Tuesday, April 16, 2013


We were sad to leave lovely Lucca this morning and promised Paolo we'd be back one day.  However our train trip to Roma, via Firenze was uneventful, and fairly quick (it only took 4 hours including almost an hour's stop in Firenze to change trains). We had no trouble finding our apartment in Via de Ciancaleoni which was only a 10 minute walk from Roma Termini - down Via Cavour.

It seems like another lovely apartment in a very charming area of old Roma. This is a pic of the marble stairs leading to our apartment from the central courtyard (there's also a lift!).

And the pic below shows the very quiet and picturesque Via de Ciancaleoni - outside our apartment block door. 

It's a quiet street because it only leads to a set of stairs, down to Via dei Capocci - so there's no through traffic - which is a nice feature in the middle of busy Roma!

We go for a long walk this afternoon and discover we're only a few minutes from Cavour Metro station and only a 10 minute stroll down Via Cavour and up Via degli Annibaldi to.......

The Colosseum........looking very similar to when we last visited it in 1975..........and not looking too bad at all considering it is almost 2,000 years old already.

While we admired these views of the Colosseum it brought back many memories of our first visit to Roma all those years ago.  We did the full Colosseum tour in those days - I have a very strong memory of all the cats slinking around the ruins of the hypogeum (what was below the arena floor).

We walked further along Via dei Fori Imperiali, catching wonderful late afternoon views of the ancient remains of the Foro Romano (Roman Forum) located in the valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills - parts of which are even older than the Colosseum.

It's not too far then, continuing on Via dei Fiori, to reach Roma's biggest folly - the stupendous  National Monument to Victor Emmanuel 11, the first king of a unified Italy.  This is such a controversial and grandiose building, and only completed in 1925.  The tragedy is its construction destroyed a large area of the Capitaline Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome and the citadel of the earliest Romans.

We walk around to the steps up to what is left of the Capitaline Hill and the beautiful piazza constructed in Renaissance times.....the Michelangelo designed Piazza del Campidoglio and the facade of Palazzo Senatorio.

I was excited to find the Capitoline Wolf, nursing the twins Romulus and Remus, a bronze sculpture inspired by the legend of the founding of Rome.  Is this the famous original sculpture or just a copy?

We get more great views of the Forum ruins from Capitoline Hill.

.... and admire these views to the north east.

We're thinking it's time for dinner as we walk back to Via de Ciancaleoni at around 7.00pm.  We find a home style local trattoria, Al Tettorio Hosteria on Via dei Capocci. It's a cute and quirky place and we enjoy a simple but delicious meal and another half litre of vino (between us) to celebrate our return to Roma (those coins in the fountain back in 1975 must have really worked!)

There is only just enough light by the time we get back to the apartment to catch this pic of Rob sitting on our OWN rooftop terrace of our Roma apartment!  We have already made plans to enjoy breakfast there in the morning.

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