Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Tour of Italy Installment 10 Last day in Italy and Home Again

On our last day we took a tour of ancient Rome (not that what we'd seen already wasn't ancient). I purposely did not wander into this area of town when I was exploring because I knew we’d be there on a tour. 

I’m so glad I didn’t because the area is HUGE, I would have been overwhelmed on my own.




On the way to the Forum


The only part of a Roman road remaining.


To think chariots rolled where we walked.




What a trip, now I’m anxious to go back and visit further south along the coast.

Maybe next year!

If you are are interested in seeing some of the paintings I do of my trip please email me by clicking here and I’ll send you a link once the paintings are done.

Home felt good, I needed a rest!




Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Tour of Italy Installment 9 Rome

Walking from our hotel again, I visited many of the cities fountains and Piazza's, did some window shopping and stopped for some gelato!

The Trevi Fountain, built in 1762 - and yes I threw a coin over my shoulder to assure that I'll return to Rome.









The Fiumi Fountain was finished 1651. The fountains, in addition to being beautiful, provided water for the neighborhoods.


On the same Piazza Navono was this restaurant, I may have to do a painting of this!






The Spanish Steps, sadly with no flowers, still impressive - I did NOT climb them!



I stopped at this beautiful restaurant and bar for gelato (my favorite is lemon) and a cappuccino.


Again I don’t usually take photos of my food but I could not help it!


I don't know what that red & blue thing was but it was yummy!





The Pantheon, in continuous for almost 2000 years.





Fountain San Rocco


Next post - last day in Rome!





Monday, June 05, 2017

A Tour of Italy Installment 8 Pompeii and Arriving in Rome

After leaving Sorrento we drove to Pompeii


These trees are called Mediterranean Pines.


Amazing frescos still exist.


Some original mosaics too.


The ruins are huge and its mind boggling to think how old they are - they were buried in 79 AD. We were told they are not doing any new excavations right now due to the cost, they are concentrating on preserving what they have already uncovered. Why are the ruins still there having nothing built on top of them? It seems because throughout history since the Volcano eruption people knew where Pompei was supposed to be there was just no interest in uncovering it until around 1750. 

The ash was 28 feet deep in many places. While bodies rotted away under the ash, the ash created a hard shell around the body. They knew a body was there because the bones were there, they injected cement into the cavities and got a cast of the body. Some of these I’m told are touring around the country.

The hike through these ruins is not easy, and it did some of our people in. Many people developed rashes on their ankles. I read about it and its called Golfers Vascaulitis, from too much exercise and heat combined. I got it for the first time ever and I’m used to walking till I drop. 

The we arrived in Rome…. I never expected to like Rome but as it turns out I LOVED it. Everything is so big, and because of that even with a ton of tourists the city can accommodate them all and there are lots of out of the way streets and alleys where all you might see are a few people.


Our hotel was just 8 or so blocks from the Vatican.






There are lots of fabulous museums and of course Vatican City. By being on a tour we got to enter at 8 am and there weren’t more than a hundred people in the Sistine Chapel when we were there and not more that three hundred in St Peters Basililica - a building that can hold tens of thousands. 










The reason you can take photos in the Basicilla and not the Sistene Chapel is that in the Basicilla the artwork is done in mosaic and in the Sistine Chapel the artwork is painted. The Chapel was cleaned about 25 years ago to show the beautiful colors, up until then the paintings were almost black from the soot from candles and torches through the years.


The Swiss Guard.

Trump was visiting the next day so we were lucky to get in and out easily. That afternoon I walked the 6 blocks to cross the river into the downtown. 


And walked for about 5 hours looking at all the beautiful fountains, shops and ruins. What a beautiful city.



Mosaics.



On the Piazza del Popolo I had lunch and people watched.



Just two short blocks from our hotel was the Castel St Angelo, built in 124AD. While it doesn't look like much from the outside the museum it holds is fabulous, there is a restaurant on the top, and a brick walkway between it and the Vatican in case a Pope was deemed in danger, he would have a quick way to get to its safety.

 



Next post, more wandering in Rome!



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Tour of Italy Installment 7 Sorrento and Capri

On our way to Sorrento we saw that everyones yard was filled with fruit trees and vegetable gardens. The soil there is very fertile from the constant erupting of Mt Viscuvious. As we approached Sorrento we starting seeing more flowers and beautiful vistas.


Our hotel in Sorrento was amazing. not right down town (but I walked it in about 25 minutes). It was part of a complex that was once a villa on the cliff looking at the Bay of Naples, Mt Visuvious, and the Isle of Capri.

Our hotel Parco Dei Principi was all done in blue and white tile. Floor to ceiling windows that made me feel at home and the grounds and pool were amazing.


This is the gate entering the grounds.


The view from our hotel.


Love Limoncello!!





The grounds were full of beautiful flowers.


Our view of Mt  Viscuvious.


The Villa that the grounds belong to.


It'a a quick boat ride to Capri from Sorrento. Both Capri Town and AnaCapri made me feel like I was in Beverly Hills. Some people might not like that but it was beautiful and I would go back.


We went on a boat ride around the island looking at the blue lagoon, a natural bridge, places where the romans and Phoenicians were. 

They even found that there were Stone Age inhabitants.The Greeks were there in 800 BC.

The Phoenician Steps (they say they could not have been built by the Phoenicians but anyway that's what they are called) went from Capri Town to Anacapri. Can't imagine making that climb.



View from Anacapri.



An ancient door leading to the Phoenician Steps.






The flowers are beautiful, the views amazing, and air is sweet.   I’m told the best time is in the evening after all the day tourists have left. I’m sure that is the case in any tourist area.

Once we got back to Sorrento I had the bus drop me off downtown, the shopping streets are the typical tourist shops, but some were quite nice. And I got some nice photos. 

A puppet show was taking place in the square and and a flea market on one of the streets.



I’m trying to travel light so only buying small, mostly consumable, items. couldn’t leave without some limoncello and lemon soap. 

Limoncello capitol!






Amazing to me that so many places with beautiful art are open to the outside.





I did NOT climb the hill from the ferry landing to the town!

After leaving Sorrento we drove to Pompei on our way to Rome!