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Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Wednesday was a museum day.  Our first stop was Museo Nazionale Romano (National Museum of Rome), a walk back in time that shows some of the history of Rome through statues, mosaics, painting, and metal work.
side view of the building

Roman matron with an elaborate hairdo

The Boxer at Rest (first century).  The sculptor used different metals for effect, as can be seen in the face below.

Notice the difference in metal composition and the lovely patina.

Part of a stone inlay panel

A representation of Bacchus in a mosaic.  Don liked this one because the guy looks like he certainly likes his wine.

Part of a painted bedroom from a Roman villa

A metal fitting from one of Emperor Caligula 2 large ships built at Lake Nemi in the 1st century A.D.  The remains of the ships were recovered in 1927 by Benito Mussolini when he had the lakes drained.  The ships burned in a fire during World War II but some of the metal fittings survived. 

Then it was off to the Museo e Galleria Borghese (Borghese Gallery), a villa set in gardens (now a public park) that showcases part of the paintings, sculpture, and antiquities owned by the luxury-loving Borghese family in the very rooms where it was originally displayed.  This is an overwhelming experience.

Here is the outside of the museum--all that you will get to see because you are not allowed to take any photos of the artwork.  Heck, you aren't even allowed to take your purse into the museum.

A glimpse of one of the many gardens around the villa
After taking a wrong turn and walking all the way around the park, it was certainly time for dinner.  We headed to Trattoria Gioia Mia Pisciapiano, a restaurant that my youngest brother had recommended.  They only have inside seating but we had a lot of fun here.

Trattoria Gioia Mia Pisciapiano

My antipasti (appetizer) of various grilled and stuffed vegetables

It was porcini mushroom season and the waiter proudly pointed out their stock of porcini mushrooms.  Don ordered pasta with porcini and bacon and I ordered risotto with porcini.
Dessert was a complete surprise.  The waiter went through the dessert list, asked if we liked chocolate and when answered said yes said that he knew what to bring us.  We got tartuffo--a ball of vanilla ice cream encased with chocolate ice cream with San Marzano liquer.  It was really tasty!

After dinner we continued our stroll through Rome.

It's a little blurry but this will give you an idea of what I mean by strolling through Rome.  You wander down streets with restaurants, shops, and famous monuments, people-watching as you go and dodging the clutches of the innumerable souvenir sellers. 

We even strolled through a shopping center.  Sadly, the restaurants were open but the shops were closed.

We ended the night at the Trevi Fountain.  This was as close as we could get because of the crowds.

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