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Sailing Through History II-The Treasures of Rome

Discovering Rome: History, Religion and Culture in Italy

Our second day in Rome began very early. After checking in for the cruise with the Princess Cruises representative stationed in the hotel lobby, we headed up to the rooftop restaurant for breakfast. It was a picture postcard gorgeous day! The restaurant on the roof of the hotel was a marvelous setting for breakfast. There were white linen covered tables all around the room, which was surrounded by large floor to ceiling windows. A nice buffet was set up so we sat down to a meal of coffee, eggs, bacon and delicious pastries. After we finished eating, we wandered outside to the rooftop terrace for a view of the city of Rome. The view was amazing!

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The views of central Rome, the Villa Borghese Park and the Vatican in the distance were wonderful. What I loved about Rome immediately was that it was so OLD. No skyscrapers or modern office towers filling the skyline. Just wonderful old architecture, historic sites, trees and greenery. Looking at the scene made me all the more anxious to head out to see the sights. We walked out of the hotel and started to cross the street. That's when I got my first taste of life in the city of Rome. The traffic was often heavy, fast and furious! Pedestrians have a hard time getting around Rome on foot without getting mowed down by a car or motorcycle. After a few false starts, we finally made it across the street and headed down the narrow streets toward our first stop, the Spanish Steps and the Piazza di Spagna.

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Upon reaching the Spanish Steps and the Piazza di Spagna (the people watching center of Rome) I noticed lots of work crews replacing the flowers that normally line the steps. There were still lots of people milling around, so we made our way down the steps into the Piazza and down the street toward the luxury shopping area. I loved the creative store fronts, the Valentino and Louis Vuitton shops were easy to recognize! We did not stop to shop. The value of the dollar in Italy made goods extremely expensive, so we kept walking and took in the sights with our cameras.

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We spent the rest of the morning walking along the streets of Rome, stopping for gelato and buying souvenirs. Our last stop before heading back to the hotel was the Trevi Fountain, the location of numerous movie scenes that I had seen growing up. Getting to the fountain was a little tricky, we found it tucked away behind some buildings. I was stunned at the number of people visiting the fountain. We had to almost squeeze through hordes of folks that seemed to be just "hanging out" there. I approached the pool at the bottom of the fountain with my coin in hand. As tradition requires, I threw the coin over my shoulder in to the fountain. This act would insure that I would return to Rome one day.

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After leaving Trevi Fountain, we hailed a cab and headed back to the hotel. It was shortly after lunchtime that we passed a Hard Rock Cafe near the Marriott. My husband insisted we go back and eat there. Lunch was good, but I was going to make sure I got some more authentic Italian food before we left Rome. Sure enough, we found a great place to eat dinner just down the street. My wonderful Mother treated us to a elegant meal of fresh seafood and pasta. Our waiter had the chef come out and prepare dessert tableside at the end of the meal. With all that food and wine I was ready for bed, so we strolled back to the hotel and turned in for the evening. Tomorrow we would be doing an escorted tour of ancient Rome and the Vatican. I could not wait!

To be continued........

Posted by Gerriv 17:29

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