ROME Italy, December 2009                    Page 2                            | last page | index | next page |

Dec 21, continued

Walking further to the Adrian temple (columns of an old temple used for the front of a building)....




that's Gary taking a picture of us...







Then the Pantheon (on the Piazza della Rotunda, “a lively square with cafes, vendors and great people watching” our guide book says). The Pantheon dome is 142 ft high, 142 feet wide, it's a sphere in a cylinder, once covered in marble and containing many statues to the many gods.  Before the 20th century, it was the largest concrete structure ever made.  Animals were sacrificed in the center with smoke rising through the open ceiling.  It's now a Catholic church.  Inside, there is Raphael’s tomb as well as the tombs of two kings. Outside is the square with another Egyptian obelisk.















Then, we walked to the Piazza Navona (an open court lined with vendors featuring a Christmas bizarre, originally the stadium of Domitian where chariot races were held).  Several nice fountains here with impressive sculptures. In this square, we were approached by a man who enticed us to his newly opened bar for a great meal at a great price.












So many fountains, so many sculptures...




Walked toward the Teveri river, made a left at the Augustus Mausoleum (what’s left of it) towards via Corso.  Here we found many, many young people walking and shopping in the street which had been closed to vehicular traffic for Christmas shopping.  It was now late afteroon, and we crossed and went towards the Spanish Steps where we were promised a concert at 6:00 pm. It was  packed with people.










Unfortunately, it was raining (did we mention that we had 10 days of rain, not really hard rain, but wet just the same) and the concert was cancelled. We decided to drown our disappointment with a gelato, and found a great gelato bar near the steps.  We were shocked when we were told that the gelato were 12 euros each! That’s about 20 dollars each (the euro was worth $1.60 this week)! That's what you get when you buy at a busy place.  We later found other gelato for about 2-3 euro. 

On the way back, we found a bar/trattoria where we had supper.  This was the first of several visits to this bar, because we were very comfortable with the people running the bar.  We’ll have some picture of them later.

An exhausting first day, but we didn’t do less the next day - visit to the Vatican!

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