Window Reflections on The Spanish Steps

We stopped at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome to have lunch in a Cafe. The view was lovely but I was struck by the perfect reflections in window across from the cafe. The pizza was also memorable.

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Roman Reflections

Romans?

OK, admittedly I have no idea if these people are Romans or not. I do know that all the pictures were taken in a plaza near the Trevi Fountain in Rome. None had any tourist gear and they all look like they were once in a Fellini film.

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The Trevi Fountain

We were there at the totally wrong time of day for photography. It was extremely crowded and impossible to get a wide shot of the entire fountain. It was actually difficult to walk because everybody is pushing to get a shot of a person or a selfie in front of the fountain. It was also the wrong time of day for October. The best time would be early in the morning.

That said it is an amazing structure to see any time of day including nighttime. It is 86 ft high and 161.3 ft wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. It was built in 1762 by Nicola Salvi.

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The Trevi Fountain of Rome

The Trevi Fountain of Rome

The Trevi Fountain of Rome

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is a former Roman temple which is now a Catholic church, in Rome, Italy. It was originally commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus. It was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. The oculus in the ceiling is open to the sky so sometimes it rains inside like it did the day we visited. It was built as a sundial to illuminate the emperor as he entered on important occasions.

It is also a basilica since Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael is buried there, He died April 6th, 1520, and had asked to be buried in the Pantheon. His request was granted, making him the first artist to be accorded such an honor.

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The Pantheon

Pantheon Interior

Pantheon Interior

The Pantheon

The Tomb of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbin

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

We had never taken an ocean cruise before but after taking a river cruise we decided to try it. We selected the Mediterranean because we figured it would be calmer than the Atlantic or Pacific. Research was discouraging because either the ships were too big or if smaller than real expensive. We selected Azamara because they seemed to offer the same sort of luxury that Regent,Viking and the other small ships but at a better price point. The Azamara Pursuit was their newest ship and completely refurbished.

Azamara is a brand of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines aimed to compete in the small ship luxury market. The ship had 770 passengers and 450 crew. We were upgraded to a small suite and the service was exceptional. The ship had everything you could want want and because of the small size able to go to smaller ports like Elba and Port Vendre in France. We were always one of the smaller ships in the harbor. One of our guides pointed to an MSC Cruise Ship and told us it had 7000 plus passengers. We I sw that ship I knew we had chosen wisely and now we are thinking about our next adventure.

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Holocaust Stumbling Stones (Stolpersteine ) in Rome

In each city they are called something different. In Munich and Prague they are called Stolperstein. In Rome they are called stumbling stones. You see them in what was the old Jewish ghetto outside the houses in which they lived. Each plaque is detailed with the victim’s first and last name, date of birth, date and place of deportation, and date of death in a Nazi Death Camp. We make sure we visit these sites as we travel.

We visit the synagogue, walk in the streets of the old ghetto and have lunch. The ghettos are quite nice now and in some, Prague and Rome they have Museums and working synagogues and a growing Jewish population. We make sure we visit these sites NOT only because we were raised as Jews but because we live as human beings and must assure that the world does not forget the long history of violence against the Jewish people. We honor the gentle people that were led to slaughter and pray it never happens again.

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Holocaust Stolpersteine

The Pipe Organ at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome

This church, Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, was fascinating for a number of reasons. It was built in the ruins of the Diocletian Baths of Ancient Rome. There are fenced off ruins right next to the basilica but visitors are not permitted. In addition to the beauty of the Basilica which I will share in another post, stuck in the corner is this magnificent pipe organ.

I was so busy looking at the glass, artworks and ceiling I didn’t notice the organ until the organist began to practice. The sound was amazing and we sat and listened for a while.

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Basilica of Santa Maria Pipe Organ

Outside The MACRO

The Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome or MACRO is an amuse bouche from the ruins, churches,monuments and obelisks that dominate the city. It is also FREE! It is not large but very interesting. The roof top gives you an opportunity for a view of a couple of great murals. These two are artists that had a workshop they were running. In between sessions they seemed to be struggling to set up a camera to photograph this mural. It was entertaining.

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Outside The MACRO

Outside The MACRO

Street Art In Firenze

I am fascinated by people who create miraculous art only to know that in hours or days it will be gone forever. Artists that do sand sculpture or ice sculpture or in this case a sidewalk painting all while knowing it will only last for hours. The next day it rained all day in Firenze and all I could think of was the temporary nature of what this man does. It must take a strong personality to cope with that.

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Street Art

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is the cathedral of Florence, Italy and commonly known as Il Duomo. It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436. Unfortunately it is one of those places that is almost impossible to photograph without a crane or a drone.

It is located in the Piazza del Duomo surrounded small streets and thousands of people. This shot taken 20 years ago from across the river in The Piazza of Michelangelo gives you an idea of the size and scope. Click Here

In this close view you can see the beauty and the style of marble used to create this sanctuary.

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Il Duomo