Saturday, August 28, 2010

In Rome you will never go thirsty

Rome day 2
We decided to take to the streets and alleyways through Piazza Navona, past the Pantheon, walk through all the tourist at Trevi fountain and made our way to the Spanish Steps.
Piazza Navona is beautiful, it is surrounded by a Palace (now the Brasil embassy or something like that) and other amazing buildings. In the centre there are 3 fountains made from white marble that are just spectacular, I think this piazza would have to be one of my favourites. Also the little cafes on the way to the Piazza Navona from our apartment are just gorgeous and not expensive at all 1.50 euro for cappuccino. We enjoy sitting and having a coffee at the quaint cafes. Unlike in Tuscan cafes we have not had to pay to sit at a table here in Rome. And we have stayed away from the cafes in the tourist squares they are at least 100% dearer than ones in the next street. All you need in Rome is a good map with all the Street names.
The Pantheon is under construction at the moment with quite a bit of scaffolding around the front of it. The Piazza in front of it has a pretty fountain and some nice restaurants and cafes. We walked down one of the streets past a lollypop and gelati shop the boys were treated with a large lollypop each for behaving themselves in the morning. There were lollypops in the shape of feet, ice creams, faces, some had paintings of buildings and the pope on them. The shop was full of American tourists buying ice cream.
After the lollypop shop we headed towards the Trevi Fountain, we found a galleria that we could go through with air conditioning to get to the fountain behind it. This was lovely after walking in the sun for quite a while.
The Trevi (fontana di Trevi) has always been one of the places I have wanted to see for myself. It is spectacular and large. Made out of the white marble used for many of the monuments here in Italy it is also somewhere that people discover for the first time that the water spouting out is from a natural spring and very cold. You will see people in the corner of the fountain filling up water bottles with the cool spring water and drinking from the spouts (using their hands). We decided to pour the water out from our bottles and fill them up too, nice and cool and refreshing, tastes good too. We soon found out that the water from the tap in the apartment was the same. Even the toilet cisterns have condensation on them from the cold water.
There are fountains and taps available all over the city for free use.
We found many people going in the same direction as us towards the Spanish Steps and decided that we would just follow them. When we arrived at the steps we found that there were many people there, but not for the steps for the water fountain in front. They were lapping up the cold water like it was going to disappear. Back to the steps , well they lead up to a church and from the church there is a wonderful view over Rome. There were some African merchants trying to sell handbags on the steps but they were the only ones I have seen in the 5 days we have been in Rome. There are also Indian merchants selling roses and paper umbrellas and fans. I am glad I am used to being in the heat of Queensland.
After the Spanish Steps we headed to McDonalds for lunch the boys loved it and it was cheaper than in Florence. McDonalds is a great place to use the toilets.
After McDonalds we decided to walk to the Colosseum and join the queue outside. It took about 30 minutes and the tickets cost 12 euros each (only EU children under 18 are free). So keep that in mind if you are planning a trip to Europe and you are able to get EU passports through family members before you leave. There are also free days for EU citizens.
Our walk through the colosseum was interesting and we ran out of camera battery. The work that went into the colosseum was amazing and well worth visiting.
We went into the Palatino on our way back to the apartment as it was part of the Colosseum ticket. The Palatino is a large garden with many ruins in it. We only explored a quarter of it and were a bit too tired to go an further so we headed back to the apartment.
After 6 hours of walking in the heat we went back to the apartment and cooked pasta and made salad for dinner. We also went to bed quite early. We were totally worn out and needed rest for the our Pompeii (they spell it with only 1 I here) tour the next day.

2 comments:

Jon and Kirsty Van Itallie said...

I remember a day like this for me...way back in 98! Sounds so fun. My highlight of Rome.....a dusk walk by the river Tiber and finding the watermelon vendors who cut you a big chunk of fresh, cold melon for cheap! We ate it looking out over that amazing city. Glad you are having a great time and doing so much exploring:)

Jon and Kirsty Van Itallie said...

I remember a day like this for me...way back in 98! Sounds so fun. My highlight of Rome.....a dusk walk by the river Tiber and finding the watermelon vendors who cut you a big chunk of fresh, cold melon for cheap! We ate it looking out over that amazing city. Glad you are having a great time and doing so much exploring:)