Monday, February 24, 2014

Rome - Day #5 - The Castel Sant'Angelo, Awesome view of St. Peters Basilica and a final walk through Rome

Our last day in Rome, we didn't have the most concrete of plans.  We decided to start out by heading to Castel Sant'Angelo.  Unfortunately, it was closed!  I was pretty bummed because it looked like a pretty cool place to visit.  We ended up just walking around and taking a bunch of pictures.  There was even a little playground that the kids could play on for a while. 

One of the many bridges over the Tiber River in this area.
 The Ponte Sant'Angelo Bridge crosses the river and leads right up to the Castel Sant'Angelo.  It's a pretty neat bridge, with all these statues on it.

 Famous view of St. Peters Basilica.

 Noah was pretty much done with walking by our 5th day.  It was the first time any of the kids complained about walking during the entire trip.  They were such troopers.  The look on Noah's face pretty much sums up the entire day for him.  He was done.  Funny thing though, we ended up walking the farthest on this day, even though we didn't have any concrete plans of what we were doing this day.

 Piazza Navona

 Awesome Fountains!

 Piazza del Popolo

 This Egyptian Obelisk dates back to the time of Seti I from Egypt, around 1200 BC!

It was such a wonderful trip.  We loved visiting Rome with our children and getting to visit all these amazing places was wonderful. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rome - Day #4 - The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and The Pantheon

On day 4, we headed into Rome to visit a bunch of different sites.  We did a ton of walking.  It was really fun to see so many sites and to just walk the streets of Rome.

 Right by our Apartment was the ruins of an old Roman Bath.  The Baths of Diocletian were built back in 300AD and were the grandest Roman baths at the time.  We just saw the outside of them because the museum was closed, but it was pretty neat having these ruins right by our apartment.

Mausoleum of Augustus
Another neat carved Column.  Column of Marcus Aurelius.

 I was super excited to get to see the Pantheon.  You know all those ruins from day 3?  Well, the Pantheon was built during the same time period, so it was just amazing to get to see a building that is so well preserved.  2000 years old! Can you believe it?  To put things in perspective, the Ancient Pueblo people were building Mesa Verde in Colorado about 1100 years AFTER the pantheon was built!  Wow!!! 

 These pictures don't do justice to the size of this building. 
 Oculus in the ceiling. 
 The painter Raphael's Tomb.
 Fountain in front of the Pantheon.

 We gave the camera to the kids a lot on this day.  While I was enjoying the amazing building, the kids were playing with the camera, mostly taking pictures of the building, but apparently Noah's finger kept getting in the way (I found about 10 pictures exactly like this).  The kids were laughing about it pretty hard until Noah suddenly exclaims, "I'm gonna pee my pants!"  So, Chad immediately picks him up and runs out of the building with him and as they are running, I hear the phrase, "It's too late Dad."  So yes, Noah peed his pants in the Pantheon.  Can't wait until he gets married to share that story.  Luckily it wasn't too bad. 

If you ask the kids what there favorite thing we saw was, they would probably all answer the Cat place.  Largo di Torre Argentina is a square that holds the ruins of 4 Roman Temples and Pompey's Theater.  Not to mention that this is also the location that Julius Caesar was assassinated.  It now houses a large number of cats.  Yes, pet cats.  It's now a no-kill cat shelter.  It was actually really fun walking around the block, trying to spot all the cats hidden amongst the crumbling columns.  Really,  I can't imagine a better place to be a stray cat. =)

 The cats can come out if they want.  I've wondered if they have a lot of problems with cats getting hit by cars, since square is surrounded on 4 sides with busy streets.  But, the kids loved getting to pet some of the cats.  You'd think we didn't have a cat already at home.

The Trevi Fountain.

Super crowded! 

 They say that if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you will return one day to Rome.  So, of course we had to all throw our coins in.  The kids were pretty excited about this part.  Apparently the fountain takes in about 3000 Euro's a day!  (abt. $4100)

 So beautiful!  We had watched Roman Holiday before going to rome and in the movie, they show the Trevi fountain and there are kids climbing all over it and swimming around inside of the fountain.  Not anymore!  Now they have city police walking around yelling at people for sticking their hands in the water.

 Triton Fountain by Barberini at Piazza Barberini.  Kind of a strange historical side note.  Up until the 1800's, they use to display unknown dead people here for identification. 
 The Spanish Steps

Looking down from the top to the bottom.  Unfortunately, the fountain at the bottom was under renovations, so it was difficult to get a good view looking up or down.
 At the top, there were a ton of painting vendors. 
 We just sat here on the steps for quite a while, so that the kids could draw in their books and we could enjoy the sun.  Can you tell what is different from us than everyone else?  I guess we are getting use to Danish weather, because at 60 degrees in Rome, we were wearing just jackets and taking even those off in the sun in the middle of the day.  While everyone else was still bundled up in coats.  It felt so warm to us.
 Gelato!  Of course we had to get Gelato and eat it on the Spanish Steps, just like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.  This was the best gelato I ate the entire trip.  So yummy!

 Noah asked if he could use the camera to take some pictures of the Spanish Steps.  Well, there were about 15 pictures of various views of the steps.  Haha!

 That night we ate dinner at Outback Steakhouse!  I know, so not Italian, but Chad was tired of pasta and pizza.  We enjoyed ribs for the first time in over 2 years.  And Noah got to milk a cow.  =)