We arrived in Bella Roma, on a late afternoon flight from Heathrow, and took a taxi to our hotel through the Sunday night rush hour traffic. It was dark by the time we arrived, and we were most impressed when we pulled up outside the Boscolo Hotel. I had no idea it was going to be so magnificent.
The lobby and lounge were equally grand; so much marble everywhere!
After unpacking our cases, we went out in search of dinner, and found a little Pizzeria, run by Egyptians. We were offered lobster, and were introduced to the two choices, either Peter or Michael. I felt sorry for those poor little lobsters, and so we decided that they could “Die another day.” I wasn’t going to be responsible for depriving either of them of their best friend in the tank, so we settled for a pizza instead, washed down with a bottle of Frascati wine, which was very tasty indeed.
The following morning, after a sumptuous breakfast, we strolled down to the Trevi Fountain, and of course I did what all tourists must do; I threw in a coin and made a wish.
On our walkabout we passed this lovely sculpture of Romulus and the wolf.
The narrow cobbled streets are quite a challenge for both cars and pedestrians alike. There are so many scooters around, which isn’t really surprising, as they are much easier to park, and to drive around. We remembered from our last visit here, that to cross the road, you just have to walk purposefully, and fix the motorist with your “I dare you to run me over!” look, and they will stop for you. There are so many leather shops, and quite reasonably priced too, although I really didn’t think I needed to add to my luggage so soon, so we rather concentrated on the beautiful architecture.
This building is the Pontificia Studiorum Universitas, and was definitely worthy of a pic. It looked so magnificent against that blue sky. I wish I could have moved that white van out of the way. 😉
This typical example of Italian architecture, had been turned into a restaurant.
As we were on our way to view some archeological excavations, I heard beautiful music and went to investigate. There, under a shady tree, was a young clarinetist serenading the passersby. People were literally dancing past, and dropping a few Euros into his hat. This elderly couple, obviously still very much in love, stayed and danced for quite a while, as he played “Besame Mucho.”
I saw something I hadn’t seen in ages; a roast-chestnut seller on a street corner. I didn’t like to take a pic unless I bought some though, and I just wasn’t hungry enough, but they did smell good. There are very few new buildings in Rome. Most are either old or ancient, and many have been built on top of old Roman ruins. Some are being excavated now, and here you can see all the bits and pieces of beautiful columns and statues that they are discovering.
Later, we went to meet our tour guide and the rest of the group, over wine and snacks. There were forty of us, from all over the world. Many folk had just flown in from the USA, Canada and Australia, and were somewhat jet-lagged, but when we all went out for dinner, they seemed to recover, and we had a lot of fun and an excellent meal at The Cabiria Restaurant on the Via Veneto. We ate a four course dinner, sitting up on the roof deck overlooking the city. The evening was so mild and there was fortunately no wind either; a perfect meal, lovely company, and even an Italian singer/guitarist to serenade us.
When it was time to leave, rather than wait for the lift, which could take only seven people at a time, some of us opted to go down this spiral staircase. I counted 186 steps…. a long way down. Imagine falling over the balustrade as they sometimes do in the movies!
Tomorrow, I’ll take you to the Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel, as well as the Colosseum and Michelangelo’s steps, so for now, it’s “buono giornata,” everyone. 😉