The Adventure Begins.. Sarge56 in Italy

Old Jun 6th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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WeisserTee: do you have grandchildren?
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 12:47 AM
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Mvor- the frozen water bottle worked great! Thx for the idea.

I did make it to the Papal audience, San Luigi dei Francesi, San'Andrea della Valle and Il Gesu.

Tomorrow, Santa Presseda.
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 04:17 AM
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Hi Sarge,
Just thinking about your camera & the challenge of taking pics in Churches & other dark places where you can't use a flash.

I have an iphone 4s and there's an App called "Camera +", that is really good. The camera is a lot better than the normal one, AND there's an editing function with it ("Lightbox"). I've rescued some really dark pics by using its "Night" option, and fixed up some other less than perfect pics.

Now, this is obviously not the equivalent of the big-gun cameras. Nor is it meant to be. However, I was happy enough with it to leave my little Nokia in my hotel and just use my iphone camera for all my Nepal & Bhutan pics recently.

There's also the advantage of being able to shoot off a framed, captioned pic to someone without having to download to a laptop etc. And it fits in your pocket!

No idea whether other smart phones have an equivalent or better option. Just thought this might be useful if you happen to have an iphone (or an ipad, I guess).

I'm glad to see things are looking up & you're starting to feel at home - some of your wanderings around Rome and in particular Trestavere are in my favourite spots. Santa Maria is really something, isn't it?
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 09:41 AM
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we came across San Prassede by following Rick Steve's mosaic churches tour, AND he gave me the tip to carry change for turning the lights on.

when we got there, a french choir was rehearsing for a concert later - it was truly magical.

hope you enjoy it too, Sarge, and don't forget the 50c & 1€ coins.
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Old Jun 8th, 2013, 09:06 PM
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sarge, I really hope you do decide to stay.

Just imagine what you are teaching your grandchildren if you stay: that a dream is worth fighting for, worth sacrificing for, worth walking through storms and trials of fire for. Because making dreams real is worth it.

I don't think you would be teaching them that dreams are *more important* than family because you will be home in two years. I think that, in 10 years' time, they won't remember your brief absence as much as they will remember that you walked your dream. That may be important for them when they are teens or young adults.

Think about the grandmother you will be for them after two years: bicultural and maybe even bilingual. You will have a longer perspective (I find that folks in Germany don't have a "this year" perspective or even a "this generation" perspective --). Your problem-solving skills will have multiplied. You will see solutions that other folks in your neighborhood can't or don't. You will have an even more worldly outlook.

I'm enjoying your adventure!

s
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Old Jun 8th, 2013, 09:10 PM
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Ok, never mind. I just saw your most recent post.

s
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Old Jun 8th, 2013, 11:52 PM
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swan- it's ok. I will be taking them back to Italy with me, when they are a bit older.

And, frankly, I HAVE lived my dream and shown them it can be done with hard work. Just because it only lasted four weeks doesn't mean I didn't work hard to get here.

Thanks again, though, for your input. I did weigh all input while making my decision.
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Old Jun 9th, 2013, 04:57 AM
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Sarge - i saw your other thread and felt for you. you have had a hard decision to make, but it sounds like the right one.

enjoy the rest of your time in Rome.

did you ever get to San Prassede?
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Old Jun 9th, 2013, 07:11 AM
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Oh, yes, ann. It was lovely. Truly inspirational. I've been to so many churches, when you read the trip report you are going to have to keep your head from spinning. hahah
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 06:15 AM
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sarge - I'm so pleased you got there, as I have lovely memories of the music particularly.

it does get difficult to remember what you saw where after a while, doesn't it?

how much longer do you have before you go home?
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 07:01 AM
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ann, I'm doing some packing right now. Leave Wednesday at zero dark thirty.

Today, I just trammed down to the Largo Argentina. Visited with kitties and sat and read for a few hours (love my Kindle).

Then had a terrific lunch at Ducati Caffe. Unbelievably affordable and the food was delicious. I'll certainly be going back there!

Tomorrow is my last day. I have so many possibilities, I am not sure what I am going to do. Thought about the catacombs; maybe training to Tivoli; maybe just a long walk up the river and down it again. Not sure.

I will cry when I leave Rome. But that is nothing new.. I cry every time I leave Italy. hahaha

Alas, it is time to go see the grandkids...
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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oh, sarge, i feel your pain. i love Rome so much, and when you started your thread about moving there, I started to dream......

would you mind if I told you what I would do on my last day in Rome?

have you been to the Galleria Doria Pamphilj? The entrance is on Via del Corso and is packed full of wonderful art and sculpture, and very few visitors. it is a wonderfully quiet place. i would go there, then go to the top of the Vittoriana and look at the view. after that, I'd wander over to the ghetto and eat carciofi alla guida [they look like pixi hats to me] and fiori fritti and then go [window] shopping along the via coronari and the little streets in that area. I might go and look at the Pizza Navona and try to ignore all the tat and tourists, and then down to St. Peter's for a last look at all that is lovely.

Finally I'd treat myself to dinner in my fave restaurant in Rome.

remember not to pack the handkerchiefs!

there, that's my last day. I'm sure that yours will be very different but just as good.

and seeing your grandchildren will make it all seem worthwhile!
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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What a lovely image of a day in Rome, ann!

Best wishes to you, sarge!!
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 05:22 PM
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It's been a very nice trip for all of us. Thanks for taking us along.
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Old Jun 11th, 2013, 10:14 AM
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ann- Not sure it was karma, or serendipity or what... my last day in Rome for this trip..

Needed to do some last-minute gift shopping. Took the Tram to the Largo Argentina. Had a cornetti and iced tea, played with a couple of kitties and then headed over to a store I'd seen on the Via di Torre Argentina.

Picked up some scarves and a purse. Had a lovely chat with the store owner. He desperately tried to find me the purse I wanted, in red. Couldn't do it, but he gave it a shot.

Then on to another souvenir shop where I had previously picked up some masks for my 3 granddaughters. My son-in-law's niece (8) is staying with them for several weeks (her mother just passed away at the age of 32), and so I had to pick up a mask for her, too. Picked up a coffee cup for me and a magnet for my neighbor (she collects them from every place I go. haha)

I then decided to get some lunch at my favorite restaurant, near the Trevi. As I'm walking, I notice some people coming out of a church. The church looks familiar; I look at my watch and wonder why it is 12:10 and this church is open. (They all seem to close at 12). Then I realize (I'd forgotten my guide book!) that this was the church that I tried to see last visit, but it was closed.

I found myself in the most beautiful Sant'Ignazio di Loyola. I cannot believe this church doesn't get more press here at Fodors. I loved it. Thought it was quite beautiful. The bas reliefs and twisted green columns; the ceiling; the domes; the "fake" dome... loved this church!

So, on to the Trevi fountain. It was amazingly not crowded for 12:50 in the afternoon. I then walked over to my favorite restaurant in all of Italy, Il Chianti. It's 30 seconds from the Trevi.

Had a most incredible crostini/gorgonzola/honey appetizer. Followed my a plate of pasta with cacio e pepe. It was a beautiful day in Rome today. Perfect for outdoor dining.

I then stopped at my favorite gelato shop, right on the corner of the Trevi and Via del Lavatore. Blackberry. One small cone. It was perfect and I ate it while looking over the wall at the Trevi, which (an hour later) was now packed to the gills!

From there, I decided to walk over to the Piazza Venezia, because I love the shade on the east side that time of day. It is a perfect place to sit and read and catch the breeze.

Well, I crossed the Via del Corso so I could stay in the shade. Took some lovely photos of the Column of Marcus Aurelius. Then came upon a set of doors that were open to a beautiful courtyard.

You guessed it, ann- it was the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj! I remembered what you'd said and decided to drop in. Oh, man, am I glad I did! I considered this one of my best finds on this trip!

The palazzo was stunning; I loved the audioguide narration by one of the Pamphilj descendents- he had a great sense of humor, and spent time as a child in the family apartments here. Just absolutely loved this place and highly, highly recommend it! E11 and that includes the audioguide. I could not believe how empty this place was! Bonus!!!

I was happy to see a marvelous Caravaggio of John the Baptist as a boy. It has recently been restored. Additionally, one of the paintings that was supposed to be on the tour was missing. I found it in an area now used for art restoration. There were two restorers working on it, and you were allowed to watch them work (through a plexiglass door).

Well, I was done for by then. Walked to the Piazza and caught the tram back to my apartment. Now it's the grunt work- taking out the trash, doing dishes, final packing. (OMG-I have no idea how I'm going to fit all my gifts in there!)

Thanks, all. Trip report within a couple weeks. Promise!

Ciao bella, Roma..
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Old Jun 11th, 2013, 10:43 PM
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Those grandkids are awaiting your special hugs. Safe voyage!
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 02:48 AM
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Wow, what a wonderful last day, for now. Safe journey home.
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 10:42 AM
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You guessed it, ann- it was the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj! I remembered what you'd said and decided to drop in. Oh, man, am I glad I did! I considered this one of my best finds on this trip!>>

Sarge - I am so pleased that you found the Doria Pamphilj and enjoyed it so much. I was sure that you would from everything I've learnt about you!

at the time I'm posting this, you should be half way home- buon viaggio!
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Old Jun 15th, 2013, 06:53 PM
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Safe journey home. I completely understand your decision.
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