Thursday 10 September 2015

Exploring Roma! 7th - 9th September 2015


7 - 10th September
We fly into Rome for three days.

Monday 7th 
We departed from Brisbane on Sunday 6th at 12:15 pm. After about 32 hours of travelling, and only a few hours of sleep we arrived in Roma!
We thought that we'd lost our walking poles on arrival in Rome, Patrick lined up at the lost baggage counter while I checked again, and I finally found them on the sporting goods shelf! 
We bought tickets for the train to Stazione Termini 15€ each.
Arrived at Domus Augusta at about 11:45 Monday. The hotel is only 2 blocks away from the termini, in an interesting area. 
Colourful Vespas for hire! I'm definitely not tempted to brave the Roman roads!

Lovely markets outside our hotel every day
We had planned to have a short afternoon snooze, then go out for dinner... But, we didn't wake up so missed dinner!

It's going to take some time to adjust to the time zone, I woke up at 3 am, couldn't get back to sleep, so we got up at 6 am and found a local bar for coffee. Then headed off to the Colosseo nice and early, caught the metro there. Really easy, close to our hotel, and you get off the metro and look straight at the Colosseo!
Was lovely to wander around and try to take in the amazing structures and history without huge crowds early in the morning, plus a bonus of no long line up for tickets!
So much history, violence and architecture to contemplate...

Our entrance tickets to the Colesseo also cover Palatine Hill and the Forum
View of the forum from Palentine hill

The gardens of the Vestal virgins had some beautifully scented roses.

Patrick wasn't quick enough to avoid the Gladiators... They pounced while we were in a daze from walking around the forum, and before we knew it they were posing and put a helmet on his head! Then they wanted 40€ we said NO, and gave them 5€ ...
Wonderful lunch! pranzo! Luckily found this wonderful place not far from the Trevi fountain, Osteria del Legegno  full of locals having lunch and fantastic food! Definitely not a cheap Osteria, but delicious, great service and atmosphere.

The Trevi fountain was dry and closed off!  I would have been so sad to travel all this way and find it like this, if I hadn't already seen in with water flowing in all its splendour last trip to Roma.

Love the way water fountains are on almost every street corner! Very refreshing
We explored the Leonardo machines exhibit, on display were hundreds of his drawings, diagrams and real working models of his machines! Amazing!!

Patrick had to test out the working models
Quite a few little electric cars around Roma.

Up bright and early again, metro to Vatican museum, I'd booked an early morning tour with Dark Rome on the net at home before we left, as one of the other tours I wanted to go on was fully booked  6 weeks before the dates we had available, ended up it was also run by a company called City Wonders. (think it's cheaper to book direct with City Wonders, just a little tip) So glad we joined an early tour! no lines, no crowds. Interesting chat and explanations about the various parts of the Vatican museum and Sistine chapel. 
OMG I've joined a group tour! Yikes!

So many ancient artworks and sculptures. Our guide , Allessandeo was great.

The Raphael room, amazing colours details and historical, quirky information!

The map hallway is incredible, apparently they're 85 % accurate!

The guards are very strict now about no photos in the Sistine Chapel (so no photos of this amazing chapel)

Had lunch at end of tour, at the Vatican Pizzeria,  then Patrick decided he'd had enough, and left to wander downtown, while I continued to explore, and go to St Peters Basilica. It was closed during the morning as the Pope was present and giving an address. I went back through some sections of the Vatican Museum and through Sistine chapel and waited for 5 minutes... Very packed crowd now! Then went through into St Peters Basilica, it just opened about 1:00 as the Pope had given his Wednesday audience earlier today. the Basilica is lovely, (but not my favourite Italian church)
I met a couple who got married, they were trying to take a 'selfie' so I offered to take some photos 

  I went down into the popes' crypt

I decided to buy the 5€ ticket to walk up all 521 steps to the top of the cupola, definitely worthwhile! Amazing views inside the dome of the basilica, then onwards up ever narrowing stairs to the top of the outside of the dome, got a little claustrophobic towards the top!

with magnificent views over Vatican Gardens! 
And views over the square toward the River Tiber and the city!

View of the sculptures on the top of the Vatican Museam from behind!
The Swiss Guards. Much more intimidating up close, they all must be about 6"5'

Met Patrick at Sant Angelo Pont, then wandered around the city...
Through the he Campo de Fiore 
Around the atmospheric old city streets,

we then went somewhere a little different, the Capuchin monastery 
  1. The Capuchin Crypt is a small area with several tiny chapels located beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini on the Via Veneto near Piazza Barberini in Rome, It contains crypts decorated with amazing, intricate detail using around 3,700 skeletons!

Bones, amazing artwork with the remains of monks skeletons... No photos. These are from the website

Dinner last night in Rome after sorting out our washing at the local lavanderia , 8 € for wash and dry + beautifully folded!
Dinner at Meid in Nepols. Antipasto was mixed chef choice seafood...and  Yummy ricotta stuffed zucchini flowers . Then Patrick had gnocchi with saffron, I had aubergine - eggplant parmigiana... A Conti (vegetables)  but all I needed after the delicious and generous antipasti!
Here's the wood fire inside the Meid in Nepols.

Accommodation: Domus Augusta. 
Domus Augusta
Via Milazzo 42
Central Station
00185 Rome
Description:  Phone: +390644704320 

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