Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rome - Day 1

We arrived in Rome Wed, Jan 21st, late in the evening, and we were thrilled to find that Susie, Mark, and Sean had all arrived safely from the US. Sean was so excited to see Josey and Max. He has been looking forward to coming to France (well, Italy first) to see his cousins for months now. We’ve been really excited, too! It is always so wonderful to see family and friends from home.

The next day, we hit the streets of Rome ready to see anything and everything. Our first destination was the Trevi Fountain, sculpted by Bernini.

Ohmigosh. It is one of the most amazing works of art I have ever seen. Even the kids loved it. They each threw in a coin and made a wish – I sure hope they do that here!

From the Trevi Fountain, we wandered into some amazing churches. I will have to search through the guidebook to learn the names. One was directly across the square from the Trevi Fountain, and the other we happened across as we walked to our second destination, the Pantheon.

The Pantheon was built in 126 AD. Can you believe that? This building is nearly 2000 years old. That is a 4-digit number!!

There are tons of interesting facts about the Pantheon, but one of my favorites is that the domed ceiling was actually made from poured cement – cement that they had to “lighten” with pumice to support the 142 foot high dome. This cement looks so crisp and perfect that it could have been poured yesterday. Literally. My pictures do not do it justice – of course.

For more incredible (and to me – unbelievable) information about the Pantheon:,_Rome

Our last historical stop was the Piazza Navona. Again – ohmigosh. There are three amazing fountains in this Piazza, with the largest in the center. The center statue was designed by Bernini and is called the Fountain of the Four Rivers.

From the web:

Bernini achieved a remarkable tour de force that gives it a sense of weightlessness. The large figures reclining precariously on the rocks above the glistening water represent the main rivers of the four continents: the Danube, the River Plate, the Ganges and the Nile, (with a veiled head to indicate that its source was still unknown at that time). All around the monument, and also on the tip of the obelisk, the Pope had his family crest sculpted: a dove holding an olive branch.

Centered behind the largest fountain is an amazing building. I’m still doing my research to find the name of this building.

I bought some watercolor prints (Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum – next on our list of sights to see) in the Piazza Navona from a very friendly, English-speaking vendor. He also gave us directions to a grocery store. Of course, given our sense of direction, we wandered in circles for quite a while before we actually found the grocery store. However, when we finally found it – it was so fun. We all wandered around selecting fun things to eat and drink. My favorites were the pesto sauce (this is actually a Genovese delicacy – not Roman – we were told quite emphatically) and the blood oranges that Susie picked out. Oh yummy!

There were no more pictures that day! My hands were full of shopping bags all the way home.

Dado and Mark teamed up to make us fresh pasta for dinner with a wonderful salad. A wonderful ending to a magical day!

Love to all!

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