This morning (Friday) we picked David and Lyn French up at the airport. We had to leave the apartment at 5:45 to catch first the Metro and then the “Leonardo” line to the airport. It was lots of fun to walk on the streets of Rome at 5:45 as there was NO ONE out. I figure that this is the only time that the streets are empty considering that the party revelers have only JUST retired for the night!!!
After we had boarded the airport shuttle train, it was fun to look out of the window and see the sun just starting to come up. The sky was blue and red and you could see the black outlines of all of the funky buildings and electric lines from the trains.
We got to the airport just as their plane arrived and only had to wait about 45 minutes before the French’s arrived….still smiling after their 9 hour trip……
We rode back with them to Termini station and then Michael headed off to work as we navigated the Metro tunnels and finally arrived at our apartment. We spent about an hour there, giving them time to freshen up a bit and have a bite to eat and then…..off we went.
The goal of the day was to keep them out in the sunshine so that they could recover quickly from their jet lag, so we turned right out of the apartment and struck out for the Trevi Fountain. It was much the same as before, with huge crowds of people. I did see one interesting thing…..if you remember I showed a street artist who was acting like the Statue of Liberty. Today I saw him getting set up……he stands barefooted on a small step stool and drops the skirt over the stool. He also has a contraption that is attached to his chest that allows his arm to rest on a shelf rather than having to hold it up all of the time. …..
We continued around the fountain and proceeded to the Galleria where we stopped for Espresso and Cappuccino. Lyn said that this was one of the things that she had been waiting for…..
We ended up back at the unknown column, but have now done some research and know that it was the Column of Marcus Aurelius. Apparently it celebrates many of the victories that he accomplished.
On to the Pantheon with nothing much new to report. However, yesterday Michael and I visited there and saw an interesting sight. We were walking past several street vendors….individuals selling bags, jewelry, etc. All of a sudden, the all grabbed their wares and started moving from the area. We realized why when we rounded the corner and saw a police car cruising the area.
Yesterday, I took this wonderful photo of Michael in one of his favorite places……
and he took one of me at the pillar outside the Pantheon…..
….of course, when I suggested that I take a photo of David and Lyn in front of the pillar, they had a different idea. We call this…..”Pillar Hugging”….
David, Lyn and I went a bit further and into the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. David mentioned that he remembered reading something about this church and proceeded to find out that there was a Michelangelo sculpture there…..”The Redeemer". It is magnificent……
Apparently the bronze girdle was added later to make the sculpture more modest.
While we were there, a gentleman walked up to the altar with a step stool and quickly climbed on the altar and started cleaning the candelabras…..quite a shock in such a holy setting…..
We then returned to the apartment after searching out a new grocery store…..I had to ask for directions TWICE….and both times in Italian. I guess that I learned a few things from Rosetta stone.
Michael met us at the apartment and we spent a bit over an hour just relaxing and having some snacks…..Chengali salami, cheese and bread. After a while, everyone found their second wind and we decided to go out for another walk.
This walk had a basic direction (heading toward the Villa Borghese Gardens (a huge park) , but we wandered away from the path many times. During the walk, we saw the Spanish Steps at Piazza Spagna, the Medici Villa and lots of fun statues and sights. The park was wonderful as it was full of families out having a good time together. There were bikers, skaters, runners, and even carts that were pedal powered. We found a golf cart that we could rent for an hour, but Michael and I were out-voted so we kept on walking….and walking…..and walking…..but we had a blast!!!!!
AND the sights were wonderful……
We walked thru this wall while returning to our apartment. David did a great job of directing us home again and we have decided that HE will be the holder of the map from now on……
The night ended with an excellent dinner of pasta with Pesto sauce, salad with oil and Balsamic Vinegar dressing and bread that was almost too tough to eat, but had a wonderful flavor!!!!
Bed time for all came quickly……