Steve n Jen's UK adventures

UK and European adventures. Read on my pretties, and discover what two stray Aussies can get up to on their travels.......

12 August 2010

Aug 2010 Rome - day 1

The Rome trip!

Wed 04 Aug 2010

Today's our 9 year wedding anniversary, so what else does one do but catch a flight to Rome!
We got an afternoon flight to Rome and navigated our way to our hotel, only a minute walk from the Trevi fountain. For a special dinner, the hotelier booked a balcony-side table for us overlooking the fountain. We had a really lovely time, and the food was great! As it turns out, we enjoyed breakfast every day on this same terrace as part of our accommodation arrangement.

Thu 05 Aug 2010
Day one in Rome.
Since the weather report calls for a nice sunny day, we're off to trample all about Hadrian's Villa (approx 2nd Century AD), near Tivoli. It's a roman emperor's private palace complex, and it is sprawlingly enormous!!! On the way to the train, we saw all kinds of ruins and monuments, including what's derogatively known as the Typewriter by the locals...

Anyway, from the train we got a bus, and finally arrived at midday after a 15 minute walk. The first thing we came across was this very lovely body of water, only to discover a few minutes later that it impressively sits atop many rooms!

The interesting thing about the Villa is not only how tragically ruined it is, but the little hints about the place give indications of how utterly magnificent it was in its heyday!
Below: the 'large baths' as opposed to the maritime and small baths, which are located elsewhere in the Villa.

We really enjoyed the different views of the Canopus (spectacular open-air feasting area) and here is a bit of info about it.... Click on the image to see it a bit bigger / clearer.

There were fish and turtles swimming in the water here. We decided it was high time for lunch and Steve peeled a grape for Jen while we enjoyed our little picnic overlooking the Canpous.

As it turns out, the statues on display here (pictured above alongside the water) at the Canopus are all cast copies of the originals which are onsite in the museum next to it. So we looked at those but photography was not allowed. There were also many other fine things in the museum, but also innumerable photos of incredible sculptures and mention of which museums they are held in! The enormous villa complex has been looted for centuries.

Next, we visited the Maritime Theatre next to the maritime baths. This is where Hadrian reportedly most enjoyed spending time contemplating. It's a little man-made circular island with plenty of columns beautifully reflecting in the water. (pictured, above left, and below)

We also spent time tromping about the Golden Square which is where many fine finds have been found in more recent years. Here (below) is a mash-up of various mosaics/flooring we saw today.

On the way back home, a bit sunburnt and very foot weary, Steve had his wallet lifted! Luckily this morning Jen had insisted on emptying both our wallets of everything unnecessary, so nothing irreplaceable was taken - thank goodness!

After freshening up at the hotel, we wandered about locally to find a place for dinner, when we came across the Pantheon (which was closed).

After dinner, we rambled back roughly in the direction of our hotel, taking photos of random sights along the way.

 Steve loved seeing, first, Marcus Aurelius' Column, and then Trajan's Column, five mintues down the road. Trajan's column is the one lit in white at the top (and Steve sitting down).

Finally, Steve alleviates his tired feet on a nice little Roman capital.


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