There are no mortal words to describe this amazing city,
but I will try......
This was the view from our hotel window, the first morning
we arrived, jet-lagged after a 10 hour, overnight flight
from Seattle, with one stop in Amsterdam.
We stayed in Rome for 4 days -3 nights
before driving up to Tuscany to stay
in a 10 room villa in the little village of Montici
for a week.
I know.....a real villa.....all to ourselves.
It was heaven.
But more about that later......
All together, including my little grandson,
there would be 12 of us, to celebrate my son, Gabe's 40th birthday -
all close family, including Gabe's best friend since childhood, Mark.
We (the Mr. and I) have never traveled 'abroad'
so this was the trip of a lifetime for us.
The hotel had a wonderful buffet breakfast each morning,
where we would all meet before heading out on foot to explore.
On our way!
Left to right; son Dustin, wife Jen, Erica and B.F., Mark,
headed for adventure.
Grandpa helps with stroller duty.
Every building was a work of art.
Gabe, Erica and the little one pose in front of
an immense marble monument.
Everywhere, there are carved marble and bronze
statues, and friezes on nearly every building. All of the buildings
are constructed of stone, stucco, or marble, with tall, ornate
windows. Some have balconies or fences fashioned from iron
in intricate designs.
Many buildings have large, carved, heavy doors,
some arched on top, surrounded by amazing stone-work.
It was a little unnerving to see the camouflaged jeeps and
soldiers holding machine guns at every famous site.
Domes are everywhere. Courtyards and alley-ways are paved
in cobblestones, many in complicated patterns and some in marble.
Large fountains or monuments punctuate these courtyards,
and most had lovely views.
I wouldn't mind having a little apartment here :)
The roads are narrow and filled with people,
so this is the preferred mode of travel
for the young and adventurous.
Everyone else was either on foot or getting around in the tiniest of cars.
This vintage beauty was barely 4 ft. high and not much longer :)
They race around the narrow, cobbled alleys, revving their motors
and tooting their horns to clear the way,
barely missing diners in cafe's, pedestrians,
and the corners of buildings.
We watched one young woman, who was almost bumped by a taxi,
as she held up traffic slapping the taxi's hood and
the side of the car as she made her way to the driver's open window,
lecturing him loudly in her musical, Italian voice - long,
dark hair and flowered scarf billowing
in his face. With resigned hand gestures, and a shrug of the shoulders,
he ended the whole affair.
The whole intersection was transfixed :)
Especially when she walked away, head held high,
swinging her hips, sure of her place in the world - the busy streets of Rome.
It wasn't until then that everyone moved on,
scooters, pedestrians, taxis and tiny cars,
somehow making up their own rules and working it out.
Our little grandson was fascinated with the tiny work-trucks.
"We stopped in to a church we passed along the way"
(A lyric of a favorite song, 'California Dreaming' by
the folk-group, 'The Mama's and the Papa's')
It was so amazing - so beautiful.
Ramblin' Man and I lit candles for each of our parent's
looking down from Heaven.
We arrived at the Pantheon, and went right in without
standing in line, due to Erica's good planning -
getting tickets on-line.
The beams of light originally illuminated statues of
the Roman Gods and Goddesses that represent each month.
Here they are empty.
The ceiling is carved marble and the walls are mosaic tile.
The design in the ceiling was repeated through-out Rome
and serves as an excellent design for acoustics.
Later we found this lovely little plaza
and stopped to have lunch.
First course: prosciutto, melon and cheese.
After a lingering lunch, we decided to find
the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain.
The streets were full and it was very hot.
We watched this shop-worker dress a window display
while waiting for a light.
Later, we came back this way and saw him taking
photos of his work :)
Crowds and crowds of people of all nationalities fill the
busy streets. Snippets of foreign conversations float by
ahead of their speakers.
Most are couples on honeymoons and holidays,
a few families with children and older
women traveling together in groups.
Young, Italian men are dressed very fashionably
in slim-fitting jeans, expensive leather shoes, and fitted shirts.
Italian women are rarely in jeans - most wear short, knit dresses,
or slender slacks and skirts, with long, straight hair, or chic short cuts.
Scarfs are worn in ingenious ways, especially by older women
who use them as draped shawls or tunics over longer, slim skirts
or tucked into belts over slender knit pants.
The sound of the water and the cool, white marble
of the Trevi Fountain
was so refreshing on a hot, Roman day.
Shadows grew long as we made our way to the Spanish steps.
Patient horses rest with their carriages in the shade
of the courtyard.
It was a long, busy day, and Ramblin' Man and I left
the younger members of the family, who were not
done exploring, and took a cab back to the hotel.
Our first day in Rome .......
Next time we will go to the Vatican.
Thank you for coming along, Dear Friends!