Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wandering around Rome

(Yes, I published this at 7 am. My body is still on Roman time!)

We spent more than a week in Rome, and took a ton of pictures. Some are of kids making faces and some are duplicates because we took a picture of the same cool building each time we passed it by and some are not very good (yes, it's true). Still, that is too many pictures to deal with at one go!

We had two cameras, and Stephen took way more pictures than I did. After a while, I just assumed he would take the big shots, the "here is the Colosseum" shots, and I just did my floors and little things. But now, do I want to go through twice as many pictures to show you his masterpieces as well? I looked through the ones from my camera and flagged over 50 -- too many to show you anyways, and you've all seen those iconic Rome shots, right?

Let's see what happens if I assemble a few of my favourites. I will make them all "medium," but you can always click for bigger.

We stayed at Via Giulia, 89. You may remember that last fall I pointed you to a series of photos on Flickr of huge and major renovations of a building at #93, which of course was practically next door. (Travel tip: the numbers start at one end of the street, go 1, 2, 3, 4 up one side of the street to the other end. Then they go down the other side, 78, 79, 80... I am not sure if this is true on very long streets, but it was certainly true on the Via Giulia.) 

Via Giulia, 93

Oh, I feel this getting very long.

Via Giulia is quite a special street in Rome. It was mostly built by Pope Julius II in the 16th century, but obviously, a homeowner must update things every hundred years or so. There were cables and telephone wires outside, and who knows what the other inner courtyards looked like, but I think mostly the facades were very old-looking and the interiors were totally modern within the old structures. When they did #93, they took everything out and rebuilt with all modern methods and made a pretty high-end hotel. In our place, there were walls a foot thick in places, holding the building up! There was also a metal beam across the living room, holding it together back-to-front.

Our living room floor
Bedroom floor
New technology means new holes in the walls, and this is the building across the side street from our bedroom window. You can see they had to bash holes for vents for water heaters or dryers. (Another travel tip: if you have "washer in the courtyard," you likely don't have a dryer, and so you hang your clothes out to dry, and then it rains for two days. Ask me how I know.)

beautiful old wall, new holes

We noticed several things on our walkabouts. The cars are all very small. Smart cars seem to be pulling ahead of the Fiat 500, and of course, there are also older cars. We saw several original Minis, and this tiny Fiat.

People were careful with their graffitti! There were doors that were totally spray-painted up, and some clever wag altered this street sign below, but the nice smooth house walls were mostly clear.

This poster was put on a metal hatch in the wall. I think it's well designed and clever (if a tad negative) which we don't often see in our throwaway posters in Toronto.

Some street scenes next. I cannot tell you just where this is, but I believe it's near the church of San Clemente. We got to the church just as they were closing for the afternoon, so didn't get inside. We just wandered around and had lunch.

This is just opposite San Giovanni in Laterano. You will see more of the church another day; it has the most marvellous floors! But here, a bit of an aqueduct with houses built around it! I would love to see inside that central house there. Is there a giant Roman brick construction in the bedroom? Something must still be supporting the whole structure!

This is a building on the little island in the Tiber. I think it might be a hospital, but I just liked the colours and shapes!

This picture was taken on the footbridge near our apartment. At first glance this is amazing, but we soon saw these guys and their confreres all over town. Every once in a while another two guys would come along and they'd all disappear under a big black tent, a bit of wriggling and squirming, the tent would come off and the other two guys would take over for the next hour or so. The bottom fellow appears to be holding the post, but there is a structure going up his sleeve and, indeed, underneath him. I think we tossed a euro in their pot, just for their sheer cleverness.

This is the bridge from up on the Castel Sant'Angelo. Maybe you can see their orange robes on the left side of the bridge.

There is also a guy in an Incan outfit playing pan pipes, another drumming on pots, plastic water containers, anything! (Now, Stephen has pictures of him... should dig one out!)

And there's always a bunch of tourists with those euros jingling in their pockets. There are people selling "designer" purses and whenever it rained men emerged from out of nowhere with armloads of umbrellas. Another item constantly on offer was the Splat Ball. The guys would throw the ball down onto a piece of wood or plastic; it flattens right out like a puddle, and then reforms itself. We didn't succumb, having too much experience with things like sticky hands you throw at a wall or window -- until it gets a bit dusty and doesn't work any more. I might be tempted by a fake Prada bag, but I'm no dummy! (Only tempted a bit; I didn't succumb to that, either.)

I'll stop for today with a couple of pizza pictures. The food was certainly something we were all looking forward to, and except for one crappy sandwich from a truck near the Forum, it was all pretty darn good.

This pizza was called Buffala, because of the cheese, I imagine. The crust was baked with just a bit of oil, I think, and then cherry tomatoes, real mozzarella di buffala and arugula were thrown on top. Very good! Arugula was everywhere, as were artichokes. Mmmmm.

When we couldn't get into San Clemente, we found ourselves in a little restaurant where Arthur ordered pizza with "patates." He had previously had a pizza with egg on, and we had all expected the raw egg to be broken onto the pizza and then baked, but in fact he was presented with a hard-boiled egg cut in half, perched on top of the crust! When he ordered this, we all joked about whether the potatoes would be mashed or baked. Um, no. French fries!

Next up, perhaps some floors!


  1. Marvelous range of pictures! Thank you for sharing. Love the "child for scale" in the car pic.

  2. Hi, Marse. I don't remember all those streets, but there were little cars in Rome in 1965, too. The Daniels had a Mercedes which they said always won battles with the little cars - it was like a tank. I liked the extra e-mail comparison pictures of the Piazza Navone (sp?). Looks like you had a great time, and got lots of exercise.

  3. Fabulous pictures and I love the understatement about the drier in the yard!

  4. fantastic mary! thanks for sharing so many photos!! i love them!


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