Rome, Italy – Day 2 (More historical sites to see!)

 I hate to say it but I’m lacking motivation in finishing up my Rome entries. Over 400 pictures taken in just 3 days – that’s a lot of pictures!! And now that a week has gone by, I feel like it’s old news. So I apologize if this entry is a bit lackluster because the trip certainly was not!! So I think I’m going to keep it simple with this entry – mostly pictures and descriptions. The afternoon of Day 2 felt like almost it’s own day since we covered so much in the morning with the Vatican.  Josh, Todd and Amy went in search of mopeds to ride (you couldn’t have paid me enough money to ride a moped in Rome… Vineyard yes, Rome no!) so I decided to venture off on my own with the intent of shopping, but instead found some absolutely beautiful sites, lots of tourists and just enjoyed the quite time. That evening Josh and I went back to some of the sites I had seen during the day and had a great dinner in what is supposed to be one of the best pizza places in Rome!!
Beautiful building on the other side of the river – wish I could figure out what it is!
These are various views of Castel Sant’Angelo – The Angels on the bridge were created by Bernini.  The castle itself was building in the 2nd century AD originally as a mausoleum.  It was in the Middle Ages that it was converted into a fortress for the popes.  It eventually was used as a prison up until the end of the 19th century.
Piazza Navona – This is the piazza where Josh and I ended up having dinner that night.  The plaza itself is considered to be one of the most famous squares in Rome and was built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian. I did see the Stadium from the outside of the plaza but didn’t take a picture (because at the time I had no idea what it was).  The fountain in the center is the Fountain of the Four Rivers.
   
As I was walking back to the hotel, I heard a popping sound and it turns out that there was a wedding!  The guests were popping streams of confetti over the newlyweds!
Yet another obelisk!
The Column of Marcus Aurelius in Piazza Colonna.
Yes they are teepees… I have no idea why there are here but how I could I not take a picture of them?
Toy store near our hotel – this was under glass when you walked in the door so you actually step on it to cross the threshold.  Any of you with boys will appreciate this – lego guys galore!!!
While here we noticed that people pretty much park wherever they want to.  On the sidewalk was the most interesting if you ask me.  But what I loved was seeing the Smart cars that would back into a spot that would normally only fit motorcycles.  You’d often see lines of “regular” cars parked and then in a tiny spot in between a Smart Car would back in like the one above, making room where there normally wouldn’t be.
The Pantheon.  I was really surprised by this.  It was literally in the middle of a piazza – nothing leading up to it.  The square was built around it.  I actually said to Josh that it couldn’t possibly be the Pantheon and then he pointed to a sign next to us that said “Cafe Pantheon” and we said, “yup must be it”.  Sad that it was under renovations while we were there but just a huge amazing building, plopped in the middle of a square!  The Pantheon is considered to be one of the most masterful architectural feats of ancient Rome.  It dates back to the 120s AD.  Almost perfectly preserved which is amazing, the columns are Egyptian granite and they weigh 82 tons each!  We didn’t go inside but from what I have read, the dome is 143 feet across and was poured in concrete and has never been structurally modified in almost 2000 years!  It has a 30 foot wide oculus that is open to the sky.  
That’s all for Day 2!  It was a super long, but unbelievable day of sights!  Day 3 we will visit “Ancient Rome” which includes the Colosseum and the Roman Forum!!
Julie

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