Sunday 13 November 2011


We had a wonderful week in Rome and enjoyed ourselves enormously.

We stayed at the Condotti Hotel, just round the corner from Via Condotti which is where all the designer shops are. The number of people with designer bags from Prada, Valentino, and other designers is a real indication that the rich have not been affected by the crisis of the euro.

The Piazza di Spagna is just round the corner from where we were staying, and was a starting point for a lot of our exploring

as were the Spanish Steps: the only times where there were no masses of people there was when it rained.

The Trinida Di Montei church is at the top of the Spanish Steps

 and the view was spectacular from here.  In the distance you can see Via Condotti.

At the bottom of the steps is the Fontana della Barcaccia, in the shape of a boat, the last work of Pietro Bernini, father of the more famous Gianlorenzo, which commemorates the great flood of Christmas Day 1598.

The Trevi Fountain, a ten minute walk from our hotel, was always packed with people

and this might be the reason why I liked the pool on the side so much, as this was fairly quiet at times

the crowds always multiplied at night.

The Pantheon was also very near where we were staying

the shafts of sunlight descending down were a focal point of the interior. There are no visible arches or vaults to hold the whole thing up; instead they're sunk into the concrete of the walls of the building

I am not into religious art, but loved this ikon - I could not find anything about it unfortunately

Unlike the Piazza Navone nearby, which is very beautiful but extremely commercialised, Piazza della Rotonda, where the Pantheon is, has some good restaurants so we spent a few evenings here having delicious Italian food and looking at the fountain which is topped by an obelisk

and a close up

This is where we came upon the invisible man

as well as this lot.

We used Via del Corso, Rome's main thoroughfare, a lot, and at one end of it is the Piazza Venezia, dominated by the Vittoriano, erected at the turn of the 19th century to commemorate Italian Unification

as well as the Palazzo Venezia, where Mussolini moved in while in power and this is where he made his speeches from to the huge crowds below. In those days the palace lights would be left on apparently, to give the impression of constant activity in what was the centre of the fascist government.

Moving on from the Piazza Venezia we came upon the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, which is a museum today and even though we did not go in, we had some quiet and relaxing moments in the courtyard

At the other end of the Via Del Corso is the Plazza del Poppolo, dominated by the Porta Del Poppolo the work of Bernini

the piazza is dominated by this obelisk

as well as this monument.

As we left the Piazza del Poppolo we came upon the controversial white structure that encloses the Ara Pacis, or Altar of Augustan Peace

Despite the horrendous crowds which were mostly made up by large groups, we managed to have a great time in the Colosseum

and were truly awed by it.

On our way back from the Colosseum we came upon Al Portico d'Ottavia

and the old fish market

what we found incredible was the fact that on top of the Roman columns new dwellings had been built that are inhabited today.


  1. What I loved most were the new buildings over the ancient ruins, and layers of history in the Forum, one on top of the other, all built on top of what had been there before.
    And what I love now is that Berlusconi has gone.

  2. Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit