A Roman Holiday

Okay, so it wasn’t so much a Roman holiday as an insane attempt at seeing as much of the classic sites as possible on our first visit to the ancient capital of Italy. For those of you that have never been, Rome is HUGE and trying to see it in four days is just asking for trouble, not to mention major aching feet. But see it, or some of it, in four days we did with the help of some tips from my Dad, a scholarly expert on all things Ancient Rome, Greece and the Classics in general, a friend and Rick Steves, whose guide to Rome we had handy and downloaded on our iPad Kindle app.

Hubbie’s sister has a very dear friend, Yolanda, who lives in the outskirts of Rome in the neighborhood of Monte Verde Nuovo. She obliged to let us stay with her, bless her cotton socks, in her large apartment with herself and her two adorable children (her husband, Andrea was out of town on business) from last Monday evening until this past Saturday morning. Now, to say she was the hostess with the mostess is an understatement and a half. She INSISTED on: treating us like dear old friends, picking us up from the airport, cooking dinner for us almost every night (we had little Fiona with us, so wild nights out on the town weren’t in the cards this trip, though Yolanda offered to babysit!), helping us prep for each touristy day the night before, taking us to the airport to leave and just generally being a shiny beacon of awesomeness. This kind of warmth and generosity became a theme as we encountered the Roman people.

What can I say, we had a freaking blast, though much bickering between hubbie and I ensued for stupid reasons, like “you don’t look like you’re having enough fun,” or “no, it’s your turn to choose what to do!” which according to an email update I received from Babycenter.com today, is normal as little Fiona enters toddlerhood. Thanks, Babycenter.com. Next time, a heads up would be appreciated.

We saw the classic sites; partook in some yummy pizza, pasta, panini, coffee and gelato; spoke fake Italian (Spanish with an Italian accent with some sporadic Italian phrases and vocab we managed to learn tossed in for good measure; hey, we made an effort); hung our heads in shame at Il Anagrafe where we registered Fiona as Italian born and living abroad, thanks to my hubbie’s Italian citizenship, and had to repeat “no parlo Italiano” and endure quizzical looks; and just enjoyed the general splendor of the Eternal City as we strolled, people watched and imagined this place as it must have been 2,000 years ago.

Here are some of my favorite moments. Any historic tidbits you happen to scan are courtesy of my Dad, James K. Finn Ph.D!

To Rome we go!

To Rome we go!

Due caffe latte e due pasticcini al cioccolato per favore.

Due caffe latte e due pasticcini al cioccolato per favore.

Our breakfast spot for the duration of the trip - Gran Caffè Dei Colli.

Our breakfast spot for the duration of the trip – Gran Caffè Dei Colli.

St. Peter's Square at Vatican City where St. Peter himself was martyred under the emperor Nero.

St. Peter’s Square at Vatican City where St. Peter himself was martyred under the emperor Nero.

On the way up to the dome or cupola at St. Peter's Basilica.

On the way up to the dome or cupola at St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Dome or Cupula

The Dome or cupola

The view from the top

The view from the top

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And back down again

And back down again

Playing at the park by Castel Sant Angelo

Playing at the park by Castel Sant Angelo, or Hadrian’s Tomb

All that remains of Circo Massimo

All that remains of Circo Massimo

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The Palatino; one of the emperor's had built across the way from Circo Massimo, so he could watch the games and chariot races from his abode.

The Palatino; one of the emperors had built across the way from Circo Massimo, so he could watch the games and chariot races from his abode.

The fori imperiali

The fori imperiali

In front of the Colosseum; Fiona wasn't impressed.

In front of the Colosseum; Fiona wasn’t impressed.

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The Colosseum was built in the 89's CE under the Flavian emperors. It later became a memorial to Christian martyrs.

The Colosseum was built in the 89’s CE under the Flavian emperors. It later became a memorial to Christian martyrs.

Boca de la verità. Legend says the mouth will basically eat your hand and possibly arm if you're a liar.

Boca de la verità. Legend says the mouth will basically eat your hand and possibly arm if you’re a liar.

The Pantheon, a fabulous temple rebuilt by Hadrian in the 120's CE.  This is one of the best preserved ancient structures in the world!  The inscription on the front -- M AGRIPPA COS TERTIUM FECIT -- commemorates the original temple, built by the emperor Augustus' fleet admiral and (later) son-in-law Marcus Agrippa during his consulship in the year 33 C, or near the time when Jesus was executed in Jerusalem.

The Pantheon, a fabulous temple rebuilt by Hadrian in the 120’s CE. This is one of the best preserved ancient structures in the world! The inscription on the front — M AGRIPPA COS TERTIUM FECIT — commemorates the original temple, built by the emperor Augustus’ fleet admiral and (later) son-in-law Marcus Agrippa during his consulship in the year 33 C, or near the time when Jesus was executed in Jerusalem.

Piazza Navona, a local artist hotspot and home to some seriously yummy dessert at Tre Scalini. It was also the site of the stadium of the emperor Domitian. One end of the square is curved, because the Roman foundation beneath it preserves the shape of the original stadium, where chariot races and other popular events took place.

Piazza Navona, a local artist hotspot and home to some seriously yummy dessert at Tre Scalini. It was also the site of the stadium of the emperor Domitian. One end of the square is curved, because the Roman foundation beneath it preserves the shape of the original stadium, where chariot races and other popular events took place.

A little light shopping!

A little light shopping!

The Spanish steps at Piazza di Spagna

The Spanish steps at Piazza di Spagna

A delightful lunch at Alla Rampa in Piazza di Spagna

A delightful lunch at Alla Rampa in Piazza di Spagna

The Trevi Fountain. Toss a coin or two over your shoulder into the fountain to ensure your return to Rome.

The Trevi Fountain. Toss a coin or two over your shoulder into the fountain to ensure your return to Rome.

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Heading home on he bus. We finally figured out the quirky bus system pretty much on our last day.

Heading home on he bus. We finally figured out the quirky bus system pretty much on our last day.

A few last shots of our city wanderings

A few last shots of our city wanderings

Ciao Roma!

Ciao Roma!

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2 thoughts on “A Roman Holiday

  1. Pingback: PIAZZA DI SPAGNA VIEW, ACCORDO CON VISSANI – Guida Viaggi «

  2. Pingback: I Still Can’t Believe We’re Doing This: An Expat Year in Review | lostinspainblog

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