When we first started to plan our trip, and Sharon asked us where we really wanted to visit our answer was immediate - PARIS!! We weren't really too sure where else we wanted to go but it was Paris for sure!! You see, since I was a teenager, Paris has been this magical place in my mind that I knew, at some point, I would visit. I can honestly say the thought of visiting Rome had never even crossed my mind - who cared about Rome when Paris was waiting?
Sharon said, 'Yeah, uh-huh, ok - Paris - what about Rome?'
I said, 'Hmmmm.... I don't really care about Rome.'
She said, 'If you're going to Italy, you have to visit Rome - it's the Eternal City!!'
Sean and I agreed - 'Ok, we have three and a half weeks to play with - we'll start our trip in Rome!!'
Thank god we listened to her because Rome is breathtaking.
It is sheer beauty.
A photographer's dream come true.
Rome turned out to be our favourite city.
This tunnel was at the end of our street - I just loved the aqua blue light.
Ummm, this is the mall!! I know, I'm still shaking my head too...
I shot this through an old wrought iron gate at the entrance to a random building.
More twinkle lights!!
I loved the way the shadow of the fountain hit the street - I actually saw this in black and white when I was taking it.
The same fountain - closer.
How much is that crawfish in the window?
I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that the name of this restaurant was 'Tuna' - I found it to be such a strange name for such a pretty white space.
The Italians love their Daschunds!!
Juxtaposition of old and new - texting in an ancient doorway.
The blue column is Trajan's Column, located in Trajan's Forum. The building in the background is the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, or the National Monument of Victor Emmanuel the II, the first king of unified Italy.
Left hand view of the Trajan Column.
Can you believe that people actually carved this out of marble? It just blows my mind.
Right hand view of the Trajan Column.
Standing almost in front of the MASSIVE Vittorio Monument (if you look at the bottom of the photo, you can make out some people walking by which will give you a sense of the scale). As we were standing here, we decided that our evening's adventure would feel complete when we saw the Colosseum. I mean, it's Rome - you have to go to the Colosseum!!
If we had followed a sign pointing to the left, we would have walked around the Vittorio, down an avenue about a kilometre long, straight to the Colosseum.
Instead, we decided to go with our less-than-stellar map reading skills and walk around to the other side of the Vittorio, because 'I'm pretty sure it's down around here to the right.' I won't tell you which one of us kept saying that but it may have been me.
Around to the back right hand side of the Vittorio Monument is a church. The thing is, you have to climb about 150 steps to get to the church which is at the top. The climb was well worth this shot - 2 seconds at f18 - camera laying down on the top step for stability.
In Italy, the Epiphany, or Old Christmas is celebrated on January 6th, so although we arrived on January 8th, Christmas decorations were still out in full force.
The man below taking the picture belongs to the car on the far right. This shot is interesting because he STOPPED HIS CAR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET to jump out and take a photo of the back of the Vittorio. The street looks clear closest to us but that's only because I waited for a break in the two lanes of traffic. You can see his wife sitting in the passenger seat - I wonder what she was thinking as this was happening?
It turns out that taking the 'wrong turn' away from the Colosseum was one of the best 'mistakes' that happened to us. I would never have gotten this shot...
... or this one if we hadn't. Here, I actually had to balance myself on a crumbling stone wall while my camera rested on a curved piece of the iron fence that was blocking me (it was much trickier than it sounds - if you were to ask CJ and Kwasi, they'd tell you that at one point, I was actually laying down on my stomach in the dirt on the train tracks behind the Westin). I'll do just about anything to get the shot.
This guy is clearly very happy to have his picture taken!! Ha!!
My one regret of Rome - we walked by the Pantheon a couple of times during our stay but we didn't go inside.
Random portico on the way back to the hotel.
More Rome, The Colosseum, The Vatican, and then of course, Florence, Venice, Paris and London coming soon!!