The Sites of Rome

No matter how many times I go to Rome I still love to go to all of the main sites.  Rome is busy with tourists in mid-May but I still enjoyed each of these places.  There are lots of good memories in each.

The Pantheon.  Always great for people watching.

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The inside always is so large and the dome is amazing.  The light from the oculus causes the inside to change all during the day.

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Campo Fiori used to be a big farmers market every day now it is more for tourists but it is still a fun place to spend a morning.

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One of my favorite monuments has always been the Castel St. Angelo and the bridge lined with angels designed by Bernini.

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Of course St. Peters Square is amazing.  I didn’t take the time to go inside this time.

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What seems like the most crowded place in all of Rome is the Trevi Fountain.  I learned from Sadie to get a gelato and find a seat to watch the craziness.  A return late at night allows for a more normal viewing of the fountain.

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My favorite scene is the night time view over the Forum from the Capitaline Hill.  Matthew and I stayed very near here on my first trip to Rome many years ago.  I always come back for a quiet nighttime view.

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And nighttime at the Colosseum is a great time to see this beautiful ruin without the mobs.

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Of course the daytime views are spectacular.  It looks like I’m alone but far from it.

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The beautiful gardens for the Vestal Virgins in the forum.  Of course they had to commit to 30 years of celibacy and the punishment for a slip up was a gruesome death.

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The forum looking down from the Palentine Hill.

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There was a new area of the forum open this time.  It was a 4th century church that had been partially restored.  It was located inside of the Palentine Hill.  Very interesting to get to walk around inside the hill.

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Back in Rome

I’ve made it to Rome on the final legs of my trip (Rome, Florence and London). I’ve followed in Sadie’s shoe steps and select an apartment smack in the middle of the tourist district(I actually used her same company). It is a fifth floor apartment in Piazza de Pietra right between the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. 

The place is bustling with people but the apartment is very quiet. The Piazza is pedestrian only and is fronted by huge columns on an old building. 

From one of my windows I can see the columns. 

In another direction I can see the huge column topped by Saint Peter. 

It is a very odd apartment  built into the attic of the building. And much like my place in the Alps much of the ceiling and beams are very low. 

It has a very funky shower that looks trendy but seems a but impractical. At least I can stand up straight in the window and have a great view while I shower.  

From the couch I have a great view over the roof tops to enjoy while I sip a wind. 

Thanks to Sadie for the great recommendation.  It’s good to be back in Rome. 

Ponferrada Old Town

Posted from Seville, Andalusia, Spain.

My time in Ponferrada has been great.  It is a beautiful old town with a great view of snow capped mountains in the distance.  It is peaceful, lovely and always offers a nice free pincho when ordering a beer or wine.  The town has a great old castle on the edge of the river.  Free on Wednesday’s it made for a nice stroll.

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In addition the old town is pedestrian only with a wonderful old buildings.

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As I head out to the big city of Rome I suspect I will miss the quiet solitude of Ponferrada and the small villages nearby.

Cacabelos

Posted from Seville, Andalusia, Spain.

I decided to take a side trip to the small village of Cacabelos. I read about a small inn that was very nice. So I  decided to give it a try. The Hotel Mancloa was very large but had only 8 rooms. It had a famous restaurant that was a stopping place for people headed to Madrid. 
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There were great gardens and tables set out for a quiet wine in the afternoon. 

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The village was very nice. Old homes and several churches. 
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The restaurant was a little pricy so I opted for dinner in a small cafe. A pulperia (octopus). Sliced octopus tentacles cook tender with spices. Delicious. 

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Day out

Posted from Seville, Andalusia, Spain.

On Saturday, Bruno invited me to go with him, his brother-in-law David and niece Henar to a small village a few kilometers away.  We drove thought the country side catching occassional glimpses of pilgrims along the road.  We drove up a small road to a hill with a commanding view over the countryside.

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The hillsides were covered with grapevines that were just beginning to show this seasons growth.

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It turns out this hill was actually an old Roman fortress.  It was obviously chosen because it had views in 360 degrees.  Now all that is left is the old wall that surrounded the fortress.  Apparently most of the stones from the fortress have been removed to build the churches and buildings in the surrounding villages.

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We walked around the old wall.

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Afterward we went to a nearby town and had a drink and pinchos.

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The pincho was a seafood rice.  Delicious.

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Afterward David treated us all to a wonderful Sunday dinner at a local restaurant.  An unbelievable selection of food.  Soup,  pork, potatoes, wine and desert.