Sunday, October 15, 2017

Highlights from Our Day in the Eternal City

Saturday, October 14, 2017:

It would be a long day but a good one too.

I was up bright and early
to watch the 4:00 a.m. Rome time
podcast of the VCStar Game-of-the-Week

It was great to see C.I.F Division VIII #1 ranked Rio Mesa beat C.I.F. Division VI #3 ranked Oxnard 41-35 in a key Pacific View League game that in all probability decided the 2017 league championship! 

The Spartans improved to 8-0 while the Yellowjackets dropped to 6-2.

View of a side entrance to the Vatican
as Laurie and I shared cappuccinos

Loren and Sandy had left our Roman digs early in the morning for a four hour tour of the Vatican Museum that started at 8:00 a.m.

We felt like a parents on the first day of school as we watched them venture into the streets in Rome for the first time without us.

They survived.

Since we had both visited this amazing museum several times before we opted to sleep in this morning, stroll a bit and then meet them at Noon when there tour was over.

 Nice old wall near St. Peter's Square

 More of the same wall

St. Peter's Basilica

Though near perfect, it still needed something . . .


We still had some time to wander before meeting up with Loren and Sandy again.

So we did.

A random church near
the Vatican

 It had a nice ceiling

Colorful buildings in Rome
don't you think?

"Only the penitent man shall pass . . ."

The Senate and the Roman People

Another Love Couple heading
towards Vatican City State

 The Tiber River with
Caste Sant'Angelo
in the distance

 One of many ornate bridges
over the Tiber River

One of two . . .

. . . Angels guarding a Tiber bridge

Caste Sant'Angelo

One of many statues on the
bridge leading to Castel Sant'Angelo

On this same bridge we found
these two talented young ladies

We loved their talented voices

How about you?

It was almost Noon so we ambled over to our meeting point, the Caffe de San Pietro, to start debriefing Sandy and Loren about their Vatican Museum experiences.

And we walked . . . 

If I ever get a coaching job again
in Italy, I may have to talk to
these people

 Speaking of Sports . . .

 Loren and I bought tickets to attend
tonight's Napoli vs. AS Roma game
in Rome's Olympic Stadium

And we walked . . .

Colorful, lively Roman back streets

NICE parking job!

And we walked . . .

We took a time-out to eat lunch at a quaint, nondescript
eatery on a side street but we still needed something more.

Thus it was onwards to purportedly
the BEST gelateria in Rome

Il Gelato di San Crispino
it was then 


And we walked . . .

Sandy and Loren
at an obelisk

Not just any obelisk,
but the one in front of . . .

. . . the Pantheon!

This is my favorite building in Rome. It was built in 27 B.C by Emperor Augustus' son-in-law, Marcus Agrippa.

They looked refreshed after
the gelato if you ask me

 The Pantheon's famed Oculus

But if it rains, where does the water go?

Why into drain holes like these

Those wacky, ancient Romans knew a thing or two about construction as it turns out.

Sandy and Loren in front of
the Pantheon's Main Altar

 The tomb of artist,
not the Mutant Ninja Turtle,
Rafael is in the Pantheon

 The Oculus provides this
magnificent building's
only light source

I just LOVE the Pantheon!

Pantheon Panorama

Back outside admiring the Pantheon's
outer columns and hearing Loren's
fascinating views on the Pantheon's
construction techniques

As background, Loren has spent his entire lucrative working life in the construction field in Southern California.

The same two lovely from the
Caste Sant'Angelo bridge were
singing at the Pantheon too!

They were still AWESOME!

And we walked . . .

Nice display in front of a restaurant

 Laurie as Pinocchio

 Another good food display

And we walked . . .

The Trevi Fountain

Sandy still had lots of
enthusiasm for Rome's sights

And we walked . . .

. . . to a COOP store to buy some
needed supplies for our apartment

But not any of this seafood

Just outside the COOP store,
a demonstration . . .

. . . a BIG demonstration! 

It was a workers demonstration against immigration and the fear of Italian workers losing their jobs to them.

It is not just the USA that has strong feelings on this issue as it turns out.

And we walked . . .

Sandy was at
The Spanish Steps . . .

. . . and so was this proud
wedding couple!

The British poet John Keats
pondered his mortality and
then died of tuberculosis at the
age of 25 in this building
just off the Spanish Steps

Sandy knocking on
Keats' door

We boarded the Metro to start our journey back to our apartment. It got us closer to where we needed to be.

And then we walked . . .

At 8:45 p.m., the futbol game at Rome's Olympic Stadium would commence.

It featured Serie A first place
Napoli at fifth place AS Roma

There are 20 clubs in Italy's best futbol league, the Serie A.

Loren and I in our
Curva Nord seats

Rome's 1960 Olympic Stadium is MASSIVE!

The view from our seats
Section 46B
Row 16
Seats 7-D and 8-D

The game was far away due to the nine lane track.

The PASSION of AS Roma fans

No pre-game kneeling here

Flags waving in the distance

More Passion


Despite two ID checks and two wanting stations as well, some crafty AS Roma fans still got these staples of the European futbol experience into the stadium.


HAEVY Police presence to surround
and protect the few
Napoli fans in attendance 

Here are a few photos from tonight's game courtesy of the AS Roma website.

Nice hair cut!

Napoli in blue, Roma in red

 Nice hops!

Eyes on the ball

 And then a debate broke out


FINAL SCORE: Napoli 1 - Roma 0

And then we walked . . .

Finding a taxi stand to get home was NOT easy.

In Rome, you can only legally get a taxi at a taxi stand. Cab drivers are not allowed to pick up fares just randomly walking down the street looking for a ride.

Of course, finding a taxi stand is darn near impossible but with the kindness of some strangers we did after about a half hour of roaming.

Once home, we got good news via Facebook . . . 

Alberto Martinez Talavera
played for Spain's Murcia Region
All-Star team on Saturday!

Our talented Murcia Cobras Wide Receiver caught a TD pass in helping his team beat the All-Stars from the Region of Valencia 20-0.


Finally, on a central and definitely not side note . . .

We walked a LOT today!

Today was a full, gratifying day in Rome to be sure.

What will tomorrow bring in the Eternal City?

Stay tuned . . .


David said...

Oh, man, that is a great day. Such a great city to walk. As I recall, San Crispino placed third on my extensively researched all-Italy gelato rankings, behind a place in Bologna that only makes three flavors, and a little place on a back street in Florence. And I had so much fun seeing Roma play .

George said...

Those would be my top three gelaterias as well.

The Roma game was an adventure on many levels for us.