Wednesday, August 09, 2006

August 2006 - Rome, Italy - Day 2

Today, still without luggage, we headed to our apartment in Trastevere. Kenny was reprimanded by the taxi driver for playing with the backseat fold down TV - which he broke while trying, for some odd reason, to force it closed. One big tip later, we're at Via Natale del Grande 8, pounding on the door and ringing our landlord's bell, only to learn that Massimo Rivera is out of Rome for the month. Not to worry, our realtor located Massimo's cousin who let us in, offerred to clean the apartment, and demanded payment in cash. Two hours later, after a walk around Trastevere, by Dante Alighieri's home, and along the Tiber, we're in our new apartment.

And it's HUGE with 12 foot ceiling, 2 extra guest beds (1st come 1st serve!), a full kitchen, and lovely Italian decor, clearly decorated by Massimo's grandmother (i.e., tchotchkes everywhere!). We then began a walking tour of Rome's historic center. We walked from viale de Trastevere, across the Tiber (pass Isola Tiberina)

and to Campo de Fiori (Rome's biggest open air market), then to Piazza Navona (the largest square in the center of Rome).

We wound through the side streets and came upon Piazza de Rotundo which is overpowered by the truly awesome Pantheon (nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of this mamouth domed ancient pagan temple - over 2000 years old - converted into the 1st Catholic Church).

Then we walked to Piazza de Colonna, down via Corso to Piazza Venezia with the imposing Monument to Vittorio Emanuel II (the "wedding cake").

From there, Casandra caught her 1st glimpse of the Colosseum in the distance while I ran into traffic to capture the moment.

We walked down via Fiori Imperiale through the Roman Forum (the birthplace of the republic) to the Colosseum, passing il Campidoglio and the Palatine. 17 pictures of us in front of the Colosseum later,

we head west towards Constantine's arch

and the sunset over the Tiber, passing the Apian Way, Circus Maximus, crossing Ponte Palatine into Trastevere. Once in Trastevere, we walked along the Tiber and then on Via di Lungaretta (Rome's Canal street) past street vendors, to Piazza Santa Maria - the heart and main square of Trastevere - winding through narrow streets down to Piazza San Cosimato where our apartment sits. For dinner we had amazing steak at Ristorante Pizzeria La Scala on Via della Scala which extends north from Piazza Santa Maria. Then we strolled home.

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