Rome, oh Rome you big show-off. Rome. I won't even try to describe it. I mean ...
What are you trying to prove?
Rome book-ended our trip. The plan was always Morocco first and then to go meet up with my family in Italy for Christmas. We might have cut out some flights by going open-jaw, but open-jaw tickets are stupid-expensive, so decided to fly to Rome, spend a few days, and fly to/from Marrakesh. As luck would have it, Ryanair has a direct Rome-Marrakesh flight (very affordable too), so that worked out.
And we got to go to Rome twice!
We splurged a bit on accommodation, in order to be central and also comfortable. On our last trip to Rome, one of the most memorable things was the horribleness of the hotel. This one was memorable for good reasons. Look at the pretty:
It's a private apartment owned by the Hotel Campo dei Fiori, which I really highly recommend if you're going to Rome. Great location just steps from the Campo dei Fiori, known for its daily fruit and veg market -- as well as for being the singular piazza in Rome without a church, can you imagine? There are more than 900 churches in Rome. Jeez! Anyway, the hotel is beautiful and luxurious, but the apartment, across the way from it, is more modest. But LOOK at that building! I think it's 15th century or something ridiculous like that, and was the home of a famous actor in the early 1900s. Isn't it so pretty? They also told us that Julia Roberts stayed here while filming some scene of in Eat Pray Love, but what I think they meant was that she rested here in between takes. I mean, there is no way she stayed here. It was way too modest a place, and with a crappy shower, alas. I cannot really see Julia Roberts putting up with a crappy shower, can you?
Even so, it was the perfect place for us, especially considering the jet lag factor and being up at . . . odd hours. We had space to let our wee night owl squiggle around. She was especially fond of the little rolling cart.
Ah, toddler jet lag.
On the upside, being awake in the middle of the night, you see things you wouldn't otherwise, like the Campo dei Fiori as the very first fruit-sellers are showing up for the day (at 4 am. Yoy.)
Just in time for breakfast!
We bought some fruit and straggled around until Clementine got sleepy again, then we all went back to bed and slept in late and got a late start on the day.
Walked down Via Giulia:
To the river and across it to the Vatican.
That's St. Peter's Basilica behind us (did you know that this is not a cathedral? Technically, a cathedral is the seat of a bishop. This puppy belongs to the Pope.) Anyway, biggest Christian church in the world, yadda yadda, ha ha. It's so spectacular you kind of forget to breathe sometimes.
And check out the interesting pilgrim.
And the interesting Swiss Guard.
And the fancy pigeon perches.
And bonus for giant babies.
I love this picture because of Clementine's blurred reach. She is majorly into babies, and no sooner did we enter the basilica than she got really excited and started pointing and saying, "Beebee! Beebee!" And let me tell you, there are a lot of "beebees" in St. Peter's. I'm sure I wouldn't have even noticed if not for C's enthusiasm which did not wane with each new beebee discovery.
We got to scamper around on the roof too, which is not to be missed, and we pretty much spent the whole day and left at twilight to seek out dinner in the form of pizza, the first of many.
And gelato. Also the first of many, though not enough. Never enough.
Have you ever seen a prettier wall than this? I kind of want to lick it.
We didn't attempt to "conquer Rome," touristically speaking. We only had a few days in all, so we just let ourselves be in Rome, wandering and eating and gaping. It's really an astonishing place.
What's around this bend? Oh nothing. Just a little archway.
In a place where this is nothing special . . .
. . . the special is pretty preposterous. The specialest of special.
Gladiator on the prowl.
This roving posse of pipers came blasting by while we were in line at a museum.
Poor timing: they woke Clementine up from her morning nap on Jim's chest. Boo!
Oh, my sweeties.
Clementine's first carousel! She went around and around. I think she got cuter with every revolution, too.
Rome. Not so bad :-)