Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps 31st May to 1st June 2009

Posted on June 04, 2009 by sonjabarrie

Sunday 31st May 2009 (still Day 5)
There are loads of pictures in my facebook albums. Let me know if you can’t get access.

Last night was wonderful, we went off in search of the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps and found both. Apparently the Spanish steps are supposed to be for lovers and have inspired countless poets including Keats and Shelley. It was lovely with lots of couples sitting on the steps, what really annoyed me and I almost decked the guy was the hawkers selling roses, they don’t just offer them they thrust them in your face and I did get a bit fed up with it.

Claire Yates along with what seemed like a million other people in front of the Spanish Steps

Anyway, got some lovely photos here and at the Trevi Fountain. As usual thousands of tourists but its to be expected so you just go with the flow and we did manage to see everything which was good. We even managed to find a place to sit and contemplate the waters and statues, very calming.

Here we are in front of the fountain.

A better view of the Trevi Fountain

Also found a really cool restaurant to eat in and I wasn’t sure if the restaurant was modeled after Las Vegas or Las Vegas was modeled after this restaurant. They had painted the ceiling like a sky, painted the end wall like the Spanish steps and made small door fronts where you went in to sit and eat, very tastefully done I must say and the service was very good, as was my chicken salad and Claire and Tim’s Gnocchi.

Seemed a very long walk back and by the time Tim and Claire had gotten some Gelato (Italian ice cream to die for) it was after midnight again before bed and we had to get up at 7am in order to get to the Vatican.

Monday 1st June 2009 (Day 6)
7am came around too early but it did mean we managed to get down to breakfast at 7:30am when it opened and got coffee and even made it to the metro by 8am. We had paid to miss the queues and get a 9:30am ticket and we wanted to get there early as I had read via blogs etc that sometimes the tour guides will get you in there early.

This might have been the case if it hadn’t been pouring down with rain, I don’t think the tour guides wanted to step outside to where we had to wait until the really needed to but no worries, they turned up about 9:15am and we were in the Vatican by 9:45. You have to go through airport type security to get in but at least we didn’t have to take our shoes off which would have been a pain as everything was soaked. It was raining so hard that they had to keep stopping people from coming in so that they could mop up the water trekked in!

We found out later that it has been the wettest spring in many years (does that sound familiar Kathy?)

Sonja and Claire trying to stay dry while waiting for ther tour guide with our tickets for the Vatican.

All our ‘tour guide’ did was get us in past all the lines (you can wait upward of three hours in high season) and tell us the best way to go. If you take an actual tour it takes about 3+ hours and after watching the tour guides I’m glad we didn’t do it. You can also rent an audio tour but if you do you have to go all the way back to the entrance to give it back and then find your way to the Sistine Chapel entrance without walking the 2 miles around the Vatican, no easy feat I can assure you.

Vatican guards

A ceiling in the Vatican

Map Room ceiling in the Vatican

I had downloaded Rick Steve’s audio tours podcasts which are free and although it doesn’t detail the Vatican it is great for the Sistine Chapel, (also downloaded the Coloseum along with others) so take your iPod if you plan on going and download the tours. I also printed out a bunch of info I found on the web and read it out as we went through each room so I became the tour guide!

There’s a lot of amazing stuff to see at the Vatican and if you are really interested in history and religion you could probably spent the whole day there, having gone through countless museums before there seemed to be a lot of stuff I had seen before or that was very similar although there was some great stuff. The map room is 175 meters long and the ceiling is quite amazing. The Sistine Chapel is way smaller than I expected but the paintings are amazing. As it is a church you are not allowed to speak, no photo’s and there are a ton of guards to make sure you comply, the room is packed but when you read or hear about how it was completed and how Michelangelo did the paintings and stuff it really comes to life.

From there you go to St Peters Basilica. Now that is really stunning. So much to see, you can go up into the dome and look down but by then we were just too tired and we thought it might be like St Pauls Cathedral in London and make you walk up 600 steps. Just too tired and the line was way too long. The rest though is well worth the wait in the line, the dome is huge, 44 meters across and the writing around the bottom of it is in letters 6 feet high. Looks a lot smaller than that but knowing the letters are 6 feet high gives it all some scale.

Inside the Basilica

By the time we came out of St Peters the rain had finally gotten down to a drizzle and as the afternoon wore on it actually got sunny. Claire went off to meet up with some Italian friends of hers and Tim and I spent the afternoon just wandering around heading in the general direction of the hotel. We managed to find the Pantheon which was pretty cool and we ended up sitting in the Piazza for an hour having a well earned rest and late lunch.

The Pantheon

We are now back at the hotel having another nice rest before going out to McDonalds for dinner. Yeah I know, we’re in Rome and should be eating Italian but every meal so far has cost between 25 euros and 80 euros (that’s $35 for lunch and $112 for dinner) which is adding up too fast so hopefully McDonalds will be a bit kinder on the wallet!

Tomorrow will be a day at the Colosseum and the Roman Forum which is the ruins of the original Capital Hill and old Rome and as the Forum is all outside we hope it isn’t raining.

One Response to “Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps 31st May to 1st June 2009”

  1. Yo Momma

    - 4th Jun, 09 10:06pm

    This is so cool, thank you for taking pictures of what you are seeing. Yes, I remember well getting to England and freezing my a*@ off, having to buy warm clothes. I still wear my proper light brown English sweater!! I'm so glad you are having a good time and that you are safe and well. You are the best historian I know.

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