I am a little in love with Rome. She cast her spell on us. And we were hooked.
Ahh. The Spanish Steps. Connor and I climbed to the very top together hand in hand. She was a little tired at the end, but now she can always say she has climbed them. Did you know this is the longest and widest staircase in Europe? 138 steps.Even first thing in the morning there were folks selling single red roses. Many a famous movie filmed on this iconic "set" brimming with romance and seduction.The boat/fountain in the Piazza di Spagna pulled these two near. Thankfully no one fell in or got TOO wet!
Because one fountain is never enough, we headed next to the Trevi Fountain. aka "Three Coins in a Fountain" Kirk taught Connor how to throw the coins over her shoulder for luck, which she found hilarious. Approximately 3,000 euros are thrown into the fountain each day (that is almost $4,500). The money has been used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome's needy.
After being priced out of dinner the night before we went back to Piazza Navona to poke around. This public square is amazing. We got gelato and sat outside the fountains enjoying the many street musicians. This is the life!Years ago, when we were younger and skinnier, we did manage to dine on the Piazza Navona. I kept a framed photo of this dinner on my work desk. There was a small Italian boy who came and played accordion in the photo with us. When I spotted the same "PIZZERIA" sign this trip we decided to recreate the picture, now six years later. And instead of the accordion-playing child --- we now have our own!On Sundays the Pope holds Mass in Saint Peter's and then publicly out on the square. We weren't about to miss our chance to see the Pope in real life.
While waiting for everything to get going I bought the three kings to go with the Fontanini nativity set I started. The last time I was in Rome I bought Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. So now with the three kings I am getting there. I suppose on a future trip to Rome I will get the shepherd and animals! Connor loved the three kings and had fun playing with them instead of paying attention to Mass. Can't say I blame her.
Rome is a delicious feast for the eyes, heart and mind. To think this place ruled the Empire. And the crazy part is that today a modern working, thriving city surrounds all these ancient sites...no sweat. Beside the Coliseum is McDonalds and major city streets zoom over and beside the Forum. Everywhere are these incredible tiny bricks.
One of my favorites in Rome is the Pantheon church. Originally built as a temple to the ancient gods and rebuilt in the early 2nd century, it is now used as a Roman Catholic church. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. A remarkable feat of engineering!
This is what the Pantheon looked like way back when....
And what it looks like now.... We met back up with Brianne and Scott for a drink and to say our goodbyes. Brianne was Kirk's "girlfriend" in kindergarten. She and Scott are easy to be around and great fun. They were brave to endure our countless potty attempts with Connor as we made our way in and around Rome. Certainly they had the patience of Job! As only the dearest of friends would and could.