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In October of 2015 I did a bike tour of the Tuscan hills. Besides being a physical challenge, it was one of my best trips to Italy. Watch the video, words can not do the trip justice. Vermont Bike Tours provided great guides and wonderful accomodations. Some of the many photos I took are
If you like Italy and Toscana, plus some great food, this makes for a wonderful trip.
Here is the link to the video
In 2007 we had a weeks vacation to visit Italy. What can you do in 7 days? We visited Orvieto, Lucca. Vermazza. Santa Margarheita, Portofino, and an afternoon in Rome. And a couple of towns in the Cinque Terre.
Vernazza from the hillside above
Vernazza was our introduction to the Cinque Terre. A hillside town with terraced gardens and vineyards. Our visit was before the flooding, but the town has been restored and the tourists have been back from quite some time.
A fishing boar was pulled up on to the shore.
This is the piazza for the nail gatherings. We visited in April and were treated to some very mild temperatures.
View from our BnB, Gianni Franzi. Not a bad place, but like many BnBs you will climb up some steep steps. The location was a quick walk to the center of town.
The colors of the piazza.
Views of town from the seaside. Lots of places to sit and enjoy the views. Vernazza and Cinque are know for their hiking trails. Some can be strenuous, but all are beautiful.
Here is a link for information on the trails. Make sure to check to see if you need a pass to use the trails.
Local fishing boats by the pier.
Line art, or clothesline art.
The train station as we headed down towards Riomaggiore, where we learned an expensive lesson on train travel. When you purchase ticket for the trains, or busses for that matter, you must validate (convalidare) your ticket. We were taking the 5 minute trip to Riomaggiore and had no clue. As the conductor approached I handed our tickets to him an he new he was going to make a killing with some naive tourists. It cost us 30 Euros for the mistake. Original tickets were 2 Euros each! Many train tickets on the high speed system are marked for a time and date and do not need to be validated. It does not hurt to ask.
A view from the pier as we prepared to take the boat for a short tour of the nearby towns.
Vernazza is a must see, but try to avoid peak tourist times. April, and May are good and late September through mid November are less crowded.
I will continue our trip in the next post.
Image below is from http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en
We strayed from our Campo dei Fiore market to seek out the Testaccio Market. It has moved from a covered stall environment to a new modern clean building. It proved to be a great day trip. Google maps gave us the correct bus line to make and after that is was a short walk.
This is a large comfortable space with many vendors, both food and clothing. We enjoyed looking and eating at the market.
Fresh seafood is abundant.
Fresh vegetables with very affordable prices.
My favorite porchetta! Delicious.
Tripe is a favorite of many people, ma non io.
Bring your own bottle, look at the prices. 2.40 E for a liter.
Arancini or supple are a favorite of mine.
We enjoyed lunch from this stall
It was a great lunch.
Clothing is also sold.
The market is well worth the visit. Lots has been written about it and there are no exaggerations. Enjoy the many markets of Rome. I am back in Florida and our weekend markets do not come close to the Rome markets.
While wandering the far end of the Campo dei Fiore and came upon Largo dei Librai, a small dead end street. But it was not a dead end, it was the beginning of a great find. With children kicking a soccer ball in front I came upon the THE CHURCH OF SANTA BARBARA DEI LIBRAI.
This tiny church is located on Largo dei Librai, just past Alice Pizza and the Filleti di Baccala. Alice Pizza is a great and inexpensive lunch stop.
I came upon this by chance and then read about it in detail in the Blog “An American in Rome” which was my go to resource when we were there for eighteen days last summer.
This tiny space contains so much beauty. The small size of the church keeps it from being overwhelming.
I came back a few days later with my wife and found it was closed. The hours did not seem to be posted on the door.
If you visit near the Campo dei Fiore, head towards the far end and continue down the street. After passing by a number of shops, you will see Largo dei Librai on your left. The church is at the far end.
Tale a look at the American in Rome blog. Stephanie is an American living and working in Rome.
Santa Barbara dei Librai, Rome
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coordinates: 41°53′41.32″N 12°28′25.49″E
Santa Barbara dei Librai is a small Roman Catholic church in Rome, Italy. It was once known as Santa Barbara alla Regola after the rione in which it was located. Today it now considered within the rione of Parione, near the Campo de’ Fiori.
Giuseppe Vasi dates the consecration of the church by 1306, although it is probable that a church existed at the site since the 10-11th century. Inscriptions inside claim that the church was established by Giovanni di Crescenzio de Roizo and his wife Rogata, who was a senator of Rome in the second century. In 1600, it was granted to the confraternity of the Bookmakers (bookbinders, publishers, and scribes) or Librari, who titled the church after St Thomas Acquinas and St John of God as patrons.
During the papacy of Innocent XI , the church was restored. In 1634, after a fire, the confraternity of book makers bought out adjacent properties. The baroque façade was remade by Giuseppe Passeri. The statue of St Barbara over the door was sculpted by Ambrogio Parisi, and the angel painted on a wall is attributed to Guido Reni. The church has paintings by Luigi Garzi; a fresco of St Saba by Giovanni Battista Brughi, pupil of Baciccio, in the chapel of Specchi; and frescoes by Francesco Ragusa and Domenico Monacelli.
The church was used by the confraternity till 1878, but fell into abandon and was deconsecrated. In 1982, it was restored and.
The adjacent oratory is sited in the ruins of the Theater of Pompey.
Tryptich by Leonardo da Roma
Among the works of art inside the church are:
Tryptich of Madonna and child with John the Baptist and Archangel Michael (1453) by Leonardo da Roma.
Crucifixion by Garzi
Jump up ^ Diocese of Rome
Jump up ^ Itinerario istruttivo per ritrovare con facilità tutte le Magnificenze di Roma e di alcune città, e castelli suburbani. Settima Giornata in Romeartlover.it
Morelli Gonippo, la chiesa di sants Barbara dei librai, Roma 1927
C. Rendina, Le Chiese di Roma, Newton & Compton Editori, Milano 2000
C. Cerchiai, Rione V Ponte, in AA.VV, I rioni di Roma, Newton & Compton Editori, Milano 2000, Vol. I, pp. 335–382
Mariano Armellini,Le chiese di Roma dal secolo IV al XIX, Roma 1891
C. Hulsen, Le chiese di Roma nel Medio Evo, Firenze 1927 F. Titi, Descrizione delle Pitture, Sculture e Architetture esposte in Roma, Roma 1763
A salumeria is traditionally meat and sausages (salsiccia) are sold at the butcher and other meat products are sold at the salumeria. In more recent times, salumerie often sell various products including cheeses, eggs, pastas and ready-to-eat antipasti. These shops are spotless works of art! Amazing.
Just like the Boars Head Provisions in the US, this little shop has it on the wall. Norcineriaviola in the Campo dei Fiore, Roma.
Nothing but the best.
You can visit this shop in Campo dei Fiore. Located at the left side towards the Farnese cinema.
A macelleria in the Campo dei Fiore.
More goodies in another salumeria in the Campo.
And lastly, EATALY is alive and well in Roma.
Porchetta, always delicious.
My wife ia a trip lover. She cooked it and enjoyed it in our apartment near the Campo.
The crazy and different Italian T Shirt fad, During our seven week travel through Sicily and Italy it was impossible not to see how many shops had T Shirts, but with English language text and a bit of profanity.
I amazed that anyone would really want to wear this, but they sell them.
Some of the others were even more outlandish.
OK we get the point.
Softer tones this is a nice one.
Simple, but why?
Profanity is accepted in both Italian and English.
Thats all for today.
No matter how you decide to go, you will get a lot of exercise. Option one is to climb the entire 551 steps to the top. Option two ( my choice) you cut the trip down to 320 steps. Most people took the elevator to the 320 step route. Hours are from 08:00 – 17:00 from October to March 31st. From April to September 30th, it is open till 18:00. Keep in mind, it is a climb and make sure you are in reasonable physical condition.
It gets a little tight on the staircase.
On the way up there are several viewing locations.
This was an early morning visit in September..
As I zoom into the mosaics the details will become visible.
How detailed they are.
Now on to the top.
360 degree views of Vatican City and Rome
Many details of the basilica become visible when you are on top.
At the end of the trip catch the stairs to the elevator an complete your tour of the basilica at your leisure. The rope serves as a handrail.
Cost for your excursion is 5 Euros if you climb, and 7 if you wish to take the partial ride in the elevator. I arrived at about 08:15 with no lines. It was worth the climb. Look for the signs directing you to the cupola as you enter and there will be a ticket booth.