Living La Dolce Vita for a weekend in Rome

January 31, 2013 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

Rome is my favourite city in the world….although expensive, a BA flight/hotel was very affordable, and Hotel Oxford is very central being near the Spanish Steps. The sun shone and the temperature was a very pleasant 12 degrees. Didn’t need to use transport – walked everywhere. Last Sunday of the month the Vatican Museums are open but get up early and be prepared to queue…last admission is 1230pm; closing at 2pm. Other than the obvious attraction of the Raphael cartoons and the fabulously restored Sistine Chapel ceiling and Last Judgement (the colours revealed in the recently cleaned frescoes are so fresh Michelangelo might have just put down his brush!) I was fascinated by the Pope’s transport collection – from Sedan chairs to armour plated Mercedes and the recent ‘pope mobiles’.

Seeing a crowd in St Peter’s Square at 1150 we hung around and the crowd, as if at a football match started chanting ‘Benedict’…the little rug came out from the top storey and lo and behold Il Papa appeared and spoke to us all in Italian. St Peters itself is breathtaking….it’s the second largest church building in the world and the size and opulence can’t help but take your breath away. Interestingly only 3 women are buried within. Entry is free, as it is to all Romes churches….they are so unassuming on the outside and usually full of Baroque splendour so breathtaking that you have to sit down! My particular favourite is Santa Maria della Vittoria with Bernini’s jawdropping ‘Ecstacy of Sainte Theresa’ marble sculpture – so fluid in movement that the statues in the other chapels look static by comparison. Best viewed in natural sunlight, which floods through the window in the afternoon.

Although eating out is expensive, lunch can be taken standing up ‘al banco’ (‘at the bar’) – coffee, sandwich/pizza and pastries are half price here than sitting at a table and being waited upon. Evening meals are usually at least 3 courses and a leisurely affair. House red never disappoints – Lazio’s finest grapes.

People watching is of course free….piazzas and fountains are the best places to observe. Touts are annoying but are not persistent if you say a firm ‘no’. Italian language is beautiful to listen to and not too daunting to attempt and the locals appreciate the effort.

I even found a few dragons!

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Entry filed under: dragon protecting, travel.

Burford flooded Richard III – I had a hunch it was him

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Debi Evans

Debi Evans

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