Rome New Year Part 1

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January 1st 2016
Published: January 1st 2016
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Happy new year!

We are in Rome still looking forward to a northern hemisphere New Year's Eve celebration. We're currently en route to the Trevi Fountain. Well we will be if the bus ever moves! Bloody cold in an open top business winter in Rome. Not cold enough for snow though

None of that romantic scooter travel for us! After pedestrians they are the biggest targets especially as the drivers have a death wish. It's important to get places quickly in Rome so daredevil driving is a must!

For example, last night we were going home in a taxi and we were cut off by another driver weaving around traffic. Our driver initiated a shouting match that lasted four blocks. I'm sure I heard a few Italian swear words flying around!

Yesterday we attended the papal audience, visited the Vatican museums and strolled around St Peter's basilica. My head is still spinning from all the amazing experiences! We're planning to go to basilica tomorrow for the Pope's new year's blessing. Apparently we'll be joined by 100,000 people who show up for the blessing and New Year's Day parade!

The weather has been amazing in Rome. It's 11:00 am and the temperature is 12 degrees. The sun is shining brightly and it's lovely when you come out of the shadows and catch a few rays. We have been lucky to miss the winter rain which is bitingly cold.

The Trevi fountain was astonishing! I sort of remember it from the Roman Holiday movie (Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn) but I never realised how huge it is. The Trevi Fountain was designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci. Standing 26 metres high and 49 metres wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain has appeared in several notable films, including Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita. It's recently been renovated and the marble is white so it's beautiful. And like everything else today it was absolutely packed.

Legend holds that in 19 BC thirsty Roman soldiers were guided by a young girl to a source of pure water thirteen kilometers from the city of Rome. The discovery of the source led Augustus to commission the construction of a twenty-two kilometer aqueduct leading into the city, which was named Aqua Virgo, or Virgin Waters, in honor of the legendary young girl. The aqueduct served the hot Baths of Agrippa, and Rome, for over four hundred years.

I've learned to appreciate the size of crowds over here. They are enormous It's a public holiday so half of Italy is in the city taking in the sites.

It's now about 5:30 on New Year's Eve and I am sitting on a very chilly marble step leading into a magnificent art gallery. We went there to see a baroque concert. One of Peter's favourite musical periods. He really enjoyed it and I enjoyed looking at the frescoes on the gallery ceiling. Boy those baroque artists must have got bad backs from paining those ceilings!

This afternoon we went to a cafe at happy hour except here you get free food not cheap drinks. And they give you a lot of food. You couldn't have more than two drinks or you'd be overwhelmed with food. With the beer we got bruschetta, pizza, olives and chips. Not that we needed it after spaghetti carbonara for lunch! All ready for a Roman New Year's's bound to be over the top, just like everything else here.

Love sandy and peter xx

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