Thursday, September 13, 2012

Last day in Rome :(

June 27, 2012
Day 5:  Last day in Rome (insert frowny face here!)  Borghese Gallery, Piazza della Popolo, Spanish Steps, Capuchin Crypt, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Trevi Fountain.  If you are going to the Borghese Gallery, you MUST have a reservation before you go as it is usually sold out during the summer.  Betty and I took a bus to where I thought the gallery was located but no....I only had 1/2 the name of the stop right and we ended up near the British Embassy about a 10 minute walk away!  That doesn't seem like much time but when you don't know where you are and have a specific entrance time you can't miss, you start to panic!  We asked the guards at the embassy where we were and how to get to where we wanted to go, thinking that naturally they spoke english...but they were Italian soldiers and only spoke some english but it was enough for us to get on our way. (odd, wot?)

Overlooking the "Twins" and St. Peter's Basilica

Piazza della Popolo with Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto (the "Twins") and Ramesses II obelisk

One of the things that I wanted to in Rome was to find the sculptures and fountains that were in the movie "Angels and Demons".  Santa Maria del Popolo is located in this piazza and has several Bernini sculptures shown in the movie - naturally, the church was closed when we got there and wouldn't open for another 4 hours.  We continued on our walking journey past the Spanish Steps to another church named Santa Maria (della Immacolata Concezione) where there are Capuchin Crypts below that have bones displayed as art.  We then walked to another church in the movie, Santa Maria della Vittoria, to find Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.  We finished the day at the Trevi Fountain where we each made a wish of course!

Spanish Steps

Ecstasy of Saint Teresa

Trevi Fountain at dusk just as the lights came on!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rome continued..... Vatican City

June 26, 2012
Day 4:  Vatican City, Castel Sant'Angelo, Cistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica.  I always thought that the Cistine Chapel was located in St. Peter's Basilica - nope - it is in a different building with the Vatican Museums in between!  Another piece of amazing religious art NOT in St. Peter's is the Last Supper.  That is located in a little church in Milan...who knew?!  We finished the day by visiting Santa Maria Maddalena, the church directly across the piazza from our hotel.  This was one of my favorite churches! We had dinner outside in the piazza; bad pizza but good conversation with fellow guests from Melbourne.

We walked to Vatican City through Old Rome - beautiful but hot!

The bridge of angels to the Castel Sant'Angelo

One of the angels on the bridge

A fragment of a fresco in the Vatican Museums

A sculpture in the Vatican Museums

Michaelangelo's Pieta in St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica

Baldacchino in St. Peter's

Swiss Guard

St. Peter's Basilica

Santa Maria Maddalena - this church is located directly across from our hotel...our morning view at breakfast!

I lit a candle for my mom here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My trip to Italy!

My cousin Betty and I spent hours researching this trip to Italy since we were traveling on our own.  We decided to see Rome, Florence, Venice, and finished in Milan with side trips to Sienna, Pisa, San Gimignano, and Lake Como.

June 23, 2012
Day 1:  We had an 8 hour lay over in Philadelphia (our flight out of Binghamton changed for no apparent reason!) and then another lay over in Frankfurt, Germany (where I realised that I lost my credit card in Philly!). There were very strict customs officials in Frankfurt and we assumed there would be the same in Rome since that airport had a few "incidents" in the past.....but no....we just walked off the plane and through the airport without stopping for customs or anything! How bizarre!  We had a limo drive us to our hotel, the Relais Maddalena.  No fuss, no muss - that is the way to go after the loooong day of traveling! Our hotel is located 1 block from the Pantheon - how cool is that?!

June 24, 2012
Day 2:  Arrive in Rome. Pantheon, Piazza Navona and the Fountain of 4 Rivers, churches Sant'Agnese in Agone, Basilica San'Agostino and San Luigi dei Francese.


June 25, 2012
Day 3:  Colosseum, Roman Forum, church San Nicola in Carcere (exterior columns embedded in facade are from 192 BC Temples of Judo, Spes, and Janus), Temples of Hercules and Portunus, Santa Maria in Cosmedin (Mouth of Truth), Ponte Fabricio.  Many of the temples survived because they were converted into churches.

Betty and I at the Colosseum

The Roman Forum - Temple of Vesta (left) and the Temple of Julius Caesar (right)

Temple of Hercules

Ponte Fabricio - oldest surviving bridge in Rome (62 BC)