This morning we had a lovely lie in. I got up at eight. Eight!!! I had a shower using all the lovely gels and cosmetics the hotel had provided and then we went down to breakfast. I was starving. The breakfast room was probably one of the most elegant I have seen in a hotel. Not very big but nicely arranged. No queuing. No one asked for proof of our identity or right to be there. We leapt for the orange juice, and the one and only waiter did not avoid eye contact. So I asked him for an omelette and it was waiting for me before I’d finished negotiating the espresso machine for my quadruple coffee. This quite set me up for our spectacles hunt!
I don’t think we’d walked many hundreds of yards by this point. But then we got to the via Corso and started looking seriously for eyewear.
Not the loveliest part of Rome but nostalgic in many ways. When I came here 22 years ago with my son we had a marvellous time but one day it rained for about three hours non stop. We spent that time in the cafe opposite.
We walked on until by chance we came across the Spanish steps.
I’m sure there was an ancient American Express office somewhere here but it seems to have disappeared. But Keats and Shelley’s house is still there. We decided not to do the touristy thing and so we didn’t succumb to a carriage ride. We plodded on….
All of a sudden it was very quiet. Not like at the Trevi fountain. I had forgotten how enormous it is. No chance of throwing any coins into it. The place was almost besieged by tourists. And us. We are tourists too. We squeezed into a gap to take the photo.
Then we were hungry again. We walked through a very interesting area full of little bridges.
And found a quirky little restaurant. The waitress was charming. But spoke quite strangely. My husband and I looked at each other and simultaneously said “I wonder if she’s Polish?” We laughed and thought no more about it until after our delicious pizzas. Then we heard her speaking quite loudly to some other diners. In Polish. Then she came over to us and we admitted we could understand. When we left the Italian waitresses said goodbye and thank you in Polish to us too
The bathroom was quite quirky too
And do we headed for the Roman Forum
And then we wandered about a bit. Everything is so large and do imposing. Some of it is VERY UGLY.
But then a few steps away, just under the Capitoline Hill is a beautiful Roman remain, the Ara coeli. A pleasant surprise:
By now we were quite tired. So back in search of the Pantheon again. Today it looked so different from last night. The area was heaving with people whereas last night it was quiet and very civilised and pleasant.
Today is not over. We are about to go and have dinner with a friend. See you later!