Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rome - 22.11.2012

Today, we decided to visit St Peters Basillica. We caught the small bus (119) to stop Argentina, where we changed buses to 126, which was supposed to go to St Peters, however we ended up at the bus Termini, where we transferred to another 126, which did go to St Peters, however we went one stop to far, and had to walk back- luckily not too far. There was a queue to enter St Peters, due to security screening, but it moved quite quickly. There was obviously someone important about to leave the Vatican as there were police and guards everywhere until the motorcade had passed - pretty sure it wasn't the Pope, as not enough bell & whistles !!! We visited St Peters last time we were in Rome, and were still amazed at how big and opulent it is. We caught a cab back to the Borghese Gallery, as we didn't want to miss our allotted time slot. This gallery has a lot of Benini sculptures in it, which are beautiful works of art ! A lot of religious painting and Caravaggio's famous Boy with Flowers. The gallery is situated in the Borghese gardens, which are quiet and peaceful and are about 148 acres. There is a trolley bus, that looks like a train takes you on a tour of the park. From here we were able to find the small 119 bus back to the Piazza. A drink at the bar and then a breather before heading out for dinner.

Rome 21.11.2012

After some research, we decided to purchase the Rome Pass, which will give us a 3 day pass on all public transport, and free entry to the first two galleries or museums.
We caught the small bus that runs from the Piazza del Popolo to the Colleseum. We didnt have to queue as the Rome pass has a dedicated line, which was great, as the line was quite long. What an incredible place, as we first entered there was a museum like display on the history of Rome. It's hard to describe just how amazing it is. When you think that all those years ago they were able to build a stadium that is much like arenas we have today . They even had the ability to cover it if needed !! From here John toured the Forum - I decided that my legs had already done enough for one morning. According to John, it was a good decision, as there were lots of stairs !! He was able to stand on the spot were Marc Antony made his famous speech to the Roman people after the assination of Julius Caesar - "Friends Romans, countrymen lend me your ears".
We couldn't find the small bus back, so ended up making our way back to the Spanish Steps and just wandered around taking in the atmosphere. Tour hotel has a bar/cafe attached to it, which we visited before heading upstairs to our room for a breather before dinner.
After dinner a walk to the Piazza - check out the parking in Rome !!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Florence - Rome 20.11.2012

Seeing that we were unable to see the Statue of David yesterday, we were up early to make sure we didn't leave Florence without seeing it !!, so if to the museum Accademia. Wow !! What can I say. It is magnificent. As expected it is huge, and the detail is incredible, it just makes you want to sit & look at it!! The museum also has lot of plaster models of statues to be carved. We don't think that Michelangelo did one of David- at least we didn't see it. After looking at the rest of the museum, we couldn't resist going back for one last look at David, as it truly is amazing!! Unfortunately, no photos are allowed - unless you are John!!
The train journey to Rome was only about 1 1/2 hrs, again in a comfortable high speed train, with great scenery. Our hotel, Hotel Mozart is located right on Via del Corso close to the Piazza de Popollo and the Spanish Steps and lots of Churches. Fantastic location. Wow, it's great to be back in Rome