Sunday, January 28, 2007

December 2006 - Rome, Italy - Farewell to Trastevere

Here are some pictures of Trastevere and Rome's historic center that show the sites we saw everday on our way to and from school. It's no wonder why we fell in love with this city.

Here's the street around the corner from our apartment that we walk down every day which leads to the main street that cuts through Trastevere - Lungaretta.

And here's a close-up of the bell tower (and Rome's amazing blue sky) in the last picture, just one one of the many bell towers in Trastevere that wakes us up every morning.

This is the Tram that transported us in and out of Trastevere.

Here's us on the Tram heading towards the historic center of Rome, crossing Ponte Garibaldi, with Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island) in the background.

And here's a clear shot of Isola Tiberina, the top of the Synagogue on left perched above the trees of the old Jewish ghetto, and Rome's crisp blue skies (by the way, this is what Rome looks like every single day - the best weather we've ever experienced anywhere!).

This is Largo Argentina in Rome's historic center - the final stop of the Tram and the site of Julius Caesar's murder. These ruins now house Rome's famous cat sanctuary.

From Largo Argentina, we hop on a bus and we're off to school down Corso Vittorio Emmanuel II.

Sometimes, before class, we'd go shopping on Via del Corso - Rome's primary commercial thoroughfare from Piazza Venezia (and the Vittorio Emmanuel "wedding cake" monument) in the center of town to Piazza del Popolo at the north end. Here's Casandra in Piazza Colonna, a large square on Corso.

And here's the towering column of Marcus Aurelius in the center of the square, on top of which, at the command of the Pope, of course, is St. Peter in the place of the Roman Emperor.

As we would continue on towards school, we'd often pass the Italian Parliament building, pictured here behind Casandra.

Here's a great shot of Piazza Navona, down the street from school. After a morning of shopping in the Via del Corso area, we'd typically walk through this square on our way to school.

Basically the same shot of the square but with us in our standard self-portrait position (after 200 or so of these, I've gotten pretty good at this left-handed shot).

On this particular day, the Piazza hosted an enormous Christmas street fair. No, that's not a giant sombrero balancing awkwardly on Casandra's head. It's a carousel erected in the middle of the square especially for this holiday fair.

Here's Casandra in front of some of the vendors selling wreaths and other Christmas plants and flowers.

Every now and then, after class, we walk home rather than taking the bus and tram. After crossing through Campo dei Fiori, we head down this lively street.

Here's the view of St. Peter's Basilica from Ponte Garibaldi which we took (on foot or by tram) everyday on our way home.

We couldn't leave Trastevere without one more dinner at our favorite neighborhood restaurant, Jaipur - a fabulous family-run North Indian restaurant.

After dinner, we walked down Lungaretta towards the center of Trastevere. It's always packed with locals, tourists and, of course, the ubiquitous black-market street vendors. I considered buying a "Rolex", "Mont Blanc" pen, or mini tripod (which seems to be the most peddled item in town) - I don't know how they can sell these things for so cheap! - but Casandra counseled against it.

Finally, here's a great shot of the main square and church in our neighborhood - Santa Maria in Trastevere - which was just around the corner from our apartment. It's very charming, always lively, and packed with locals - definitely one of our favorite squares in all of Rome.

And here's a great shot looking down Santa Maria's nave towards the Baldachino above the main alter and the gold mosaic-tiled niche behind it. It's one of Rome's oldest churches, constructed and added on to over the course of many centuries, having early christian, medieval, renaissance and baroque elements.