We made it to Rome in time for an afternoon of exploring. This was my first introduction to crazy Roman traffic (cars parked 4 deep in some places!!), the uneven cobble stones of the city, and the extremely brisk pace of our local guide.
The first stop on our introduction to Rome was a look at the famous Trevi fountain. This provided my first surprise of Rome. In the movies the fountain always looks like it is located in a giant square with a whole lot of room to wander around. This was not what I found however. The fountain is squished between towering buildings with a plethora of tourists (and a few pick-pockets) all vying for prime position. Imitating a line-backer (who would have thought I'd use a sports metaphor?) I pushed my way to the front to throw my coins in the water - keeping one hand firmly on my camera with the other trying to be a force-field for my purse. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I could have gotten rid of all the other people... This was a continuing feeling throughout the sights of Rome. Moral of this story - don't trust the movies!!
As we continued our tour of Rome there were so many old buildings - with history practically leaking out of the stone.
Next we ventured to the Pantheon. The only decent picture I managed to get of it was the outside because none of my pictures of the inside could really do it justice. But, boy, the inside was amazing!! Completely round with the ceiling curving up to the top where the oculus sits. Apparently on a sunny day it becomes a spotlight and a watch all in one. The Pantheon houses highly illustrious people's tombs. Really though I was taken with the amazing feat of architecture to make such a impressive dome all those many years ago - all held around the edges no inside supports for this building!
That night we had a pizza party (I'm talking proper pizza - nothing like the stuff we have in Australia) at the Piazza Navona. In the Piazza there's a fountain called the Fountain of the Four Rivers. This was how I imagined the Trevi fountain to be - with space all around it.
The food was spectacular!! I got to eat real Italian food and there's nothing that compares. Beautiful pasta, wonderful pizza and lovely bruschetta - I was in foodie heaven and I loved it!
As night descended on my first night in Rome I couldn't help but wonder about expectations. I had expected the Trevi fountain to be something altogether different but I was pleasantly surprised by the Piazza Navona - probably because I didn't have any expectations of it at all. Expectation is a funny thing, isn't it?
The below shot was taken from the window in my hotel room. As I set up the shot I was suddenly stuck by the fact that I was actually there - in Rome. Something I'd been dreaming about and planning for so long had finally happened. Leaving the question: what do you do once you reach your goal?
Next we have a day in Roma with trips to the Vatican, Colosseum and more...