Saturday, September 4, 2010

Rome: The Real Thing, Day One

Rome is off to a good start. My plane arrived on time. My driver was waiting outside customs. My hotel room was ready early. Couldn’t ask for more. Okay, I asked that the high speed Internet in my room work, as promised, but so far that hasn’t happened. I’m in the lobby until they get that taken care of. I spent an hour on the phone with tech support this morning, believe it or not. What a silly way to spend time my first morning in Rome.

I’m just back from a long walk. I got lost. A lot. I got blisters. Already. Apparently my walking sandals are made for the cushy suburban streets of Delmar, not Roman cobblestone. Could be a long ten days for my tootsies.

First I happened upon Largo Argentina, which includes the remains of four ancient Roman temples and is the spot where Julius Cesar was murdered. It’s overrun with cats now. See the little while kitty in the one photo below. That’s for Olivia. She wanted to see.

On the way to Campo di'Fiori I passed two Missionaries of Charity, who spotted a homeless man and stopped to give him food and talk to him ever so gently.

From there I wandered in circles for a bit until I found Campo di’Fiori, where I was able to buy the pizza bianco that I talked about in my food post. That’s me holding my pizza from Il Forno below. I took it to a little park and sat and ate it among Romans there with kids and grandchildren and boyfriends and girlfriends.

Then I tried to find Via Julia and found Ponto Sisto instead. The photo below is taken from the bridge over the Tiber. You can see the dome of St. Peter’s in the background. As I took this photo, a young man nearby was playing Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” on the accordion. It was a bit surreal.

Finally I worked my way back to Piazza Farnese and, eventually, Piazza Navona where I took pictures of the fountains, of course. I was going to stop for gelato but decided to come back to the hotel to cool off and change shoes. Here's Piazza Navona:

Unfortunately all but one church I tried to visit was closed for siesta by the time I got there. I forgot. It feels like 10 p.m. to me since I haven’t slept, so my schedule is way off. I’ll try again later or tomorrow. Now it's off for a little more rest before I head out to see the Pantheon and find some dinner. A domani.


Dennis Poust said...

Beautiful photos. So glad you're safe. Great seeing you on Skype this morning. Enjoy. We're there in spirit. Take notes so you can be the tour guide when we all go next time! Ciao il mio amore.

Fran said...

Oh my gosh, I continue to get all teary-eyed! I am reminded of my own Roman journeys as I read about and pray for yours.

Got lost? I never did anything but that in Rome!!

I remember the cats... and even as a cat-lover, I remember the attending odor that lingered near that place.

And the pizza... ahhhh.

Buon viaggio Maria! (I am taking to calling you Maria while you are in Rome!)

Tricia said...

wonderful photos! "Domani" became my favorite word there -- everyone used it! Should have warned you about the walking; even with sneakers I had blisters. Just keep rotating shoes and put your feet up when you can. Piazza Navone is amazing - we bought some real artwork (not prints) there from a very interesting guy. And the cats -- yes, so cool. If you go over to the other side where there are steps, you can walk down part way. It's where the volunteers go to feed them. Many of the cats will come up to be petted there.

Anonymous said...

So impressed that you're making this journey all by yourself!! Not sure I'd have the chutzpah to do it!