Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Travel Italy: Rome the Eternal City

This continues my blog entries about our recent trip to Italy. Here are the earlier accounts:


  •      Because we had taken the train in Tuscany, we learned a couple of important things: first, instead of dealing with the complicated ticket machines at train stations, it's better to buy your tickets at the tabacchi (tobacco) shop for the same price but with the added benefit of having a human being help you.  Second, one needs to validate those train tickets before boarding the train. We learned this the hard way; we were penalized for not sticking our tickets into those small validating machines. Ouch -- sixty euros! (the conductor said we should have paid 120 euros, but he gave us a break.)

  •    We lived outside of Rome and  instead of driving into the heart of Rome, which would have been impossible, we took the thirty minute train ride into the city. Once there, we did a walking tour. It was a one-day visit to Rome so we made some choices about the places to see. We excluded places that involved long waits. We wanted to see some favorite places; we wanted to experience the ambiance of Rome once again.

  •  We started our visit at St. Peter's Basilica and its square. We had been there before so it was like visiting an old friend, just calm and easy, saying hello to Michelangelo's Pieta and Bernini's baldacchino again, taking in the familiar altars, sculptures, paintings, caskets and bodies of some Popes. I was lucky and caught a Mass in front of one of the altars. 

  • We did not visit the Crypt underneath the Basilica with the burial sites of the Popes; we had been there before. We walked through St. Peter's Square and paused to look up at the Pope's quarters, at the window specifically where the Pope sometimes appears to wave at the people. It's a historic place, no doubt about it. I imagined the times when a papal conclave went on and people filled the Square waiting for either white or black smoke to rise up to the sky to show whether or not a new pope has been chosen.

  • The next stop was the bridge where we had a view of the Castel Sant'Angelo, which had been built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian.  After this we had lunch where we met two Filipinos who worked there and who took care of us -- free beer and dessert and an offer to contact them if we return to Rome.  The picture shows Edward Michael Costales.

  • Edward followed his parents to Rome in the 1990s. He is married with children. I asked if his children are now Italian, and he said yes. His friend, in the picture hardly spoke Tagalog and was very Italian in his mannerisms.  Ah -- the diaspora of the Filipino people, flung all over the world.

  • After lunch, we walked to the Campo de Fiori with fruit, vegetables and food products for sale. We recalled how we had ran into an old friend, John Silva, in the same place years ago. 

    From there we walked to the Piazza Navona, then Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and finally the Spanish Steps. 

    The pictures with food were taken at the Campo de Fiori. The pictures that folow with the huge fountain show the Piazza Navona.

    The following pictures show the famous Trevi Fountain. It was crowded!

    The pictures show the Pantheon.

    The following show the Spanish Steps, which was also filled with tourists.

    And this one was taken at a restaurant near our hotel where we had dinner. The restaurant manager made us taste tripe and other local Roman dishes. I believe the restuarant's name is Amedeo.

    Read also

    No comments: