Today was the day that we had planned on going to Naples however Palma decided that tomorrow might be better. Thanks Goodness because whatever hellacious cold Palma and Brad have brought from Pescara has hit me. ARGH
Nonetheless I tried to be a trooper . . .
This morning I dropped off my dry cleaning at the cleaners and wandered about trying to find the Wind store so I could use my amazing Rome Apps on my iPad whilst wandering about. When I found the Wind store they weren't open until 1. ARGH
On my way back to the apartment I found a Vodaphone shop where I managed to have a SIM card purchased and registered so that I am good to go.
When I got back to the apartment Paolo was finally up and wanted to go exploring. We had passed a sign for the Museo di Rome near the Piazza Navona so we decided to go there. The museum is located in the former Palazzo Braschi, designed by the architect Cosimo Morelli (1732-1812). The structure has recently undergone complex restoration works to return its majestic architecture, atmospheric courtyard, delicate stucco work and painted rooms to their original splendour. A distinctive element of the palace's architecture is its monumental staircase, in the creation of which architect Giuseppe Valadier (1762-1839) was involved.
Many of the halls still have their original tempera decoration from the turn of the eighteenth century.
The Museum of Rome offers the an illuminating understanding of the social history and artistic activity of the city from medieval times to the early nineteenth century. The collection consists of more than a hundred thousand objects, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, engravings, photographs, furniture, clothing, ceramics, coaches and sedan chairs and pieces of architecture and frescoes saved from demolition, selections from which are exhibited in rotation.
The museum also featured an interesting and interesting exhibit examining the artistic process of the sculpture Canova. The exhibit shows the various sketches and models made during the process of creating some of his greatest sculptures.
When we got up Paul wanted to go out and wander a bit.
I took him to see the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. I've been there when there were no cats out and about amongst the ruins. Happily yesterday there were a few out enjoying their day - quite oblivious to the furor over whether or not they are damaging the actual Roman ruins.
After visiting the cats for awhile we headed down into the Ghetto. I knew that we were near the famous Fontana delle Tartarughe. Sure enough, we turned a corner and there we were in Piazza Mattei and there it was!
Paul wanted to see the Victor Emmanuele monument so we continued on our way there. We went the easy route - up the ramp to the Piazza del Campidoglio where we admired the space designed by Michangelo and viewed the Presepe.
From there we went over to Santa Maria in Aracoeli which boasts Rome's best-loved Christmas ritual. Every Christmas Eve the Aracoeli 's 124-step ramp is lit up by candles and thronged by the Roman populace. Leather-sandalled bagpipers, in the tradition of mountaineer "pifferari" of days gone by, play Christmas music before the church door, and inside, chandeliers and tapers blaze in preparation for the ceremony. Of course I read about that AFTER christmas Eve. SIGH
The Aracoeli's greatest treasure, a wooden statue is of the child Jesus (said to have been carved from an olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemene) had been brought from his private chapel on Christmas Eve. The chubby-faced Santo Bambino, covered in jewels from his crown to his little slippers, surveys the Christmas scene and receives tributes from the children of Rome. The Santo Bambino remains in his place of honor until Epiphany, when he is taken in procession to the top of the Aracoeli's steep staircase for a benediction of the city and its people, and then returned (after being exposed for an entire day for Romans to give the traditional Epiphany kiss) to his personal chapel at the back of the church.
We took the walkway to the Victor Emmanuele monument. We had been there in 2006 and almost had a heart attack climbing up to the top. The views are incredible. Inside we found a museum of the reunification of Italy which could have been described as tired at best. What a change on this trip - presumably for the 150th anniversary of the reunification of Italy some serious thought and money has been put into the museum and the monument itself.
Paul immediately spied an elevator going up, up, up . . .
We payed 7 euro and went for a ride. From the top of the monument, you get one of the best views of Rome from anywhere in the city. It overlooks the Forum, so you’ll get a great bird’s-eye view of that, plus you can see over much of the surrounding area. And if you happen to be one of the people who doesn’t like the look of the Vittoriano itself, then you’re in luck – it won’t be in any of your photos.
When we got back to the apartment I was feeling the effects of my cold so I decided to stay in when Palma, Brad, and Paul went out for dinner. Yes, you heard that right - I was feeling so sick that I stayed home from dinner!