August 7th, 2004 Walking for the day in
We enjoyed the best breakfast spread for many weeks; a wonderful buffet chocked full of everything you could want; eggs, meats, cheeses, fruits, and of course a broad selection of breads. Everything was self-serve and the only thing we had to request was tea for Jim. Had a very good sleep; beds are three-quarter twins and the window has a pull down metal shade (very common in
After breakfast we talked with the manager and he called the Galleria Borghese and made reservations (required for entry) for us at 3 pm to tour the recently reopened Museum. A former cardinal’s mansion set in the exquisite pine trees of
Heading out to the Via Veneto about 10 am, we walked to the Barberni Metro Stop; purchased tickets and squeezed into the next car for our standing room only ride to the
Then, when we arrived at the Colonnades, the line to enter St. Peter’s stretched from the church doors down and through the Colonnades all the way to the front of the Square. This was much longer than the lines we stood in to enter the church through the “Holy Door” in 2000. And, August is the month that everyone leaves
Having been here many times before it was not difficult to decide to enjoy the front of St. Peter’s without the ever-present stage for the weekly blessings and spend our time elsewhere in
We took turns tossing a coin in the fountain to ensure our return to
Just prior to arriving at the Trevi we passed the Jesuit Cathedral and it advertised an English Mass at 11 am on Sunday; we decided to come back on Sunday for
After the Trevi we walked on to the Spanish Steps at Piazza di Spagna. Crowded as always, most of the people were sitting on the right side in the shade all the way up to the top of the steps. There was a bride and groom standing for photos in front of the fountain at the base of the steps. After a few photos we started up the steps. There are well over one hundred steps to the top, all in the sun as the shade was filled with people. By now it was about 1 pm and hot. By the time we reached the top we were delighted to pay seven euro for two sodas!
From the top of the Spanish Steps it was an easy walk to the Via Veneto and then over to Via Emilia and our hotel. We were dripping as we arrived; being in
We showered, changed into cooler shirts and headed for our appointment at the
Strolled back to the main street and took the escalators down under the streets to the local grocery store for some drinks and water. It is so odd to find this open on Saturday afternoon. In years past, everything closed about noon on Saturday until Monday morning…but it’s been four years since we’ve stayed over in
We are still looking for an open Tabac Shop to purchase some time for the cell phone. We’ve got it working finally, but the Italian voice on the phone says we need to put more time on it to get it to work for international calls. Didn’t find any open on Saturday afternoon. Rested for a while at the hotel and then headed by foot back towards the Trevi Fountain area and our restaurant about 6:30 pm. Arrived early and while walking around found a mini-department store that was open and had an electronics department. She had four of the TIM cards that I needed that had four minutes on each card. I purchased all four and she loaded the first one in for me before we had to leave for our dinner reservations.
Dinner was a good experience. Shared a spinach pasta roll filled with goat cheese and then Jim has spaghetti with fish sauce (mostly clams still in the shell) and I had an Italian specialty dish of lamb chops with braised vegetables. We asked her for a Kir before dinner and she didn’t know what that was so we settled for our “water with gas”. We both talked about gelato (Italian ice cream) for dessert on the walk home but decided to forgo the sweets and stick to our plans to shed a few pounds before arriving home. Did I mention that this hotel had bathroom scales in the room….it is a metric system but by multiplying by 2.2 we were able to weigh ourselves. Rude awakening after two months of no scales; not too bad, but we’ve gained more than we wanted on the trip.
Back at the hotel the night manager helped me load the additional minutes into the cell phone. Even though I don’t need it tonight it gives me a good feeling knowing that I do finally have it working.