Saturday, May 30, 2009

When in Rome...

We didn't have internet access for the last few days so now that we're in Narita for the layover, we have time to update our time in Rome. Laura and Neil, plus Tess, Little Bit, Astrid, Jake & Oba graciously host us for a few days and we had a memorable visit. Thank you very much, Hohmann's!!
This photo actually shows us having dinner at Obika's Mozzarella Bar on Friday night with friend, Allison, who also works at the State Dept. The mozzarella bar serves four types of fresh mozzarella and the you can pick the accompaniment such as vegetables, sardines, etc.

Our waiter - I thought he looked like a very typical Italian guy...

Laura had a nice dish but I can't remember the name...
I ordered my mozzarella with grilled vegetables with pesto sauce and a side dish of rice with grilled veggies.

On Thursday afternoon, we headed to the Roman Colloseum, a magnificent site where they used to kill 10,000 animals and 900 people in a period of 117 days. It's still remarkable to think that the arena is still standing, despite several earthquakes, wars and centuries of wear and tear.
The Roman ruins near the Forum and Palatine Hill. We kept on saying to ourselves, "Wow, this is really OLD stuff!"
After our audio tour of the Pantheon, we saw a crowd assemble with security & secret service. US Attorney General Eric Holder was visiting Rome that day.
He came with his possee.
We were astounded by the intricate sculptures which read like a storyboard around this 60 foot tall column. It must have taken years to complete.

On Thursday morning, Neil, Laura, Tess & Little Bit walked us to the Galleria Borghese. We thought that it was the most impressive collection of art that we had seen.
On a walk from Neil & Laura's apartment on Wednesday, we saw across the Tiber River to St. Peter's and the Vatican walls.
There are several bridges that cross the river, much like this one.
A Piazza nearby.
Laura and Neil with Little Bit.
Here they are with Tess & Little Bit, the most traveled boonie dogs from Saipan ~ Virigina, Warsaw and now Rome! Tess was adorable when she tried to walk across the tile at home. She routinely "moon-walks" as she's afraid to slip. Very amusing and cute!
I loved spending time with the dogs since I missed Shelby a lot.
Russ and Jake got along well. I love cats, but my allergies don't.
The colors of the season are lavender and purple. Doesn't Neil look debonair?
On Friday morning, we toured the enormous Vatican Museum.
The road that leads to Vatican City.
Vatican nuns? There wer hundreds or thousands of images of the Madonna and Child.
We admired all the painted frescoes on the walls
and ceilings.
St. Peter's Square
Inside the Basilica are many statues of former popes that have been buried there.
The altar was magnificent
People from around the world come to St. Peter's to see the Pope perform mass every Sunday and Wednesday.Our last night in Rome... we walked near the Pantheon where musicians entertained the locals and tourists dining outside. The Hohmann's live only a block away.
Rome was spectacular in the historical sense. There were many other museums and monuments that we missed since we only had 2 full days to tour. Maybe next time...

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