Traveling with the one you love makes every trip wonderful.
I am a freelance travel writer and photographer. I love to travel with my loving husband. I like to see how the locals live better than going on tours.
I love reading and will be reviewing books for everyone.
To start out I will say I have finally got an internet that I can use. I have to sit in the lobby but maybe I can catch up a little bit before we are off on the bus again.
After the chorus sang mass at St Peter’s we headed to Montecatini. We stopped at an autogrill to go to the toilette and grab something to eat. We were approached and asked if we would mind going to another hotel for the night because the one we were supposed to stay in was overbooked. We said sure. Sounded like an adventure to us.
We arrived at the Grand Hotel Nizza where we got off the coach and then grabbed our luggage. Then we were shuffled into a taxi go about 1/2 mile to the Astoria Hotel. When we stepped out of the taxi the spell of the flowers was like a light perfume. That night we were so tired being that it was midnight that we did not look around much. We took the tiniest elevator I had ever seen up to our room. Our room was small but very comfortable with a small balcony. We opened the windows that over looked the quaint little street and off to sleep we went.
The next morning we got up went down stairs to have breakfast. We ate in the garden taking in the old and friendly charm of the hotel. As we ate we took in the wonderful smell of the flowers and saw the lemons on the small lemon trees in pots. After breakfast we walked around the hotel taking in the old charm of it. We then met the owner who told us that he was the fourth generation and his son was going to take over for him soon. His wife made beautiful flower arrangements all over the hotel. I would highly recommend this hotel.
I haven’t seen one of these phones in a very long time.
I am having a terrible time with the internet in Italy. I can’t seem to get an photos uploaded. That is why I am not posting every day.
What an honor it was for a chorus from Alaska to get to sing during mass at the Basillica. They sounded so wonderful.
I got to sit in the front pew because I was Catholic. If you weren’t you had to go sit in the chairs in the back as a visitor. I can’t believe that I have now actually received communion at St Peter’s Basillica.
After leaving the forum we went for a tour of the Colosseum. The seating wouldn’t have worked very well today because the ground floor was for royal and government. The next floor was for the men and the very top is where the slaves and women were allowed to sit.
There were holes all over in Colosseum and David asked where they came from. He was told people had stolen the rebar out of the building. Until the time that the Pope came and put a cross up in the colosseum because of the Christians being killed it was not a religious place. After that time the church and other organizations started saving it. We were told that they believe now that the killing of Christians took place at the Circus Maximus.
The forum was just amazing. I love all the ancient marble and stone ruins. I did find out why the heads are missing on a lot of the statues. The heads were worth lots of money, so the rich would collect them.
The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum (Italian: Foro Romano), is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.
For centuries the Forum was the center of day-to-day life in Rome: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million or more sightseers yearly.
Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum. The Roman Kingdom’s earliest shrines and temples were located on the southeastern edge. These included the ancient former royal residence, the Regia (8th century BC), and the Temple of Vesta (7th century BC), as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, all of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome.
Other archaic shrines to the northwest, such as the Umbilicus Urbis and the Vulcanal (Shrine of Vulcan), developed into the Republic’s formal Comitium (assembly area). This is where the Senate—as well as Republican government itself—began. The Senate House, government offices, tribunals, temples, memorials and statues gradually cluttered the area.
Over time the archaic Comitium was replaced by the larger adjacent Forum and the focus of judicial activity moved to the new Basilica Aemilia (179 BC). Some 130 years later, Julius Caesar built the Basilica Julia, along with the new Curia Julia, refocusing both the judicial offices and the Senate itself. This new Forum, in what proved to be its final form, then served as a revitalized city square where the people of Rome could gather for commercial, political, judicial and religious pursuits in ever greater numbers.
Eventually much economic and judicial business would transfer away from the Forum Romanum to the larger and more extravagant structures (Trajan’s Forum and the Basilica Ulpia) to the north. The reign of Constantine the Great saw the construction of the last major expansion of the Forum complex—the Basilica of Maxentius (312 AD). This returned the political center to the Forum until the fall of the Western Roman Empire almost two centuries later.
Today we left the hotel around 8 and headed to the Vatican. Where we went to the museum which is actually like 11 or more museums. We didn’t do all of them because of the time. It would have taken days. We went into the Sistine Chapel but you cannot take pictures there. It was amazing. We then went to St Peter’s where the Concert Chorus will be singing in on Saturday. The place was packed. David and I just had to get out. I figured while they are rehearsing and doing their sound check I can take photos then. After that we had a short time to go to the restroom or to the shop before we left for the town center. We had a meeting place and when we started walking to the bus winding this way and that way. Then down to underground parking we notice that our friends were not on the bus. Their was actually 5 people not on the bus and one of them was one of the camera crew who was doing a documentary on our trip. We kept telling the tour guide people were missing. They tried to find them but said they had to get moving. When we were almost where we were going Roland got a phone call. They trying to get a taxi and wanted to know where to meet us. The guide told them the name of the restaurant, but that wasn’t enough. They wanted the address, so while they were trying to get that information I guess one taxi driver got pissed off at them and said they could not ride with them. Finally, they got a taxi driver to take them to our meet up place. While Janet, David and I are waiting for our lost friends the camera man shows up that was with them. We ask where the rest are and he says around the corner on the next block. We hurry to go try to find them. There they are sitting at a table getting ready to order food. We tell them we have been waiting for them. At least, they were ok. We then got a table and sat down to eat some lunch too. I am sitting across from Janet who all of a sudden says, “OH, CRAP!”. She brushes something off her arm which then lands on my arm. She was not kidding about the crap. A pigeon shit on her and she flung it on me, so we both got crapped on at lunch. After lunch we went to the Spanish Steps, visited a couple more churches, sat by a fountain and visited with some very nice nuns. We headed back to where we started for dinner and then back to the hotel. It was a long day but lots of fun. I am putting some of the pictures up now but you will have to wait for rest when I have more time to explain what is in the photos. Ready for bed now.
The flat ole hippies had a great time today. They spent most of the day at the Vatican museum where they looked at all the beautiful art. Ending the day at a restaurant with a nice meal and a glass of beer.
You drive down a tree-lined lane to get to the front of the hotel.
You arrive at the front door. The building looks smaller from the outside, but inside it is much bigger.
There are many different places to sit outside and in with art work everywhere. As I walked into one of the little outside sitting areas the smell of the gardenia was amazing.
While we waited for the rest of the Anchorage Concert Chorus to arrive we listened and watched some green parrots. They were flying around gathering food for their babies. I had to laugh because at one point both parents left a nest and the babies started calling them. It reminded my of our twin granddaughters.
There is a beautiful church right in the center of the hotel. The hotel has quite the history. It was built in 1926 by a pope. The first news on the building dates back to 1948 when the building was designed as Home for Holidays of Women’s Youth, a branch of Catholic Action. Denitively inaugurated on the 8th of may 1955. The church and the historic apartments of the Hotel offered hospitality to the bishops during the Synods, the Second Ecumenical Council and various Episcopal Conferences. Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli stayed here before the opening of the conclave that elected him Pope John XXIII. From a convent to a pilgrims’ house, the hotel’s vocation for the hospitality grew from year to year up to now, transforming itself into an eclectic 4 star Superior Hotel thanks to a creative and intrepid Entrepreneur. It still to this day belongs to the church.
The rest of our group arrived and we all had dinner together, including the Flat Ole Hippies.
For those of you that are watching for the traveling, green short shorts David did wear them the first day in Rome.
I don’t have much time to tell you about the Flat Ole Hippies adventures because their day is not over yet. We will be heading down to meet the rest of the Anchorage Concert Chorus as they arrive.
I will tell you about the photos real quick though. Last night when they got in they were very happy to see their bed. Breakfast this morning was really good. After that they wondered around this extremely cool Church Palace Hotel. They had their picture taken in front of a piece of art work called Selfie. They also rode a lion. They then went for a nice walk and when they got back they had a beer. After that they returned to their room for a nap.
Well I will have to tell you more about their trip later because it is time to head down to meet everyone.