Sunday, July 11, 2010

Italia: Roma

First stop was Rome. I got lucky getting out of Kuwait on an overnight flight to Germany, had a couple of beers for breakfast, and flew into Rome about an hour before Connie landed. We cabbed it to our swank hotel, and along the way we saw some Italian Air Force Jets doing a low flyover, trailing green, white and red smoke. Pretty impressive, like everything in Rome. I didn't get a picture of that, but I did of lots of other stuff, so let's go!

Connie, sitting on the famed Spanish Steps on our first night in Rome. It was a little chilly, which was a welcome relief for me, even though I was a bit shivery at times. We carried empty water bottles with us throughout Rome, and filled them from the public spigots that are all over and date to back to the olden days. The water was clean, cold, and free.

We took a couple of moonlight strolls through the heart of Rome, visiting cobblestoned squares with fountains and sidewalk cafes.

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, or, Fountain of the Four Rivers. It's a bit blurry, but the critter at the lower right is supposed to be an armadillo.

Trevi Fountain. Tradition holds that if you and your lover pitch coins in, you will someday return to Rome.

So we did.

Vatican City. No building is permitted to be built taller than St. Peter's Basilica, the dome in the background. The globe in the courtyard there is made of solid gold. The Vatican guards have to typically shoot one tourist a day for trying to chip off a piece. 

Inside St. Peter's, looking up.

We trekked the 500 something steps to the top of the Basilica. Some parts were very, very tight and steep.

Inside St. Peter's, looking down.

Outside St. Peter's, looking down.  Our reward for all our stair climbing was this view of St. Peter's square, and cool breeze from a summer downpour.

Looking out at Rome from St. Peter's.

 And from the inside. The ruins in the center were actually under the floor of the arena, where the lions and tigers and bears would get ready to eat Russell Crowe. (Connie pointed out I misspelled his name by leaving off the "e" so I added it after I did the link thing.)

Some famous ruins I forget the name of near the Colosseum with some other cool and awesome stuff in the background.

A view of the skyline near the Colosseum. Much nicer than billboards, no?

Connie patiently letting me take another picture of her. In the background is the Colosseum and some other famous stuff. The book there is the Rick Dees guidebook, which never once steered us wrong. That thing was worth its weight in gold. I don't know how he finds time to do his Weekly Top 40 show and still kick out quality European guidebooks, but hey. Highly recommended.

Okay, that's the highlights for Rome. Oh, and I made stuff that up about the solid gold globe and tourists getting shot and all. Yeah, I'm a card. Next stop: Florence!


Zelda said...

I think those ruins are the remains of the Roman forum. I chucked a couple of coins into the Trevi fountain, and I'm going to return with my lover even though I'll probably have to club him on the head and drag him by the hair.

bones said...

WOW ! Thanks for sharing brother !

Anonymous said...

Who's the science teacher nerd with the hot chick in the 5th picture?

Jack said...

Yup, Roman Forum. I knew that.

Jack said...

No trouble. You should make a trip like that one of these days, amigo.