G and C at the Trevi
Somethings are eternal - True Love, Brotherhood and, of course ...
Cindy and I went to Italy last month and Rome bookended the trip.
We've been to Rome quite a few times so we didn't particularly seek out any of the usual tourist attractions (you'll have to look at our earlier Italian/Roman entries for that) But Rome can rightly be characterized as one gigantic open-air museum and
somethings are just so enormous that they can't be avoided so, yes, there will be photos.
Rome is also a living, breathing city filled with ordinary people, sites and events that
are worthy of note. So we just wandered around for a few days and reacquainted ourselves.
a sprawling metropolis set in a bowl, ringed by hills. It provides a number of wonderful vantage points for taking in the view of the city in its entirety.
views (and the easiest place to reach) are found at the Pincio in the Borghese Gardens. The Pincio draws the biggest crowd, although "crowd" is a relative term and you certainly won't find anything comparable to the hordes of people you'll wade through
if you go to St. Peter's (a line in excess of an hour) or the Trevi Fountain where, despite the fountain's spray being cut in half due to an extended drought in Italy this year, the crush of humanity is seven or eight or ten people deep all the time (before
10 AM is not as bad).
One thing about a place with a view - you have to be prepared to climb lots of steps. That does, however, tend to cut down on the crowds.
Anyway, one day while in the Gardens we discovered a most astounding thing about Rome - they have parrots!!! No, not in the zoo. Wild parrots. Well, sort of wild.
Not native to Italy, they're the feral descendants of domesticated ring-necked parakeets who literally flew the coop and now populate various parts of the city. So keep an eye out for big (a foot plus from beak to tail) green flying things.
There are three other excellent spots from which to view Rome in all its splendor:
Atop (or half-way up if
you'd rather avoid the lines for the elevator to the tippy-top) the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument (Piazza Venezia) and, after a long climb up the Janiculum Hill, from Piazza S. Pietro di Montorio (site of the Accademia de Espana). The third spot is Palazzo
The Vittorio Emanuele II Monument (commonly referred to as the "Wedding Cake") is a 19th century memorial to the last King of Italy) is a great place to view the most
prominent of Rome's many ancient sites. It's "balconies" offer a bird's eye view of the Forum, the Colosseum as well as Trajan's Markets.
Just so no one is misled, all of
these sites are certainly worth a close-up, on the ground visit (or two or three) It's just that after that, well, they don't really change so you might not feel the need to seek them out anymore.
Speaking of "not seeking out" certain sites - sometimes you will miss things if you just wander. That's what we did when we went walkabout and found ourselves in Piazza S. Pietro di Montorio. Yes, we had the splendid panorama
we sought, but facing the piazza is the Accademia de Espana which houses Bramante's Tempietto (an achitectural work of some fame and considerable beauty) Our loss I guess but the vista made up for it. Don't we look happy in the photo? We
were. So it all worked out.
Then there was the completely unexpected vantage point found at Palazzo Colonna.