Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rome, Italy.....the eternal city

Coming into Rome from the airport my excitement was building and I am snapping pics of everything.
The traffic was interesting with all small cars and many motor scooters whipping in and out.
After dropping our luggage off at our hotel because it was too early to check in our tour guide suggested we walk around exploring. Our first stop was a gelato shop. I chose strawberry which is called fragola in italian.

Many pastries were also available. We left eating our gelato and quickly made our way to the Spanish Steps.
Mr. Roman Soldier wanted to have his picture made with me.  We declined but later I zoomed in for this picture.
Having seen the Spanish steps in movies I couldn't wait to see them myself. Before we left on our trip we watched Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. I have always loved watching this old movie (made in 1953) It is a wonderful classic movie with great scenes of Rome.  The other recent movie with views particularly of the Spanish Steps is Woody Allen's latest, 'To Rome with Love 'staring Allison Pill, Flavio Parenti and Woody Allen himself.

I will say I would like to be on the Spanish Steps in May when they place large pots of blooming azaleas. All the coffee table books and post cards you see show the flowers. The stairway leads to France's 16th century church of Trinità dei Monti.
That's me and having been on a plane all night I was feeling great at that moment but it did catch up with me later that afternoon.
This fountain is at the bottom of the steps. It is called the sinking boat fountain and is powered by an aqueduct as is all Rome's fountains.  As you can see tourists are everywhere.
This is our room and as soon as I snapped these pics we were ready for a nap.

This is the view from our window in the Romanico Palace Hotel.

View of the wall around the old city of Rome taken from our tour bus with Insight Tours. The name of our tour with Insight is called, The Best of Italy. We will travel to Assisi, Venice, Pisa, Florence, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii and back to Rome in 10 days. Please join me as I post about our travels.  This picture was taken from our bus on our way to the welcome reception the first evening that was held in a restaurant across the street from the Colosseum.

The food was wonderful and we were excited to meet the 39 people on our tour.

This is my husband's head sitting at our table on the rooftop of the hotel. We were thrilled to enjoy dinner with an amazing view.
As the sun began to set I was in awe of where I was.
After dinner we had an illuminated tour of the city. We stopped  and viewed the Vatican and then walked up Capitoline Hill past the statue of Marcus Aurelius and looked down upon the Roman Forum at night under a beautiful full moon.

 The Vatican at night with St Peter's Basilica in the background. The impressive facade with Christ the Redeemer(19 feet high )in the center with St John the Baptist and 11 Apostles in travertine.
 Capitoline Hill.
 Replica of the original Marcus Aurelius.
 Romulus and Remus, twin brothers according to legend were orphaned as infants and raised by a she wolf. Romulus is given credit for founding ancient Rome.

These are just a few of the sites we saw that evening.

Day two in Rome began touring the Vatican museum, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. We were not allowed to make photographs in the Sistine Chapel and complete silence was requested.
A roman chariot.

Huge amazing tapestries.

Unbelievable ceilings.
Massive doors with intricate carvings.
 Michelangelo sculpted his Pietà when he was 25 years old. The only work of his actually signed resides in St. Peter's.

 Gorgeous marble floors!
 Bernini's seven foot bronze canopy is over the main altar that sits over St. Peter's tomb.
 St. Peter's Basilica's dome is the biggest anywhere. It is Michelangelo's last work. No building in Rome is allowed to be taller than St. Peter's.

 Pictures are allowed because all the painting are actually mosaics. In this zoomed pic you can see the individual tiles.

Scaffolding covered areas being restored. It was crowded even at 8:30 in the morning. Because we were in a tour group we were able to bypass the long lines and go in a side door. I didn't get a good pic of the enormous square and the construction is distracting so for good views google St Peter's square and The Vatican.

The second window from the right is where the Pope appears. +appears to see pictures.

You can see the statues of Christ, John the Baptist and the eleven apostles clearer here than in the previous night picture.
Hadrian's tomb also known as Castel S. Angelo (English: Castle of the Holy Angel). I snapped this pic from the moving bus. What I have been intrigued about is the pedestrian bridge that  is lined with angel sculptures that I have read about and wish I could have seen. The name of the bridge with the angels that leads to Castel Sant'Angelo is Ponte Sant'Angelo. I think you can see one of the angels on the far right of this picture. I am not sure if this is the Ponte Sant'Angelo but I think it must be. Also,you can barely make out the  bronze angel statue of Archangel Michael on the roof of Hadrian's Mausoleum in my pic. Since I did throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain I am supposed to return to Rome. I am already compiling my list of things to see and photograph that time did not allow us to do on this trip. For now, it is such a blessing to be able to google just about everything and learn more about it. You may view the Pont Sant' Angelo here. If anyone knows more about this bridge please tell me.

Victor Emmanuel Memorial was built to celebrate the  50th anniversary of the unification of the country.

The Colosseum could accommodate 70,000 spectators.

The marble seats were for the dignitaries.

This photo is our Insight Tour group photo. Our group was made up of people from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U. S.  I highly recommend Insight Tours. They are organized and efficient as well as very knowledgable. We breezed right into places like the Vatican and the Colosseum without waiting in lines.  I learned the standard spelling for an outdoor stadium is "coliseum" but  the one in Rome is called the "Colosseum." My husband and I have traveled on our own before in France and
England. The Best of Italy tour was our first  organized tour in Europe. We could not have covered the ground we did in the short amount of time without their expertise. The days began early and ended late but were exciting and fun.

After the full day of seeing the sites with our tour group there was a optional group walking tour of Trevi and  Piazza Navona and we chose to take a taxi and strike out on our own.  By this time my feet needed a rest.

Crowds at the Trevi Fountain.  So much excitement in the air.
The tradition to throw a coin in the fountain insures that you will make a return trip. I did my part hoping to return someday. My husband threw one in in 1967 and he did make a return.
It is the largest of Rome's fountains and is spectacular.

I couldn't get enough snaps along with many other people!
After seeing the Trevi fountain we stopped for an apertivo and then took a taxi to Piazza Navona. On this particular night we were on our own for dinner away from the tour group. There were optional extra excursions frequently and we chose this night to be on our own.
The two fountains are spectacular.

Four rivers fountain.
We ate on the square  in a little outside cafe people watching and enjoying listening to a combo that played the memorable  la ve en rose.
 Can you believe my husband's plate? I had a great  caprese pizza.

The sunset was gorgeous and the bells began ringing in the bell tower. Quite a magical evening.

We didn't want the evening to end. It was a full moon and so beautiful. Tomorrow we head to Assisi and then Venice. I know this was a long post so thank you for your attention. Stay tuned for more. It was a fabulous trip that I am excited to share. If there are any errors please feel free to let me know.

Joining The Tablescaper for Oh, the PLACES, I've been, Inspire Me Tuesday,  Wow Us Wednesday's,  What's It Wednesdays and Seasonal Sundays.

Other Italy posts:  Venice and the Magic of Serenissima
                              Assisi, Italy ~The Birthplace of St Francis


  1. Nice post. I've been to a lot of places in Italy, but not Rome yet! I'm sure I'll get there one of these days.

  2. Oh Bonnie..this is an awesome trip..and I loved seeing all of your pictures. you did a great job with your photography...I have never traveled to Europe and Rome is a place I would love to see in person..It looks like you had an amazing time and so glad you are sharing your pictures with all of us.
    Welcome home!
    Love, Mona.

  3. I enjoyed seeing all these views of Rome. Absolutely wonderful.

    I use Pic Monkey for photo editing. Lot's of fun options including the labels.

  4. What a wonderful trip. You captured the sights of Rome beautifully. Thank you for sharing.
    Betty @ My Cozy Corner.

  5. I can see why you would be excited to share your wonderful trip and these beautiful photos! I've never been to Rome, but hope to make it there some day. Thank you for your kind comment on my blog, and I look forward to seeing the rest of your pics!


  6. Oh, love love LOVE your photos from Italy.....and I'm having such wonderful deja vu....a little sad, too, because our time there went so the "frame" from my blog re-do is a photo I took @ the Trevi I'm definitely re-living our time there through your photos! I pray that you are wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing about your fabulous trip!!!


  7. I love the Eternal City! I was fortunate to be able to visit it twice so far, the second time for a week with my Italian husband ;)
    Your photos are wonderful and captured the hustle and bustle of the city perfectly!

  8. So many things to see in Rome and it looks like you're doing a great job taking them in. What an adventure you have ahead of you! Enjoy.

  9. Wow that was quite a tour, I loved the craziness of arriving the first day jet lagged but still with the full day ahead and new wonders to see and boy you certainly did. Wanted to invite you to our weekly carnival it's call Travel Photo Mondays, hope you can come link this up with us soon!

  10. Enjoyed the tour. Could tell you did quite a bit of prior research to be able to know what you were seeing. Your accommodations seemed so romantic. Looking forward to the next part of the tour. Maxine

  11. It's really great to have you back, Bonnie!! I've been looking forward to hearing about (and seeing) your trip to Italy. These pictures are just AMAZING! The artwork is truly magnificent, and the fountains and buildings are beautiful, as well. Your hotel room is so elegant! Wow! This looks like such a romantic trip to take with your hubby. :)

    I've been to Great Britain and Ireland, but never to Italy. I'm sure I would love to visit someday. In the meantime, it's been fun to see it through your camera's eye. Thanks so much for sharing with us and have a great weekend!



  12. Oh, Bonnie! You brought back such wonderful memories... Evan and I traveled to Rome and Florence two summers ago. I simply love Rome. Oh, my. ENJOY your journey and I look forward to seeing more!! blessings ~ tanna

  13. Thanks for sharing those amazing pictures. it's been my dream to visit since I had to study Ancient Rome for my pupils.

  14. Thank you so much Bonnie for sharing this awesome images of Rome with for me, I totally adore Italy, it's on top of fav countries in Europe! I love it's gourgeousness, it's history,it's food, it's people, it's fashion designs and home designs, etc....ok, I love everything about it!!! Thanks for your sweet and kind visit. Have a great week.

  15. Thanks for the nice comment on my blog. Too bad you didn't get to see Capri at its best! My post on Anacapri is up!

    Brittany Ruth

  16. What a fabulous trip. I love that you took so many pictures, so we could "go" along with you. You looked fabulous jet lag and all. And the food, the glorious food surrounded by the antiquity of Rome. Wow. So glad you had a nice time.

  17. Hi Bonnie,

    So nice to meet ROME!! Wow! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this exclusive tour of yours! Thank you! Your photos definitely do justice to some of the most historically famous sites on the planet! And your hotel is very elegant, too. You had a whirlwind of a trip with exquisite food and beautiful surroundings, mystical and mystifying!

    Thanks for your kind comment on my poem and pictures.


  18. Oh Bonnie, thank your for taking me along on the tour. One of these days, I hope to get to Italy...oh the history, the art, the architecture and the food!! How wonderful!!

  19. It's been a long time since I was last in Rome, but I enjoyed reliving it through your commentary and stunning photos.

  20. Bonnie~ Gorgeous architecture, art, history...*sigh* Thanks for taking me along as an armchair traveler, it may the only way I get to go :) I look forward to more of your trip!

  21. This post makes me want to hop on a plane and visit Rome! I think you saw so much on your first day considering that you'd just taken an international flight. So many iconic sights and fabulous food! I can't wait to read about the rest of your Roman (plus more of Italy) Holiday.

  22. I loved this post. You've brought back so many precious memories of our time in Italy. I'm eager to see the rest of your posts. When in Sorrento, don't miss the amazing linen shop right on one of the corners of the main square. There is carved wood furniture on the first floor of the shop. The second floor is filled with gorgeous linens. Take your husband with you; you'll want to have something shipped home, I'm just sure. Also, I found some elegant monogramed linen hand towels that I bought for gifts for friends back home...quite reasonable. Have a marvelous time! Cherry Kay

  23. Hi Bonnie,
    You've captured the essence of Rome beautifully with your camera and this post. I feel like I just took a little mini-trip. ~Delores

  24. Beautiful post and what a fabulous trip with your husband. Great pictures.

  25. Oh thanks for sharing your wonderful trip with us. Every photo is just gorgeous.

  26. Wow wow and wow, what a dream trip!! You are so lucky, my husband hates to travel! So I will live through your gorgeous photos! I want to explore all your travels as I have a chance!

  27. Wow, this post made me hungry and all the more excited to finally be on my way to Rome in a couple of weeks! I hope that you had a grand time and I hope that I will do too! I was just wondering if you know of other accommodations options such as Rome apartment rentals. I’ve read articles saying that renting out an apartment is better than staying in a hotel (especially for those who want to live like a local). One website I found while searching the net is I hope that one of your readers have worked with this company. If yes, do you recommend them? Thanks!

  28. Wow Looks like I already commented on this post last year! And I was saying that I'll get there one of these days and I did. Anyways, The Vatican looks nice at night. I really didnt' get enjoy my tour because of how crowded it was. Also, I wish I would have gotten to see the Trevi Fountain sans construction!


Your comments are so encouraging and make my day. I would love to know what you are thinking.
Please consider following by email or Bloglovin'. Thank you for reading my blog.