Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Italy Diary: Rome, Part 4

Today we headed first for Campo de’ Fiori as we still haven’t managed to experience the open-air market. Well, just our luck, it is closed on Sundays—we will try again tomorrow. We grabbed a panini and a coke and headed for Fontana di Trevi, which we saw last time we were here, but it was raining and we decided it was worth another view. Today the sun is shining and there is a crowd around the fountain. It is truly magnificent. It is so large and the water is crystal clear. We did not, however, push through the crowd to again throw a coin over our shoulders in hopes of returning. We have already decided that we will return as often as we can.

After Fontana de Trevi we walked to Piazza del Popolo. This piazza is huge and is flanked on both sides by beautiful fountains, and if you walk up the stairs that lead to a look-out, you have a fantastic view of the piazza and Rome, as well as finding yourself on the grounds of the Villa Borghese. We took a short rest for we have learned that we cannot go full speed all day and expect to not feel it. On our way back down to the piazza, we saw there was an exhibition on “The Genius of Leonardo da Vinci” at the Galleria Agostiniana. It was very interesting with interactive machines and inventions reproduced from Leonardo’s drawings and projects. Where would the world be today without Leonardo da Vinci?

We made our way to Fontana del Tritone (which was fairly anti-climatic, but only because we are exhausted and somewhat disappointed that there is nothing more to see—which means more walking. We keep talking about taking a taxi, but somehow never do). We grabbed a table at a little cafe and ordered some wine while we assessed whether to continue on with our itinerary or go back to the apartment to rest. Even though resting wins out and we begin our walk back, we find that we actually feel better, and when we come upon the Palazzo Barberini we decide to take a detour; we have had enough of churches for today. The museum is actually small, so doable; unfortunately we are not allowed to take pictures. Most striking is the fresco on the ceiling in one of the salons by Barberini. There are lounges for you to sit and view, but to truly take it in you must lie back. It takes a few moments to figure out whether the four corner sculptures and moldings are real or painted in relief. The colors are vivid and the perspective from looks as if things are floating above you. There is a large set of golden keys that look as if you could grasp them, as well as three of Barberini’s signature bees.

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