September 10, 2010
Coming down the tram
Ministerio Marina DN stop
We arrived in Roma around 6 am. As soon as I exited the doors of the plane, I was greeted with cold air which was a surprise.
I had a very rocky trip earlier (click here for details) and thanks to half a tab of Xanor, I was able to sleep through out the 5 hour flight from Doha to Rome aboard Qatar Airways.
Our good friend, Manang Remy, had us picked up at the airport which I was grateful for because I wasn’t feeling well enough to take the train to the city.
We were his guests at his beautiful abode for 6 days. After depositing our bags in our room, he brought us to his breakfast nook that over looked his neighbor’s terrace. A white wire fox terrier was sticking his head out. Apparently he does that everyday.
We had a hearty breakfast full of reminiscing with a dash of laughter.
The coffee made me feel better.
We started talking about where to go and what to do while we were in Rome.
I wasn’t really listening. I still felt woozy.
Before I knew it our wonderful host had to leave for work and we decided to explore the city.
The long hot shower perked me up . I peeked out the window to check on the weather. Since I am now in Italy, It’s best to put a little effort to ones fashion.
Cholo was done and we set off. We passed by a tabaccheria to buy 3 day tickets for the public transport. Walked over to the Liegi and Bellini tram stop and waited of the green tram to arrive.
The green tram is slowly coming to a halt.
“Is this it Bubba?” I asked Cholo.
“This is where we should go down said the old Lady.” referring to a cute old woman on the tram.
We went down at the Ministerio Marina DN tramp stop.
We started looking around.
Cholo starts asking an old woman in barbaric Spanish where Piazza del Popolo was located.
She pointed us to a huge wall 250 meters away.
We crossed the street, entered the main arch.
We see an obelisk right before us.
“We’re here!” declares Cholo.
According to my Fodor's Itay 2009 travel guide, this Egyptian Obelisk is 3,000 years old. Originally erected at Circo Massimo around 10 A.D. This was re-erected at the center of the piazza in 1589 and the fountain of lions were added in 1818.
Piazza del Popolo is huge. It is surrounded by a wall all around it which I found out soon enough were part of the Aurelian Walls. It is decorated with a number of sculptures, fountains and tiny Italian toddlers running around while their mothers chase them.
It is a nice place to go people watching. Cholo and I sit down on the railings that mark the outer most point of the piazza and watched people. This also marks the point were bikes and motorcycles are not allowed to enter
An ocassional Vespa zooms by while two Italians girls lick on their gelato before crossing. On the left side, we see a small cafe with Itlian men sipping on their afternoon espresso while talking with emphatic motions. Their hands are in the air while a cigarette dangles between their fingers.
Here you see the twin renaissance churches of Santa Maria di Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli.
After what seemed to be a long time of people watching, we then decided to walk around. Upon reaching one of the twin churches we found ourselves at Via Corso.
We also found an arrow pointing to the Spanish Steps.
We go further.