Tales from Italy - Day 4 - April 26, 2005

Fountains & Ancient Rome

Our last day in Rome and we technically oversleep. We woke up to the maid coming into our room for cleaning. I guess it would have something to do with the room darkening curtains and the force marches around Rome that I've been putting mom through. We jumped out of the bed (well, I did) at 10 am and I announced that we would be doing a "short" walk in our neighborhood to see the fountains. Using our "Jeanne Oelerich's Rome Walking Guide" - Map D (www.walkinguides.com), I marched mom down Via Veneto toward the Piazza Barberini where we found Bernini's Triton Fountain - pictures taken. Next we made a hard left and walked uphill on Via Quettro Fontana to the Corner of the Four Fountains where from this corner you can see the Acqua Felice Fountain (with Moses in the center), St Maria Maggiore - one of Rome's four major basilicas, the Spanish Steps with the boat fountain by Bernini, and Piazza Quirinal - the highest of seven hills of Rome - pictures taken. We made a right turn down a very narrow road ( Via Del Quirianle) past the Presidential Palace to the Piazza Quirianle - there is a beautiful statue there, the entrance to the Presidential Palace where we saw the changing of the guards, and you can see St. Peters Basilica in the background (see enclosed pics). We walked down a very steep staircase to the Trevi Fountain where you are supposed to throw a coin over one of your shoulders to be sure we return to Rome. Since we did not know which shoulder, we did
As I can see that mom is about to pass out - I did not allow for breakfast - we marched back uphill to the hotel where we decided to eat at the Cafe de Paris - also known as "Il Café della Dolce Vita" - the Cafe of the Sweet Life". I'm not sure if I can come back home to a boring ham and cheese sandwich and no alcohol at lunch. It is just standard here to have a little something with a meal - it's cheaper - and it makes for leisurely people watching.

After lunch we went on the Ancient Rome tour which took us to the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, the Arch of Constantine, The Arch of Titus, and St. Paul's Basilica Outside the Walls. (see enclosed pics). We now can say we have done Rome. HOWEVER, we had to finish it off with an over indulgence of food and wine and chose probably one of the most expensive restaurants in Rome - Harry's Bar (http://www.harrysbar.it/)

Quote: Fashionable society gravitated around the "in" places along the Via Veneto such as Doney, Harry's Bar, the Cafè Strega, Carpano, the Pipistrello and, the most famous of all, the Café de Paris, exclusive haunt of pleasure-loving dandies and film personalities... Legendary Harry's Bar is the unique place that evokes the "Dolce Vita' as if it were a clip from the film, creating a vivid flashback to the golden era of the Via Veneto, when Frank Sinatra sang at the piano and all the stars made their appearance in this bar/restaurant full of glamour and style. As in the roaring sixties, you can still sip an aperitif, enjoy the live piano bar every evening and dive into the magic of the Via Veneto from the exclusive and fascinating Harry's Bar.
You can not rush dinner here. The first reservation you can get is at 8pm. We were one of the 1st people in the restaurant. You don't go to your table (even if it is ready) right away. You have a cocktail first. Once finished, you are escorted to your table where we were given a menu that has 4 courses. You also don't order wine by the glass. When you ask for wine, it comes by the bottle. Make sure you ask "quanto costo" - how much does it cost - or you could be in for a big surprise. Mom and I had all 4 courses - like the pigs were - and the final tab came to a shocking 250 euro - YOU DO THE CONVERSION. Holy cow. However, the food was to DIE for. Absolutely scrumptious. I think I was able to get a picture of the cappuccino with HB writing in the froth.

Well we are back in the heavenly beds....our train leaves for Florence at 1pm tomorrow. Moving on the second leg of the adventure.