Even if it happened every day, I hope I would still experience the same thrill that accompanies turning a corner and seeing Rome’s Coliseum.  An antiquity of enormous proportion and history, it rests comfortably within Rome’s modern world.

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as does its neighbor, the Roman Forum.

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Amidst the much-needed restoration, and the winter tourists, and after taking the requisite photos, I took time to sit on a wall and ponder just how these were built and what life was like so long ago. True marvels.

And then there are the churches of Rome. Each one is a museum, housing more art than many towns and cities around the world. One among many is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

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I came to Rome to visit Benita. What a perfect excuse to visit Italy for a week. While she was in class, my first day was filled with monuments, piazzas, and yes, walking in my grandfather’s footsteps. At the very end of Via Veneto, across from Harry’s Bar, is the Grande Hotel Flora, where he stayed for five nights in August of 1938. (More on his time there when I get to those letters.)  It is now owned by Marriott, and fortunately, they have been very attentive to the history and original detail of the hotel.

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I met Baiba, the Sales Manager, and she willingly showed me around the hotel as she listened to the story of Alex’s journey. She showed me some rooms and we wondered which he might have stayed in.

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One of the hotel’s best features is the rooftop lounge which provides a 360 panorama of Rome. Whether overlooking Borghese Gardens or steeples around Rome, the view is breathtaking. I promised Baiba that Len and I would come for a sunset drink next time in Rome.

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Other notables along my walk included Piazza di Spagna, where the fountain at the base of the steps is under major reconstruction.

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Nonetheless, the Spanish Steps are always one of my favorites and the place where fellow students and I met Dustin Hoffman many years ago. Really.

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Len, this is for you… The Ferrari Shop.

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Early evening, I waited at Piazza Cavour to meet Benita. What an amazing sunset, and so happy to be off my feet.

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We decided to start with apertivi, an Italian tradition.IMG_1456

And then took an evening stroll to the Vatican

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Castel Sant’ Angelo

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The PantheonIMG_1470

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And finally, an archeological dig.

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We walked to a favorite restaurant for dinner only to find it closed for remodeling, so we found another filled with locals. We ended the evening with gelato. Certo!

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The next day, Friday, while Benita was in class, I walked around Monte Mario, the town I had lived in as a student so long ago. Memories. Later at the hotel, I met the most amazing couple, Italian born and living in Basel, he a geneticist/researcher, both with incredible stories to tell.

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We literally spoke for hours, mostly in Italian, exchanged contact information, and might possibly meet in Cortona or Basel sometime. Giovanna, you would have been proud. I can’t tell you how helpful my Italian classes have been; and how very rewarding for me to be able to speak to people I might otherwise never have met.

That night, I took Benita and several of her friends to Navona Notte for dinner…a most enjoyable evening and very reminiscent of my time as a student in Rome.

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After dinner, we parted company with the girls as Benita and I were staying in town that night. We wandered over to Piazza Navona and headed to a place near and dear to me, Tre Scalini, where my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary. Fortunately, they had brought their children/spouses along to join in the celebration. In honor of them, and my sibs, we ordered il tartufo! Just think chocolate…lots of it!

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Finally, we made our way to the Trevi, never to be overlooked if one wants to return to Rome.IMG_1489

With Benita’s long arms, we managed a selfie and I tossed a coin in the fountain. Benita had already tossed hers three weeks ago.

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Exhausted, in a very good way, we headed to our hotel near Termini, as we would leave for Cortona via train early the next morning. As we neared our hotel, Rome was nearly asleep.

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An incredible day!

Ciao,

Judy

Roma

8 Jun

Just returned from four busy days in Roma. If you love large cities, and perhaps even not, Rome is always amazing. Around each corner waits a surprise, often of unbelievable proportion. Imagine walking down the street, turning the corner, and seeing the Coliseum and Arch of Constantine.

Look to your right and the Forum and Palatine Hill await you.

BNG: Forum

BNG: Forum

Another day, you cross the Tiber River en route to Vatican City and all of its treasures, my very favorite always being Michelangelo’s Pieta.

Pieta

Swiss guard

BNG: Vatican

In between Trattorias, fountains and bustling piazzas, you make your way to the Pantheon, and wonder in amazement just how they managed to build it with a hole in the center.

BNG: Pantheon

Whether day or night in Roma, you make your way to the Trevi Fountain and throw in a coin, if of course, you hope to return! Not leaving anything to chance, we stop by day and night. As legend has it, late at night for many years a man cleaned out all the coins in the fountain. Eventually, the Italian tax man came calling!

Trevi by day

Trevi at night

In Rome, our cast of characters changed. Michael left for the US after a great vacation and our friends Sandy and Larry joined us. In addition, Sarah’s parents met up with us in Rome and now for a few days, we are all in Cortona.

Cortona Pizzeria

Will respond soon to all the comments I’ve received lately…love hearing from you!

Ciao!

Judy

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