Sunday was the one day where we actually had to be somewhere at a certain time. We had to make reservations at the Borghese Gallery, where they only let in 300-some people at a time for two-hour windows. I made the reservations (before we left home) for 1pm. The gallery is set in a mansion on what was formerly a private estate, which is now a large public park. Before our designated time at the gallery, we spent some wonderful time exploring the great park. This was really fun for us, because we felt like we were seeing real Romans doing regular Sunday things, like walking their dogs and playing with their kids.
The gallery displayed an amazing private collection of art from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. I particularly enjoyed the statues by Bernini. (No cameras allowed inside. In fact, they even make women check their purses before entering.) We would definitely recommend a visit here for those heading to Rome.
After our tour of the gallery, we stopped at an outdoor cafe in the park and enjoyed a couple of yummy sandwiches (and of course gelato).
We made a quick stop at the hotel and then decided to head over to the Pantheon, the one major site we hadn’t seen yet. As was often the case throughout our entire trip, we enjoyed the journey as much as the destination.
So, here’s the Pantheon, obscured by scaffolding on one side and random strangers on the other. Oh well.
I was pretty amazed by the Pantheon, with its perfect sphere of a dome that was constructed over 2000 years ago. I also liked that it was built for people to worship the many gods.
After touring the Pantheon, we walked to a nearby square, which ended up being one of my favorite spots in Rome. It was lively and great for people-watching. We enjoyed a couple of glasses of vino at one of the cafes lining the square.
Our last stop for the evening was for dinner. We tried a great ristorante/pizzeria and enjoyed some amazing prosciutto and mozzarella followed by a fabulous margherita pizza. We then visited a gelateria around the corner (suggested by the couple from Idaho sitting at the table next to us) and enjoyed our best gelato yet in Rome as a nice dessert on our way back to the hotel.
Amazingly, our time in Rome was already over. The next day was our travel day to Venice. We arrived at the train station about an hour before our train was scheduled to depart, and once there, I realized that we’d forgotten to get our items out of the safe in our hotel room. This included my wallet, Craig’s bank card, and our emergency US cash (about $200)! Thankfully, we were only about five blocks from the hotel, so I had time to run back to get our things while Craig stayed put with all of our luggage. We made it on the train with just a few minutes to spare. This was the one day of our trip where the weather was not great (it was raining), but we enjoyed the views as we traveled through the Italian countryside over the four-hour journey.
Next up: Venezia!