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Sunday, December 30, 2012


On Monday, we flew from London to Rome, arriving in the afternoon and heading straight to the Hotel Maryelen & Giovy.  The hotel is situated  in a hotel district just a few minutes walk from the Termini.  Our room was on Floor 5 so we were just up above the top of this photo. 

Part of our room.


The hotel room was perfectly fine but the keys were a real treat. The small key opened the regular-sized door to our room.  The large key opened this door:

The heavy wooden door to the wing containing our room; the metal bar came in handy when pushing the door open.

We took this photo to show everyone how we spent a lot of time in Rome; yes, Don caught my cold.

On Tuesday, we bought Roma passes before we set out for a day exploring ancient Rome.   The Roma passes give you free entry to the first 2 museums/sites, discount admissions on others, free public transportation, and--the best part--permission to skip to the front of the lines.  Why is that important?  Well, look at the Colosseum, our first stop.

The Colosseum.  See all of those people?  Well, except for that group on the far right, that is the line to buy admission.
..and the line continues inside the Colosseum.  We got to skip all of that and save ourselves at least an hour. 

A view of the arena and structures below

The brick work was so interesting.

You thought graffiti was a modern problem?  It goes back centuries with men leaving their marks on the Colosseum walls.

A view from one of the openings in the structure.  Notice the umbrella pines that are found all over the city.

One of the public water fountains that are also found all over the city.  The water is fine and these spouts are very handy for filling your water bottle.

I am very pleased with this shot because I managed to photograph (for free) some of the men who dress as gladiators and cajole people to have their photos taken with a gladiator--for a stiff price, of course.

It is hard to find a place to eat right around the Colosseum but we wandered a few blocks away and stumbled on the Hostaria de Nerone, a restaurant next door to a cafe for students.  We sat outside and had antipasti plates and coffee for lunch.  The coffee in Rome is so good.

Fortified by lunch, we walked through the Roman Forum.

Wandering through the Forum

These impressive arches are only one-third of the original Basilica of Constantine, a hall of justice.
The ceiling in one of the arches

Heard of the Vestal Virgins?  This was their residence and garden.

     After the Forum, it was up to the Palatine Hill.

What is left of a huge palace on the hill that housed emperors for 3 centuries.

This is part of the Museo Palatino, which contains statues and frescoes that help you imagine the luxury of the imperial structures on the hill.
Portion of a marble floor displayed in the museum.

After immersing ourselves in ancient Rome, we decided to do some people watching by following Rick Steves' Dolce Vita Stroll through the city.  We got into the strolling and eating part so well that it took us 3 evenings to finish the walk.

Outside eating area for the Osteria da Mario

We chose to eat at the Osteria da Mario, a mom-and-pop restaurant near the Pantheon and even got a table in the outdoor seating located in an old, Roman square.  After that we stopped for gelato and continued walking.


  1. But where's the clothing stores.....?????

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Sorry, we were too busy sightseeing to shop for clothes. Besides, almost all of the shops that I saw were chain stores that have businesses in New York City. So why bother when I can visit them at home?