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Italy - A lifelong dream - Roma

The home of romance… wine...beautiful landscapes and walks.

Roma

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Ostia de lido

Arriving outside our front door to 15 armed police was not on the list! Our first stop - Ostia de lido… View from the deck - AMAZING…..
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Walk to the shops not quite so glamorous through endless council tenement blocks….. The australian papers described the place as below...
Inside the town known as ‘Mafia by the sea’, where silence is safe
THIS town might be a magnet for tourists but also for mafia activity — the kind of place where you see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.
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Eat local!
So we headed to a tiny trattoria in the middle of the estates where we had one of the best meals we had in all of our time in Italy. Bruscetta followed by homemade mushroom ravioli which was packed with flavour.
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Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica is a large archaeological site, close to the modern town of Ostia- some call it mini Pompeii
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Central Rome

Backpacks on (which I could only just about carry to the bus stop!) …. we headed off to take the local bus and 3 trains to get to our next stop - “beautiful loft apartment” in Rome. After numerous texts from the owner saying to not arrive yet as they were “dealing with a bathroom issue” we arrived…. to a “basement studio flat” owned by Giovanni.

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It sounds ridiculous but it is amazing that Rome is just so OLD! Ancient stuff EVERYWHERE. Ruins on every street corner telling a different story and conjuring up visions of the Roman times gone by.
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Our friends, Andy and Caroline, came out to meet us in Rome which was just amazing and we had such a fantastic time.
We headed to our tour of the Colosseum to be conducted entirely in Italian! But as there were only 2 out of 20 people who spoke Italian our guide threw a strop and refused to speak to anyone! LOL. But thankfully we can all read so we just self guided ourselves around. 10000 animals killed a day! 50 000 people came to watch! Important people had their names on their seats.
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Mainly it was slaves and prisoners who had to go and fight the animals or each other. The blood was collected and taken home to drink! Just a few of the facts… YUCK
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Cooking lesson- who knows I might actually get to like cooking after this...
Emmanuel was our teacher having run his pastificio (pasta shop) for many years his passion now was in teaching.. ..and writing cookery books… and making money! He was a fabulous teacher and we had lots of fun making ravioli by HAND! HAND ROLLED with a rolling pin.. Great skill to learn.
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The Pantheon

looked like yet another ruin from the outside but was GOBSMACKINGLY beautiful on the inside. The roof blows you away. Another example of the ingenuity of Roman engineers. How does this dome roof stay up? - it is still the largest unsupported dome in the world. A whole in the centre (the occulus) lets in light (and rain ) while lightening the load of the dome. Although it was originally built as a temple in 117AD to worship the Roman Gods, (as with most buildings in Rome), the catholic church took it over and turned it into a church. large_20190410_170656.jpg

Castel di St Angelo

Loved this place… even though it reinforces cynicism of the catholic church. Basically it used to be a castle but one of the popes turned it into a place to collect and show off “the Arts”. Worth millions - but awesome to see the arts being valued as being important and valuable. Quite inspiring from a teachers perspective - architecture, science, the arts.... these things stand the test of time.

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Roscioli

Thanks Anna and Dave for shouting us a meal at this amazing restaurant. Yum - anchovies on tiny biscuits with truffle dressing to start… followed by carbonara for Phil and the most divine salmon for me :)
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Aperitivos - what a great discovery
Aperol spritz with mini pizzas, peanuts and crisps was a great discovery! Drinking at 4pm in the afternoon with snacks ...my idea of heaven:)
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The Spanish Steps

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Borghese Gallery

I get bored in about 5 minutes in an Art Gallery or museum! Not a great starting place for a world tour! But the Borghese Gallery was phenomenal. The art on the ceilings - how is that possible! The sculptures… how does anyone make stone look like skin being pressed.. So lifelike you believe it’s real and expressions on faces that convey such emotions (and slightly freak you out)
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The Vatican

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I never realized it’s basically a massive art gallery(54 galleries to be exact) which the popes over the years have commissioned to collect all the best artwork (lucky them). So glad we had a guide or we would have been lost (and there for 4 days). Learnt all about Raphael and Michelangelo. The Sistine chapel was unexpected but amazing. St Paul's Basilica was actually the most impressive - its so big! And a choir was singing which was the highlight for me. Sounded amazing.
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Palentine Hill

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Posted by PhilFhi travels 10:09 Archived in Italy

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