Sunday, November 19, 2006

All about Rome again...

Spent the entire day walking - from 9am to 5pm.  Got to see many of the main sites.  The weather was perfect - you could not ask for a nicer day.  About 70F (19C), sunny.  Cool in the shade, warm in the sun - very nice.

I am staying in a hotel right off of the Piazza del Popolo and started there.  Decided to walk down to the Piazza di Spagna - where the "Spanish Stairs" are:

Spanish Steps

Now, when I got there, this huge crowd was standing around - yelling, blocking traffic.  Lots and lots of people with cameras.  Wasn't sure what it was:

Crowd Looking for TomKat

Turns out - that was where Tom Cruise and family was staying before/after his nuptials in the countryside last night.  I did not stick around for a "sighting" - was time to move on.  So I continued down the road a bit to the Fontana di Trevi.  In the US we just don't have buildings like this:

We Just dont have buildings like these at home

My ultimate goal after that was the Quirinale - and after getting there, I spied this window:

Neat Window

And of course, the address of the house with the neat window was none other then:

And the Address of the neat window was of course

Continuing on - the goal was now the Piazza Venezia.  I started off towards it - walking along "normal Rome streets" - like this one:

I really like streets like this

Again, we don't really have anything like this back home.  What I liked about Rome and many other European cities is that you can in fact walk most everywhere - and many people do.  In most US cities, I would have had to of taken a cab here and there and everywhere.  I finally arrived at the Piazza Venezia:

Piazza Venezia

After climbing the stairs and walking all around it - I spied my next target, the coliseum:

I spied the coliseum

so I started off towards it - lots of stuff to see everywhere.  I really like that many times the streets are actually closed off - and everyone just spills into them.  No cars = no smell = no noise (and there is lots of noise in general in Rome, those little motor bikes are noisy).

Walking to the coliseum

I had been to the coliseum before, in 2001 - but I never went in.  This time I paid my fee and walked around:

Inside the coliseum

And found the next place I was headed to:

Arch shot from inside coliseum

I spied the ruins

After spending quite a bit of time walking around the ruins down there (I like ruins for some reason, just interesting to look at), I headed off to the Pantheon:

Off to the Pantheon

There, I checked email and saw my daughter Megan was online.  I texted her - she is at Disney World with her brother this week.  She was happy, yesterday they got to see "Fear Factor" being shot live.  Something about people having to eat worms and have scorpions placed on their head.  She thought it was pretty neat.  It was nice to be able to chat with her for a couple of minutes (but I think I'd rather be in Rome then watching Fear Factor "live"...).

After the Pantheon, I was on my way be to the Tevere:

Back to the Tevere on the way to Piazza S. Pietro

Which I walked along on my way back to the Piazza S. Pietro.  I was there yesterday but wanted to visit again with the sunshine.  It was worth it:

Piazza S. Pietro

Then it was back towards the hotel - I was quite worn out by then.  But on my way back, I spied a sidestreet full of people and walked down it.  It led to the Via del Corso - which was full of shops (open on a Sunday - I was surprised).  So, instead of going back to the hotel, I walked up and down the street:

We just dont have this stuff at home

We just don't have anything like that back home.  The people had competely taken over the street.  Any car that attempted to drive on it could go maybe 1-2 miles per hour.  Lots of interesting people/things to look at.  Almost like a big block party.

It was good.  I have now 4 cities I really like walking around:

  1. Jerusalem, Israel
  2. Prague, Czech Republic
  3. Rome, Italy
  4. Paris, France

if you like walking and seeing some pretty cool sites - I do recommend them all. 

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16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Very nice report Tom.

Rome is an amazing place and to be really appreciated one must walk the streets just like you did.

To compliment your report here are some pictures of Ancient Rome, Vatican and Assisi from our 2004 vacation:

http://mve.smugmug.com/Architecture

We also walked the streets taking subway only once to the Vatican.

Sun Nov 19, 02:06:00 PM EST  

Blogger Paweł Barut said....

Tom,
If You like Prage and Rome you should also give a try to Kraków, Poland.

Hope you will visit Poland some day...

Sun Nov 19, 03:23:00 PM EST  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

That Tom Cruise may be a little ... what is the word? ... crazy but he does have excellent taste in wedding planning, I have to say. I was married about 30km east of Bracciano in Formello and a very absorbing and wonderful area it is too -- the lakes at Bracciano have some of the best child-friendly bathing I've come across and the beach is backed by a number of bars. Perfect conditions ...

One of my favourite features of Rome
are the cats that live in the ruins. I understand that it's illegal to disturb them. I'd bet that they munch their way through a fair number of rodents per year also.

My wife and I were nearly arrested in Piazza Venezia once ... heh heh heh.

Sun Nov 19, 07:37:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Amazing drawing of Rome:

http://www.dump.com/ogqve/

What an incredible memory he has.

Mon Nov 20, 03:43:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Plaese come

to Dresden/Germany - near Prag ;-)

Daniel

Mon Nov 20, 05:47:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

What are the odds of spotting Tom-Kate and Tom Kyte at the same place ? hmmm ....

Mon Nov 20, 08:15:00 AM EST  

Blogger OracleDoc said....

Just got back from Prage myself last week. Lufthansa was having a special 100 euros round trip from Frankfurt, couldn't beat it. Also it's the low season there right now. Took two tours that were suppose to be group but my wife and I were the only ones!

Mon Nov 20, 08:59:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Bob Rochford said....

I saw this in Wired magazine and thought of this Rome posting:

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-GPS-CS1-CyberShot-Digital-Cameras/dp/B000HDIYEO/sr=11-1/qid=1164077102/ref=sr_11_1/102-3381734-4527340

It's a Sony product for their cameras that captures the GPS trail from your photos. Cool if you have a Sony, but I'm sure they will eventually have it for others as well. Thought you would like it being a fan of gadgets and travel.

-Bob R.

Mon Nov 20, 09:57:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Samir said....

I didn't get what you meant by the address of the house with the beautiful window being 42. Would you care to expound upon that some?

Tue Nov 21, 12:48:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I'm surprised that your visit to the NEC for the UKOUG didn't get you to add Birmingham to that list of cities, after all how can you compare with views like this this or this?

Tue Nov 21, 01:26:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Samir,

plug 42 into google and see what you see :)

Tue Nov 21, 01:47:00 PM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Try this as well

http://reddit.com/goto?id=qwhu

(was on reddit, filed as "Google has a sense of humor") LOL

Tue Nov 21, 05:48:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

You didn't stick around to see Tom Cruise?! Like there's anything better to do in Rome (sarcasm).

Wed Nov 22, 11:19:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Next time in Rome and want to visit the colisseum avoid the queue by buying your ticket in the ruins/gardens next door!

Thu Nov 30, 06:38:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

What about Istanbul, centre of the old world! http://realturkiye.blogspot.com

Thu Feb 08, 02:27:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Mats / Romulus said....

Nice pictures!
I really love Rome and Paris.
Must try Jerusalem and Prage too!

Thu Aug 02, 05:07:00 AM EDT  

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