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Our trip to Paris,amalfi and Rome,sept 11 to oct 3.

Our trip to Paris,amalfi and Rome,sept 11 to oct 3.

Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 12:42 PM
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--Day Two(sunday): After an early wake up and breakfast, around 8.45 am we are our way to the Vatican.It is an easy and pleasant walk, and when arrived, we found a short line to security checks.After waiting in line some 10 minutes, we are admitted to Saint Peter.
We have been there in 1981…and now it looks somewhat bigger and more massive..glorious anyway!!!
First stop is at my favourite sculpture in the world,La Pietá; moving, perfect, think it is far better than the Moses or the Extasis of S.Therese.A few days later, we come back for a second visit to S.Pietro and La Pietá.
We stop by all chapels, admire the art there, specially Bernini’s Baldaquino, and hear Mass,a real experience.
We stay some 2 hours inside S.Peter, and when we exit,the line for admission goes all around the square!!!! I think that some some people will have to wait in line no less than 2 hours or even more; its always good arrive early to such a big attraction.
Then, we start one of our long and pleasant walks: Via della Conciliazione, crossed the Tevere at Vittorio Emanuele bridge, via giulia(in front of the church of San Giovanni dei fiorentini we crossed Mr Giulio Andreotti,former Italy Premier) we take a look at the gardens of Palazzo Farnese and we arrive at piazza Campo dei Fiori.


Campo dei Fiori is a beautiful square, full of history and the place for a tipycal food market(but not on sundays!!).At the center of the square is placed the monument to Giordano Bruno, a priest convinced of the heliocentric theory, was subjected to a “trial” and burned at this very same site.The monument is very “dark”, but always surrounded of young people, which brings some joy to and otherwise terrible murder, because a murder it was.
An interesting fact is that the president of the trial also was president at the trial of Galileo Galilei, a few years later.
From Campo dei Fiori, we went towards the Church of Gesú(Jesus Church) notorious for the baroque art one can find there, really beautiful, something not to miss when in Rome.
Then,to piazza Venezia, Vittorio Emanuelle monument (yes, the so called typewriter, but let me tell you that we really like it),another walk and we are at the Panteon, one of my favorite places in Rome, moving, an example of excellent architecture ,and the site for the grave of the great Raffaello.We took some pictures and search for some place to lunch,something light and simple:chicken salad, capriciosa salad, bruschetta, mineral water euros 24.
A visit to Santa Maria Sopra Minerva and later we arrived to piazza Colonna in our route to Trevi.
You can see that we have commited to visit almost every church we find on the route.This is because Italian churches are a real marvel, much more beautiful than
In any other country.May be they are not very impressive in their exterior, but inside, they are, almost all, real masterpieces.
When nearing Fontana di Trevi (some 50 metres from the fountain,you can really hear the water),we found a new love: Blue Ice, a Gelatteria that sells the best gelatto you can savour.
It becames a matter of loyalty for us to return every afternoon to taste a new flavor( cappuccino,amaretto,amarena,zabaglione,cassata,noc iolla….really big, creamy and 2 euros a cone, with your choice of two flavors).
Trevi is a melting pot of people, color, costumes and languages!!!!..a place we also visited every day..always full, always a little different..full of tourists, but all having a great time.

Then we proceed to the maremagnum of via del Corso shared by cars and pedestrians,chaotic,you can bet…but so italian and funny!!
Then via Condotti towards the Spanish Steps; wow!, for us it is window shopping at its best, for many japans and russians it is simply a shopping mall at its best,believe me,they are buying 1000 euros shoes or 2000 euros bags without any problem!!!
The Louis Vuitton shop has a lcd staircase that is the joy of any person walking the street.
An you can guess how the ambiance is at Piazza Spagna: al the world seems to have concentrated here, Carabinieri look as if they are fashion models, we seat at thes teps and have a great time looking around and thinking of how fortunate we are of being there.
It is an easy walk back to the hotel,and you will see,we never used any public transportation when in Rome,it is so easy to walk,to get lost and to enjoy each little street!!!
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Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Great report. I agree with you about the treasures of Roman churches--always a surprise inside. What a nice combination of places and time you had: a week in Paris, a week in the AC and a week in Rome. I could handle that!
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 04:41 AM
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Leely2:
I am sure you can handle a trip like ours!!!!Believe me,it was great,never hurried,just at leisure.And our choice was to take it easy,taking long strolls,feeling the cities...mmm I think I will start to plan a new itinerary!!!,this time for 2011,as in 2010 we are going to Spain to visit some relatives of DW(who is a native spaniard).
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 11:20 AM
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--Day Three(monday):
We with an early and long visit to Piazza Navona.We arrived at 8.30 am, and found the Piazza absolutely empty(of course, there are some waiters preparing the outdoor tables, but nothing more), we are the owners!!
Is this the most beautiful square in the world? At least it should qualify between the 2 or 3 “ best in the world”.
Having the square for us is magical, we enjoy every corner, every detail in the magnificent fountain, we seated to enjoy the early morning, with a perfect temperature, and in 30 minutes, the multitude comes in, and everything changes, with absolute peace leaving place to joy and a babel of languages.
Then,we walked the Corso , and we made a full visit to the “Vittorino”, going upstairs,
Stopping at the Flame for the Unknown Soldier, and at the top, I counted the church towers in my field of vision: there were fourteen easily visible!!!
From here,to the Trajan Column,the Fori Impeririali ,a little stop at the tourist office to have our bottle of water recharged and we arrive at the Colosseum.
Nothing new can be said, lots of tourist, a magnificent site and gorgeous surroundings with the two Arches and 2 or three modern sculptures that suit very well(in my opinion) with the landscape.
We proceed to San Pietro in Vincoli; to enjoy the Moses statue.after waiting more than one and a halfe hour,the church open again(closed 12.30 to 3 pm); in the wait,we talk to other tourists,and have great fun about the church being closed for a priest nap; bat be advised,many churches are closed more or less at this same time.

Then, back to Trevi for our ritual of gelattoi at Blue Ice , (amaretto and zabaglione,please),and we switched to shopping mode, visiting Zara,H&M,Chopin and other shops.

After shopping,we return to the hotel for a little rest, and proceed to admire Castel Sant’Angelo by night,marvelous,as well as the bridge,with all the illuminated statues!!!
There is no any problem at night in Rome,at least in all the neighborghoods we visited.

We have dinner at a restaurant near the hotel; grilled chicken for DW; saltimbocca alla romana for me, and a delicious pannacotta ai frutti di bosco as dessert; with two beers we paid 35 euros.
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 12:05 PM
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hi jelopez,

lovely report. i so agree about going into the churches - you never know what you will find, be it a mosaic encrusted crypt, a little-known old master, or, the most curious spectacle I came across, a motorcyclist, complete with helmet, crying whilst she stroked the cheek of the statue of a saint.

I will have to look out for blue Ice.
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 02:10 PM
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I'm very much enjoying your trip report. I agree about Piazza Navona. We were there on a February evening and had it almost to ourselves. It had rained a bit that day and the lights were glistening off the ground and fountains. And high above, through the windows of one of the surrounding buildings, we could see the loveliest painted ceiling. Simply magical.

As was our walk around the Colliseum and Forums another night. Rome is just magical. Thank you for bringing back the memories.
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Old Dec 5th, 2009, 05:35 AM
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Annhig and LCboniti: Thanks for your comments!!We really did a great trip and specially found Rome alive,beautiful safe and charming.We hope we can return!!!
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Old Dec 5th, 2009, 05:39 AM
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Day Four, (tuesday):

A glorious sunny day, we go across the river, pass in front of the Ara Pacis and continue to Piazza del Poppolo.There are two twin churches, and we visit the one devote to Santa Candida, as this is the name of DW(we usually call her Candy).We take a look at the piazza, and go up to the Pincio, for a glorious view or Rome,including churches,the Piazza and far away the Vatican and the monument to Vittorio Emanuele.Not the cleanest park, but the views really deserve going up there.
We take via del Babuino(sister to Madison Avenue in N.Y.C.),only second to via Condotti in luxury shops;we crossed Piazza Spagna and arrived at Mc Donald’s,for a technical stop.
Yhen,following via sistina,we go to the gorgeous Fontana del Tritone,in piazza Barberini,DW reads a little from our old guide book and we follow via Veneto,all the way up to the American Embassy(Palazzo Margherita); along the Via Veneto one finds lots of expensive hotels and equally expensive caffes.
We read our map and walk towards Piazza della Reppublica, for another high point in the trip: Santa Maria degli Ageli.
This church was built in the site of the tepidarium of ancient public Terme.The original project is by Michelangelo..and wow….what a place!!!!
The church is really big, airy, clear and in the floor,there is a bronze line, a meridianum by Francesco Bianchini.When the sun lights the line, a very old man comes and gives explanations to all people there, in two or three languages.
We really liked this church may be not the most well known, but really interesting and beautiful,for us,a must visit when in Rome.
We went to piazza dei Cinquecenti,took via Dazzeglio and were even able to find the hotel where we stay in 1981!!
Then its time for a short visit to Santa Maria Maggiore,with his Porta Sacra,of course a beautifull Cathedral.
A walk towards Trevi for a late lunch of gnocchi and a glass of white wine, our daily visit to Blue Ice and shopping for some little souvenirs.
Another visit to the Panteon (one of our preferred monuments in Rome).We go to the hotel for a little rest and visit theVatican by night, taking some pictures of the S. Peter Dome,illuminated.
Next day: faslling in love with porchetta!!
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Old Dec 5th, 2009, 06:10 AM
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Great report! Rome is my favorite city, followed by Paris, so I am really enjoying reading about your trip!
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Old Dec 5th, 2009, 01:03 PM
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Day Five(wednesday):
Another sunny day, starts at Piazza Navona again, but or aim is Trastevere via Campo dei Fiori.
At Campo dei Fiori we made a little shopping of crystal necklaces and rings for DN and some friends of her, and we continue to Trastevere with the idea or returning to Campo in order to buy a simple lunch at the market.
Trastevere is the kingdom of graffiti, but also the home of Santa Maria in Trastevere, the church that has the most beautiful mosaics in Rome(in my opinion of course).
The zone is has plenty of tourists, but not as many as Piazza Spagna or Navonna.
DW buys one more hand bag (a woman never has enough hand bags) to a street vendor for a mere 25 euros; we pass along the tram that connects Trastevere with other parts of the city, but we keep on walking, in order to see and enjoy as much as we can.
A short walk and we are back at Campo dei Fiori,and we buy all the elements for a light but excepcional meal:
Fragole dei bosco: small and most savoury strawberries,out of this world in flavor.We also buy some apples,nectarines all for 4 euros.
Porchetta panini: best meal we have in all our trip, believe me!!!! The guy in the market is always making prosciutto and porchetta panini, and the ones filled with porchetta are enormous and delicious…better yet they cost only 3 euros each!! This lunch was something to remember…talk about gourmet pricey food!!
Sometimes, simple pleasures are the best ones.
Those panini are sold in the daily market,but on a corner in the square there is a de luxe salumeria that also sells panini, olives and anything you want but of course at higher(but affordable) prices.
One more time we arrived at via del Corso in shopping mode,and continue to found reasonable prices(doing a little search of course); then proceed to Trevi for gelatti and to toss our coins ant the fountain(one additional coin for our best friends).
We stop by two churches: San Cosme e Damian and the beautifull San Ignacio de Loyola.
The night comes in and we made our diner at Piazza Navona; in a little restaurant some 10 or 15 metres from the piazza,but with full views.
We dine outside,2 salads,2 spaghetti,2 ice creams and soft drinks 24 euros.Another stroll at the Piazza,gorgeous at night and back to the hotel.
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Old Dec 5th, 2009, 01:30 PM
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Day Six(thursday):
A new and early(almost no lines) visit to St. Peter, to enjoy La Pietá one more time(with the secret hope of retirning some day).
The success of the porchetta panini was so great that we walk along the Tevere and arrive to Campo dei Fiori; great deception…themarket is there, but the guy who sells panini has taken a day off or something like that!!!!; well sometimes one has to loose!!!
More shopping at the market, buying presents for friends.
Back to the hotel we have some pizza on the go,and some fruit at our room.We take a nap and decided to visit the Ara Pacis, some 200 metres from our hotel.
The monument is worth the visit, tickets are not expensive,7 euros.But one can only access the Ara Pacis, there are no other masterpieces or things on show,anyway the monument is well preserved and a real marvel.
A little more shopping and we go to Piazza Spagna,to visit Trinitá dei Monte(not really good) and we stay seated at la “barcaccia”, people watching and one more time thinking of how fortunate we are, being here 28 years after our first and only visit to Rome.

Day Seven(friday):
Last day in Rome,we must check out by 11 a m .
We made a walk,said good bye to many good things and we are ready to take the bus to the airport the first leg of our trip to home(Rome to Madrid).
The suttle bus is a bargain at 7.50 each; and we arrive with plenty of time.
We have lunch at the airport, with surprisingly good chicken saladas and red fruits tarts.
The flight to Madrid and our connection at T4 for our flight to Montevideo went well and we have an uneventful flight back home to find our family and friends.

All in all: an almost perfect trip that we thoroughly enjoyed.Our choice of long stays at only three places went perfect, and we almost have no rain(only when arriving in Amalfi).
We found that some places can be seen and visited many times,and we are happy of being together after 33 years!!!!

And that’s all at least by now….if you have any question, I will be glad to answer and help.
And thanks to all of you for being so benevolent with my poor and broken English(ahhh remember always…ALWAYS try to speak the local language... everyone will welcome your effort).
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Old Dec 6th, 2009, 11:25 AM
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What an extremely enjoyable and evocative trip report. Your English is quite good - certainly much better than my Spanish would be.

Speaking of which, my son, who is graduating college next spring, is intending to live in Spain and teach English. I look forward to visiting him there.

Thank you for taking the time to post this trip report. I loved every line of it.
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Old Dec 6th, 2009, 12:03 PM
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jelopez,

Thank you for a wonderful report about three of my favorite cities/areas. What a nice trip for both of you. I greatly admire your ability to write in English.

I loved when you wrote: "Carabinieri look as if they are fashion models." That is so true!
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Old Dec 6th, 2009, 02:08 PM
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jelopez - a lovely report, so well written, in whichever language.

I will particularly try to remember about the porchetta panini in the campo dei fiori for our trip to Rome in Feb - DS in particular loves pork and this sounds a bargain.
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Old Dec 7th, 2009, 12:03 PM
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Thanks to all for your comments!!!
LCBoniti:I hope you enjoy your visit to Spain next year.
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Old Dec 7th, 2009, 08:51 PM
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I haven't been to Ara Pacis in several trips to Rome--I think next time I shall visit. The architecture of the building housing it certainly stands out, doesn't it?

Have a delightful time in Spain. Coincidentally, just about 33 years ago my parents took my sister and me to live there for a year before we began kindergarten. I haven't been back since...but someday.

Thank you for taking the time to share your journey here! Very enjoyable reading.
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Old Dec 7th, 2009, 11:55 PM
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jelopez, a really enjoyable report, with the personal details that make a story interesting. Your DN is a lucky girl with such dedicated shoppers working for her. Thanks for letting us come along with you on your trip.
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Old Dec 8th, 2009, 01:11 AM
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ttt
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Old Dec 8th, 2009, 04:55 AM
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Bravo, José! Very enjoyable. You were good walkers, eh? DH and I had the same experience in Piazza Navona but our occurred over two visists-no one there on the first, and mobs on the next. Rome is an amazing city-thanks for bringing it alive again,
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Old Dec 24th, 2009, 02:52 AM
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Merry Christmas to you all!!!!!! and a Happy and well traveled 2010!
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