Glorious ancient Roma, Italy’s capitol ! Architecture, art and culture, it’s everything you could ever imagine and then some. We grabbed a cab to Cenci B&B since we had no idea how to get there and when we arrived found ourselves in Rome’s historic center. We could hear the Trevi Fountain from our narrow street and discovered it to be only 150 feet away.
As in Paris, there was another full moon to light up the night. We walked to the Colosseum, the largest amphitheatre ever built. It is estimated it could hold over 50,000 spectators. On our return to the B&B, we sat at a sidewalk cafe sipping coffee, sharing a tiramisu and enjoying the view.
I had a Buddhist Monk tie a knot in a red cord, blow a mantra into it and make a blessing as he wound it around my wrist. These are sometimes called blessing cords and red is said to be the symbol of protection.
Trinitá dei Monti is a Roman church that may be best known for its commanding position above the Spanish Steps. It may seem odd to have a landmark in Italy (designed by an Italian architect) and funded by a French diplomat gets its name from Spain. Piazza di Spagna at the base of the steps was named after the Spanish Embassy there so the name extended to the steps, 135 steps to be exact. British poet John Kets once lived in the building adjacent to the steps. It is now the Keats and Shelley museum. The fountain in the above photo is at the foot of the stairs and known as the ‘Fontana Della Barcaccia’ or Fountain of the Ugly Boat. Legend has it a flood washed a boat all the way to the square and the fountain was built on papal orders.
The next day was Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica. We attended the 5 pm mass. The Sistine Chapel and the frescoes created in 4 years of Michelangelo’s timeless passion is indescribable, so I will not try. The museums contain masterpieces of sculptures & paintings collected by popes throughout the centuries. There are 54 galleries and it is one of the largest museums in the world. We went back to the Colosseum when we could spend time inside. We walked the Roman Forum which is just to the east of the Colosseum, then over to Capitoline Hill and Palatine Hill. The later is the centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome and one of the most ancient parts of the city. We ended our walk with a sandwich and brew on a bench overlooking Circus Maximus. Rome is truly magnificent ! I love it’s history, it’s energy and it’s beauty.