Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Living la dolce vita: Our Roman Holiday

"When in Rome, do as Romans do." No problem. They certainly know how to live la dolce vita in Italy. Good wine, delicious food, friendly people and warm weather. I could live like this. But alas, we live in the Netherlands. Too bad. No just kidding. The Netherlands is great, but Italians have perfected living the good life.
Tiny elevator not appropriate for TALL Dutchmen
Jaap was attending an epilepsy conference in Rome for a few days, so we turned it into a week vacation and spent the last few days of our summer holiday in the Eternal City. What a great trip. Both of us have been to Rome before, so we were pretty relaxed about seeing the sites. We managed to see new things and also take a day trip to Tivoli, which my mother recommended to us. Thanks Mom!
We spent our first day at the Vatican visiting the basilica, museum, and of course the Sistine Chapel. The crowds were incredible. I can't believe how many people were at the Vatican. While eaves dropping in on an American tour guide talking to her patrons, I learned that the Sistine Chapel could eventually be closed due to a high volume of visitors each day. Apparently the noise contributes to deterioration of Michelangelo's ceiling. So folks, another reason to get to Rome... ASAP!
The Vatican
It was hot! Too hot for comfort, but it cooled down to a mild 89 degrees and we got used to it. I can't complain. I now know why there are tons of fountains all of the city. Romans need to cool off! 
Here we are enjoying the views at Piazza Navona. A few days after we left, the fountain below was vandalized and now part of it is missing.
We did a lot on our second day: Ancient forum, Colosseum, and a drive by of the Spanish Steps and Fontana di Trevi. The last time Jaap and I both visited Rome the Ancient Forum was free, but now you have to pay to enter. On the plus side, it includes entrance to the Colosseum.
I have the same picture from my first visit to Rome in 2001. :)
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And after a long and hot day of walking and sightseeing, we enjoyed some relaxation at an outdoor café. It was in the Trastevere district, where our hotel was located. We stopped by this café several times that week for food, drinks, and nice long conversations. This is how I like to vacation. 

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