Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Christmas in Rome, Italy

The first time Ana and I visited Rome we were freshly married. Our honeymoon also included Madrid, Sevilla, and Istanbul. We were staying in hostels and eating from supermarkets. The Euro and the heat were brutal that summer. Romantic isn't it?

Almost 8 years later, we have an infant and Ana's parents in tow. Ana's dream has always been to take her parents to see the Pope. While we didn't exactly catch the Pope delivering Christmas mass, we did manage to pay a visit to Vatican City. This has officially been scratched off the list.

While we weren't quite beggars this time around, we did enjoy the sights, food, and cooler temperatures. What a difference having a couple extra Euros in your pocket can make. In pictures, our visit to Rome.

We opted to plant our roots a couple hundred meters outside the gate in San Lorenzo.  
We were turned on to San Lorenzo during our first visit. It was working class and edgy. I'm happy to report, it is still that way. There are a couple of craft brew places now, newer murals, graffiti on anything standing still, broken out car window, and drug dealers who'll chase you down. 
Tage a wall. 
We did eat our fill of pizzas on the trip along with other dishes. There are no shortages of excellent places to eat in San Lorenzo. 

We did manage to catch the tram to the Forum, Roman Colosseum and surrounding structures on no less than three occasions. Due to winter hours it was closed on our first encounter.  
Fountain Trevi was packed with likewise tourists.
Our second attempt was a success.

A top view of the Forum.

Ana's sister joined us. Where's brother Victor?
Ximena was used as bait to attract the black rabbits. 
Speaking of Ximena, she had wider food options including horse, sheep...
...cheese and prosciutto organic baby food. 
The Vatican Museum always is lined with eye catching art. 
Detail of a fresco map on one of the walls. 
A different kind of Last Supper.  
Kinky tapestry art. 
Pope Frances might have curated this exhibition of more modern works.
Sure, why not. 
No collection is complete without a Botero.

There several Latin American works on display. 
Outside the Vatican walls. Almost a perfect statement. 
Outside of Saint Peter's Basilica. 

Inside of Saint Peter's Basilica
The Swiss Guards.  
Fontana del Nettuno in Piazza Navona 
Hummm, didn't quite get the name of this place. 
Fountain on a side street.
Inside the Pantheon 
Fountain outside the Pantheon. 
Artist hustling Euros. 
Trajan Forum
All that walking can build up a thirst.  
We were missing Egypt, so we went to visit the pyramid of Caius Cestius.
Don't discounts the fine landmarks of Fiumicino on your next visit to Rome. Here you have a row of some rather large sculptures our taxi driver drove us past on her shortcut.   
"Ground control to Major Tom" RIP David Bowie. 
Italy's beta version of the Space Shuttle.   
No themes here, just build whatever comes to mind. 
Where does one stay Fiumicino? At the Chopin Hotel of course. It wasn't by accident we stayed here, it was a matter of divine intervention. 
The Chopin houses quite an eclectic collection of paintinsg to cover every inch of its' white walls.   
The only thing missing were the title cards. 
If you're into airplane parts and old Italian motorcycles, the Chopin covers those topics as well.  
You ask. who own the Chopin? The man above and his first wife acceding to the desk clerk.
One last painting for the road. 

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