Crazy and Interesting Italian T Shirts

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. IMG 9759

I amazed that anyone would really want to wear this, but they sell them.

Some of the others were even more outlandish.

 

7F5CDC1D F5A2 4C84 BF08 8EC0628AAB06

OK we get the point.

B1ABF40A 55AE 4876 8D6B 10557E3C26C6

Softer tones this is a nice one.

IMG 0006

Simple, but why?

IMG 0009

IMG 0431IMG 9757

Profanity is accepted in both Italian and English.

Thats all for today.

IMG 1109

Climbing Up To The Cupola Of St. Peters Basllica, Vatican City

IMG 1602

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.

Fullsizeoutput 640c

It gets a little tight on the staircase.

Fullsizeoutput 6441

On the way up there are several viewing locations.

Fullsizeoutput 658a

This was an early morning visit in September..

IMG 1606

IMG 1611

As I zoom into the mosaics the details will become visible.

IMG 1612

How detailed they are.

IMG 1613

Now on to the top.

IMG 1631

IMG 1638

360 degree views of Vatican City and Rome

IMG 1637

Fullsizeoutput 6596

Many details of the basilica become visible when you are on top.

IMG 1655

IMG 1657

Fullsizeoutput 643d

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.

Fullsizeoutput 5543

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.

Fullsizeoutput 63b2

Rome in 18 days

DSC05109

Spending 18 days in Rome and traveling mostly on foot bright this city into a new light. Every time we left the apartment we got closer to the city and discovered new and exciting things. Our first visit was in the mid 80s. We did not return to Italy until 1998. Since then we have made several more trips to Rome if only for a few days. This was the chance for discovery and getting a feel for living somewhat like a local.

IMG 0977

Our Airbnb was close to Campo de Fiore. We walked just about everywhere. The market is picturesque but highly oriented to tourists.  Still many locals go each day, as did we. Fresh produce and fruit came back to our apartment. A small supermarket was also close by to supplement what the market did not have.  There were several salumerie  in the area, and well as several Macellerie for cold cuts and meat.  This became a daily ritual.

IMG 1098

During the next several blogs post, I will be describing the interesting happenings during our stay in Rome.

 

Caio for now.

Per dire la verità recensioni di Airbnb non dire tutto. To tell the truth Airbnb reviews do not tell it all

When you stay in an Airbnb you get to know the owners and managers well. Some times they gloss over something saying no problem. As you stay, you may be reluctant to say anything bad. One time we had no hot water in a rather nice apartment in Orvieto.  The problem was quickly resolve by resetting a breaker. Some time that location of the apartment can be a problem. In Rome we are next to a restaurant which has some early morning noises. We knew about this from the review. NO  BIG DEAL.  

Next to us, the apartment was undergoing renovation. Part of the wall was knocked out in two locations and repaired withy concrete. Plaster was not repaired, looked like a basement wall with a hole int it.  Workmen began each morning at 7:30 am and each day stone and wall fragments from this job were on our terrazzo floor. Not nice. 

Shower was difficult to use with out having water go on floor.  Floors were a little dusty, and could never be really cleaned without a professional floor machine.  Walls have marks that should have been cleaned off. The kitchen is decent, but the stainless steel sink area where you put plates does not drain into the sink.

As I looked at many, many reviews for this property, I think people are afraid to bring these items into their reviews. 

On the very positive side, the location was perfect. A two block walk to Campo de Fiore with markets and restaurants. Ten minutes to Vatican, bus stops about a two block walk away. One nice restaurant was behind our building, Polese. 

Arnbnb does not visit these places, so  you need to review ALL the reviews.  Reviews are not in chronological order. Go through all of them and see if there are negatives that are repeated. Bad reviews seem to be hidden. 

If you have a problem, use the email in the Airbnb app to connect to the host. If you can not get a resolution, than use the help button on the app and go directly to Airbnb.  We have received an offer of a 300E REFUND from our host. The construction goes on but the equivalent of $$360 US makes it a little less painful. 

Go through ALL of the reviews, it may be time consuming but it will be worth it in the end.  

I have enjoyed our visit to Rome. The location a short walk from Campo dei Fiore is wonderful. Our host has tried to make our stay enjoyable. The construction will take some time and hopefully will be complete by next years high tourist season. 

Campo de’Fiore, Alice Pizza, Rome
Market Campo de’Fiore, Rome A MUST SEE
Since construction was going on could not use closet had to use small cabinet and hang excess on windows
Concrete patched the plaster, very beautiful. Pounding continued each morning as we stayed.
A large butterfly was put up to hide the damage.
It did not do a good job.

Would I stay here again? I am not sure. The host did what could be done to improve the situation, which really was not all that much.  In researching I found another Airbnb about 2 city blocks away which had a modern kitchen and new furnishings  which  I would rather go to. Did I enjoy my stay, immensely.   No coins in fountain this year, too crowded to get in throwing range,  but I will return.

Caio.

Rome for 18 days, it is a trip.

Castel Sant Angelo, Rome
We arrived Rome on the 17th of September coming from Desenzano del Garda.  I nice trip on the high speed train from Verona. Our apartment is next to Campo de Fiore. This location has enabeled us to walk about 70 miles ( according to my pedometer app) since we arrived. To me this is the way to see the city. St. Peter’s, to the Ghetto we have been able to see so much.

A day at the Zoo in Rome

We have seen the museums, visited the ancient ruins, but most importantly is to have interacted with the people we need. We sat down to dinner last night and began talking to the couple next to us. They were celebrating the twenty fifth wedding anniversary and just arrived from Wales.  Just before they left an young man sat down next to us who was an ambassador from Belize to The Holy See, and another long conversation  began.

Antica Trattoria Polese, Rome

We enjoy being centrally located with our favorite trattoria just steps from our Airbnb apartment.  Being in the same place for so long enables us to get to know some of the shop keepers and vendors. It makes it feel like home.

A Salumeria in Campo de Fiore
Relaxing in in the Piazza Navona

Our trip will be over in a few more days, Many more posts will come from the many photos my wife Angela, and I have taken on our trip. We will have been in Italy for seven weeks, taking us from the beaches of Sicily to the shores of Lake Garda and finally to Rome.  Close to two thousand photos and visdeos will give us a number memories to share. 

St Peters at about 8pm. Uncrowded.
Colosseo

Getting Around In Rome With Google Maps

I always thought using public transportation was a good way to get around, but it takes a little getting used to in a new city.  Rome has many maps of the bus, subway and tram routes available. They use a 3pt font ( at least from the perspective of my old eyes ).  Google Maps offers real time routing for public transportation. In this case, I searched for Piazza del Popolo so I could visit the church that houses some Caravaggio paintings.  I like the fact that the map will update as you walk, or take the bus. Helps to know when to get off. 

We used this routing to get from our apartment to the Porta Portese flea market. It was a fairly quick ride with only one transfer. 
At all bus stops, fermata, you find a route listing with the sequential stops listed. The arrow points to the direction of travel. 

Some stops have the video board listing buses arriving at your stop and approximate time before arrival. We found this to be very accurate. Most of the Google routes are easy to follow. Expand the map section for details as you walk to a stop or between stops to final destination.  This does require cellular data, and I would advise on an unlocked phone and purchase a SIM card on arrival in your country of choice.  TIM has a great store at the Rome airport. Very helpful and my phone was activated in 10 minutes with all questions answered.