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and life along the winding road

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Piazzas and Castles - Rome, Italy

It's difficult to describe my first impression of Rome, but amazing comes to mind. Around every corner, there is evidence of an older Rome. Perhaps a hole in the ground with columns, the remnants of a building where Julius Caesar was murdered, or part of a Roman wall with houses built either side. Because Rome has been built over and over again raising the city level, below the ground they continue to find treasures.

Part of the Roman city wall 

We arrived in Rome a day before our Trafalgar Tour began and spent a day and a half traipsing around back streets, coming across hidden Piazzas (Piazza Navona was a wonderful surprise. You can see pictures on Wordsplash.) Each fountain in Rome is fed by a single aqueduct and the force of water coming from the spouts depends on where they are located. The four rivers fountain in the square (which in fact is oval shaped) was sculpted by Bernini. We stopped at Tre Scalini for a delicious gelato (it costs less if you take it from the restaurant to eat, but there are plenty of benches around the square).
Not far from the Piazza and across the Tiber River was Castel Sant Angelo, a castle built around Hadrian's tomb. Entrance was only 1 euro (a reduction because of European Heritage Day). Great view from the top).
We found it fairly easy to get around Rome using the bus and Metro, although we did get on the right bus one day but going in the wrong direction!
Campo de Fiori, another piazza that we loved, recommended by an Italian and Rome's oldest market (you find out lots of information while standing at the bus stop, the Italians aren't much into lines and queues). This is where the locals go and we found a nice spot at a corner Pizzeria to watch the street cleaners pick up rubbish from the market stalls that had since left. There seemed to be no plan as the street sweeper moved the truck in ever curving lines, missing large chunks of the square and going over some parts repeatedly. I can't remember the name of the restaurant, but it was near the square's water spigot which locals gravitated to, washing baby bottles, filling up water bottles, washing hands and even feet. Despite this, the water is okay to drink (according to Rick Steves) and I had no adverse affects to filling my water bottle from these water fountains in squares all over Italy. It's wonderfully fresh tasting and cold.


K9friend said...

You keep adding to my list of places I want to go. Rome is beautiful!

Critter Alley

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip and a beautiful place to visit. So much history and they seem to appreciate history where here in American people are quick to tear down the old to build new. Great photos.

Cozy in Texas said...

Fortunately, Mason, people of Rome didn't tear things down, they just built on top of it, so there are a lot of historical buildings still buried.