Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rome: St. Peter's Square & the Pantheon

Lookie here, I've got the first of the Rome pictures to share today.  First up is our hotel, the B & B Il Passetto, which was pretty awesome:

I think they only have like four or five rooms and this one was ours; you can see the little balcony there on the left.  The lady who runs it was super nice, very helpful, and spoke very good English; she had lots of recommendations for walking routes and restaurants in the area.  This was Lee's favorite of the three hotels we stayed in, and I think Rome was our favorite city in Italy.

View from our balcony to the left; right under where the sun flare is in the upper left corner is the wall of Vatican City.  Yep, that's how close we were.  We were also only maybe three blocks from St. Peter's Square.

We arrived in Rome a day before Scott and Sarah did, which is why we did the Pompeii tour the first full day we were there--Sarah had already been and Scott wasn't all that interested in seeing it, so we just met up with them at the hotel when we got back from Pompeii (super late, tired, and totally hungry...we had to make do with Pop-Tarts for dinner).  But anyway we got up the next day and walked out to St. Peter's Square, which Sarah kept calling St. Petersburg and Scott kept telling her that it would be a reeeeeallly long walk to get there from Italy.

Big fountain in the square...when we got there apparently there was some big hooferah going on 'cause lots of people.  But we never really found out what it was all about since we only learned a few scattered words and phrases in Italian, plus none of us are Catholic.  Well, Adam and I like to say we're 1/4 Catholic, but I doubt that counts.

There's somebody who's probably important in the Catholic church saying something in Italian.

This square is pretty huge; tons of people and still lots of space.  Of course, the first thing any of us thought of was the movie Angels & Demons and the helicopter blowing up above the square.

My first picture with Sarah, yaaaaaaaaayyyyy!  You know there will be lots more : )

The front of the church itself; pretty impressive.  We never did go inside it though.

Statues up on top of one of the wingy thingies on the sides of the square.

We walked down the street a ways from the square and Lee got this super-cool picture of the river.  Nice reflection.

And there's the church again, also a nice shot.  Way to go, Lee.

We walked by Castel Sant'Angelo and talked about touring it, but we figured we had limited time in Rome and we had to prioritize so we didn't end up seeing this one.  Instead, we walked and walked until we got to the Pantheon.

Another cool Lee picture.  I think I'm jealous.  Actually, he took all the pics inside the Pantheon too, which was fine by me because it's low-light and he's a lot better at taking pictures under those conditions than I am.

There's the dome as seen from the inside; it lets in the only light.  And rain, I'm sure.

And there you can see more of the inside; pretty impressive in pictures and much more so in person, though I do have to admit a twinge of disappointment.  Knowing this was built as a temple to all the Roman gods, I was hoping for more Roman mythology and less Roman Catholic, know what I mean?  But it's a Roman Catholic church now; Jupiter and Minerva and all their friends are nowhere to be seen.

Lee took pictures; I listened to Rick Steves' Pantheon podcast.  I actually downloaded a whole bunch of podcasts for the trip, but unfortunately my iPod will not hold a charge for very long and I didn't have a way to recharge it because we forgot to bring a cord to hook it up to the laptop.  Yep, it pretty much died after this second day of our 10-day trip.

The Roman gods may have been no-shows, but there was one Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles namesake:  this is the grave of Raphael, who was pretty much tied with Michelangelo for my favorite Turtle...maybe.  Aw dang, I don't know if I could pick a favorite.  We'll get to see Mikey-related stuff later.  And I might have to watch TMNT again soon.

Outside the Pantheon were these dudes, who charge money for you to have a picture taken with them, so I was sneaky and took this with a zoom lens and I didn't pay them at all.  Teehee.

Front of the Pantheon.  They really have some most excellent architecture in Italy.

We left the Pantheon and continued our walk towards the Colosseum and on the way saw a couple of obelisks.  Actually, now that I look in my guidebook, this one was in the piazza right in front of the Pantheon.

And this one was in the Piazza della Minerva, just about a block away.  I like the elephant : )

It took me a ridiculously long time to figure out this is the Victor Emmanuel Monument, also known as "the wedding cake" or "the typewriter".  It houses the Italian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, so I've now seen where those are in Rome, Paris, and Washington, D.C.

One last very cool shot courtesy of Lee.  Wonderful composition with the statues and the flag.  I realize I haven't been doing a whole lot of the history thing with these pictures, but Vicki has so you can read all about it on her blog.  She's already posted a whole bunch of Italy photos (seriously, kinda putting me to shame here since we went in May and her family went in July) with very much more historical commentary.  So I'm working smarter, not harder, by directing you there so I don't have to write all that over here too : D

Totally unrelated to the rest of this post, but I totally want this shirt which I just found online.  That is all.


Giffysk8s said...

Well I certainly didn't mean to put you to shame! :) But this old brain of mine knew that if I didn't post and commentate my photos I'd forget it all, especially since I lost my little notebook. My kids remember everything, but asking them to help me would be admitting that I am old. Ha ha!

Looks like you had fun. Love Lee's artsy shots!

Thoughts by B and M said...

Love the church photo Lee got! I hope B and I get to go there!!! :)

CCsMom said...

Love the picture of the bridge and then the one after of the church. What I want to know is can you take one of the centurions home?!!! Ha! Everything is so lovely and it looks like you had a great time.