|Obviously...the Colosseum. Can you spot Elisabeth? Flashing the peace sign. |
Her deal this summer is to send peace to the world from each location visited.
|The Wedding Cake. Memorial for|
Vittorio Emanuele II, the man who united Italy.
|Back side of Colosseum & Arch|
Strange opening doors.
Saw these all over Rome.
|That sand in background is the Circus Maximus.|
Photo taken at top of Imperial Palace.
|Villa where the Vestal Virgins lived.|
Palatine Hill homes in background.
Only hiccup was that we arrived at the newer Triburtini station and our return train departed the older Termini station. This was not a problem for us because our hotel was distant from both train stations. One was as good logistically as another from our hotel. We took a taxi from Triburtini to the hotel and then used buses for the remainder of transportation needs.
|Trajan's Column and Forum|
Wearing her new jacket in the 90F heat!!
|Entry door to Temple of Romulus and|
Remus. Lock still works and door
is on original hinges. Amazing.
We stayed at the Hotel Sant'Angelo this time. http://www.hotelsa.it/en/default.html
The apartment where we had stayed last December has a 3-night minimum but this trip required only a single night in a hotel. We were familiar with the area and knew this hotel was situated in a desirable location for the sites we wished to visit. It was a good choice. Our room rate included hors d'oeuvres and wine (juice and chips for Elisabeth) before dinnertime and a very nice full breakfast buffet. We were able to book a room for 3 persons which included queen-sized bed in one room with a shower bath and a twin bed in the other bedroom with another shower bath. For only $138, plus the mandatory city tax of $19. I thought that was a real bargain. There was a tabacchi down one block where one can purchase bus/metro tickets and a bus stop a short block behind the hotel. Perfect! By the way, Elisabeth still has the American frame of mind. She found it hilarious that one goes to a smoke shop to purchase bus tickets. And only to a smoke shop...as bus tickets are not sold elsewhere, except for an occasional tourist information kiosk.
|Inside Temple to Romulus and Remus.|
|Inside Temple to Romulus and Remus. This|
passage went somewhere beneath it.
Dinner was at a small family-owned restaurant a block or so from the hotel. VERY reasonably priced and the pasta was superb -- not the sauce, which also was delicious, but the actual noodle itself was the best I have ever eaten. Some Italian mama in that kitchen knows how to cook! http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187791-d2155790-Reviews-La_Francescana-Rome_Lazio.html Dinner with wine cost much less than the over-priced mediocre lunch near the old Roman Forums and Colosseum.
|Pope's escape wall to run to Castel Sant'Angelo.|
One pope did run on top length of this wall seeking safety.
Do not remember the name of this wall.
|Shall we have gold on our ceilings?|
|That famous pine cone in Vatican.|
Pigna (Rione of Rome)
|Face in the fountain|
beneath the Pigna.
|Crowded stairway leading into Sistine Chapel.|
Elisabeth wanted to see the pope mobiles and we eventually found that display. Did not see any signs but I remembered how to get down there.
We had a very simple and light lunch in the pizzeria and then returned through the Sistine Chapel to get to St. Peter's Basilica. The crowds bottleneck getting down to the Sistine Chapel going through the various narrow doorways and increasingly narrow stairways. We had gone straight to the Sistine Chapel when we first arrived so we could miss the worst of the crowds and that had worked well. Then we backtracked though the museums.
|Memorial for Pope Gregory XIII.|
|Memorial for Pope Gregory XIIII|
So plain. Was this pope not popular?
After skipping through the Sistine Chapel as fast as we could maneuver through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, we slowly shuffled along with even more crowds to soon spill outdoors on the side of St. Peter's. Ahhh...we could breathe again. It was so hot with all the people crowded against one another in that building with no air-conditioning or fans. I pointed out the papal apartment to Elisabeth. She liked that it was the least pretentious building within view.
|Memorial for Pope Gregory XVI.|
The most ornate.
|Selfie with a dead pope.|
Do not remember which one.
If the priests can do this, she can too.
Very distasteful, IMO.
|In St. Peter's Square with St. Peter's Basilica in background.|
Pope's apartment on right on the 3rd floor of the plain building.
Even though our day at the Vatican was spent in as leisurely manner as possible, we finished earlier than I thought we would. This left us with nothing to do for 6 hours before our scheduled train back to Salerno. It was a hot walk to the nearest bus stop for the number bus that we needed to get back to the hotel so we could retrieve the luggage. Took us several blocks to find a tabacchi so we could buy bus tickets. And a long wait for the right bus. Why is it that every time we wanted a particular number bus that it was pulling away from the bus stop just as we arrived? Every single time. Then we would have to wait anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes for the next bus. This time was one of those 25 minutes waits. We stopped at a restaurant for cold drinks and air-conditioning; then retrieved the luggage from the hotel and took another bus to the Termini station with hopes that we might be able to change our tickets for the 20:25 express train to Salerno to the earlier 18:15 express train. As long as it was a 2-hour express train, we wanted the first one available.
HAH! Not when we learned the price to change tickets for the earlier train! It was not worth 101 Euro just to return 2 hours earlier. Thanks; but, no thanks. We opted to eat a very leisurely dinner and chat for 4 hours rather than pay that penalty and rate change.
In researching this trip I had run across warning after warning by travelers to be extra careful around the Termini station; crime rate in that area of Rome is very high. No one posted about one of the reasons why the crime rate there is so high. I assumed it was because of gypsies. But, while there were some gypsies in that area, there were far more Africans. These refugees have arrived in Italy with nothing except the clothes on their backs. It is truly a sad, sad situation. Below is a re-posting of what I posted on Facebook today about an experience at the Termini train station in Rome:
Earlier today on Facebook I posted a story about some African refugees being brought to Salerno by a Norwegian military ship a few days ago. This has happened several times yet there are very few Africans in Salerno. I *think* most of these refugees are finding their way to Rome since it is the largest city and might offer the best chances of carving out a living. Last evening while we sat in the dining areas of the Termini train station in Rome for 4 hours waiting for our train departure, we shared one dinner plate consisting of roasted potatoes and a roasted pig shin. Pig shin is really good and this one had a generous amount of meat, enough for all 3 of us. After we had finished eating and the plates had been moved aside as we chatted, an African man walked up to the table and quickly grabbed the shin bone off the plate; turned it up inside his hand so it did not show beneath his shirt sleeve; and quickly walked away.
This was a first! Never had anyone take bones from a plate in a restaurant! I explained to Elisabeth that this man is desperate and hungry. THIS is the person to give money to or for whom to buy a meal; not the folks begging on the street corners. She asked what he could do with that bone and we explained that if nothing else he could suck on the bone and he might get a few bites of meat off it; but most likely he would take it back to where he is living and boil it to get the most out of it.
We looked for this man but never found him inside the terminal. If we had found him we would have bought him a meal. The African refugees have a hard life in their new land. Even with that, they are better off here than in Libya.