Friday, December 14, 2012

Postcards from Rome

After Venice, Derek and I rode the train to Rome, arriving late in the evening. We stayed at the same little apartment we'd rented before in Trastevere. It was nice to be "home" again, we already knew where the markets were, and got ice cream at the same great little place with the weird flavors: nutmeg, cardamom, Madagascar chocolate/orange gelatos. The next day we walked to the Trevi fountain, hiked around in the Borghese gardens and went to the Galeria Borghese for which everyone said you had to have reservations far in advance. (In December you can just walk in and purchase a ticket, no lines at all.) Then we walked down the cliffside to the Spanish Steps, then caught a bus "home". A lovely crisp cold day in Rome, the last one together. The next morning Derek flew home and I spent a day alone. I wanted to see the Sant'Angelo tower and museum. Along the way I bit the bullet and bought a few specialty presents like black truffles at the outdoor Christmas fairs. It was a wonderful and relaxing last day for me. So here are some photos of Rome in December:

The Spanish Steps at night

Crowds in front of the Trevi Fountain.
Imagine the density there must be in summer!

Sea Horse and Merman in the Trevi Fountain

A street underpass:  instead of a long tunnel full
of graffiti, it houses a walk-through bookstore!! 

Buildings on the grounds of the
Borghese Gardens, love those shaped trees!

Seahorse fountain (the horses have fish tails!),
Borghese Gardens
Castle Sant'Angelo, with the 2000 year old Roman
bridge across the Tevere. The castle was originally
 the tomb of Emperor Hadrian and his descendants. 

St. Peter's Dome viewed through a portal
in the defensive wall of Castle Sant'Angelo

The Archangel Gabriel, sheathing his sword at the top of
Castle Sant'Angelo. The legend says that Rome was besieged
by a plague, but then the Pope saw a vision of Gabriel
above Hadrian's tomb putting his sword away,
which meant the plague was over. And it was.

View to the north from the Castle on a clear day.

Another view of Rome and surrounding mountains. 

Edge of the castle and the outside defensive walls.
 The rough bottom section is the
old Roman tomb of Emperor Hadrian, once covered
in white marble. The brick top and walls
were added over many years to
create a safe place for the popes when the
Vatican was under attack. The pope's apartment
inside is as beautiful as the rest of the Vatican. 

Small section of one of many carved marble pieces that covered
Hadrian's tomb. It was a round edifice right on the edge of the river,
on one of the main roads leading to Rome. The family's ashes
 were kept in gold vessels, now long taken by grave robbers.