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Published: April 4th 2015
We are beginning to fit in: up until after 11:00 last night and up early today. The last two days have been clear skies and warm weather but today it is overcast and tomorrow, Easter, bodes well for rain. Breakfast on the roof was fabulous as usual, with eggs, sausage, bacon, five fresh juices, many different fruits, and every conceivable pastry you can imagine. We have been good, but not too much, saving ourselves mostly for the restaurants we have chosen.
After a taxi ride into the gardens we walked the last few yards to the Galleria Borghese, the most incredible museum of statuary in Rome. Many Bernini statues (David, Apollo and Daphne, Rape of Prosperine, and Truth) as well as numerous others that overwhelm the senses. Canova’s statue of Pauline Bonaparte as Venus makes you think it is not marble but some soft and pliable material. Then the second floor is stuffed with paintings by every imaginable Italian Renaissance artist you have ever heard of (Bellini, Titian, Barocci, Bassano, Garafalo, to name a few). After 90 minutes we were exhausted and went outside to get some air. We had beaten the crowds to the Berninis but had joined them
amongst the paintings. A walk in the gardens was just what was needed, along with a tea at Harry’s Bar on the top of Via Veneto.
Walking down the hill and along the streets leading to the Spanish Steps we met the crowds but managed to enjoy the slow pace we had assumed, looking into shops and checking out the monuments … even taking time to listen to a tenor take on some of the most famous arias in Italian opera. After walking to Piazza Popolo we took a taxi over to Campo di Fiori where we went into a favorite restaurant for a late lunch, Osteria Costanza. Built into one of the olds walls of the city, it has great character and even better food. Peggy had pasta with truffles and John had risotto in a spinach and asparagus sauce. We also ordered spinach and artichoke side dishes and ate every bite with relish.
Back to the hotel for a late afternoon rest and watching out our window as people in the piazza ran for shelter as it started to rain. We had tickets to the opera (Vienna Opera touring company was in town) and took a
taxi to avoid the rain and keep dry, stopping at the Hassler Hotel (above the Spanish Steps) for a drink and a few appetizers. Very relaxing in their bar with a gigantic chocolate egg in the middle of the room. The opera, La Traviata, was presented by a large cast in a small but classic style (red velvet walls with box seats “salon”). Unlike the traditional version, this one ended happily … as we stepped out at the second intermission while everyone in the audience was invited to sample pasta! We stopped at the hotel bar for a nightcap and were in bed before midnight.
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