Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rome - Day 1

We took the train from Milan to Rome and arrived early in the afternoon.  We were fortunate that we arrived when we did - the following day we discovered there was to be a one day train strike.  We checked into our lovely hotel by the Campo de' Fiori (more about our hotel in another post).  It was located in a perfect spot between the Vatican and the Forum, with many sites just a short walk to the north.  Although it was sweaty hot, we headed out to visit some of the nearby sites.

First we headed to the Piazza Navona, a busy square which is filled with statues, fountains, restaurants, and people.

Next a stop at the Pantheon.  First a Roman temple, then a church - I loved how the light poured through the hole in the ceiling.

Then on to the Trievi Fountain.  This is the way you see it in photos and movies:

But this is the reality - crowds of people trying to get that perfect photo of them tossing a coin into the fountain.     Quite the circus!

As we headed back to our hotel, we passed Largo Argentina, a square that looks down at a group of temple ruins.  Dirty, full of weeds and trash, and home to a collection of CATS!  I felt so sorry for the cats, but they seemed quite content sunning themselves on the old pillars.  I believe that there is a society that helps to feed the cats.  Too bad that they don't take a bit more care with the ruins and the grounds.

In the evening we ate a quite blah meal on the Campo de Fiori.  However, we were quite entertained by seeing all the large TVs adorning every restaurant on the square, all tuned in to the Euro Cup matches.  It was quite an interesting snapshot of life in Europe!

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