I'm slowly organizing some of Marina's pictures. Today I have some highlights from Rome.
The group started touring as soon as they left the airport. As I said in my overview, she went to the Piazza Navona where she saw an obelisk and three fountains. Marina thinks there are more obelisks in Rome than there are in Egypt! This was where they had a hailstorm. They found shelter in the building that houses the Department of Internal Affairs, where they met Carabinieri (I think) who act as policemen but can be called to serve in the army. (Reservists?) We have no pictures of them as she had low battery power and prefers taking pictures of architecture.
From there, they went to the Pantheon.
The Pantheon was much bigger than she expected. Outside of many structures like the Pantheon, there are people dressed up as Roman soldiers. You can take pictures with them, but then you have to pay through the nose for it! Michaelangelo studied the Pantheon's dome when he was designing St. Peter's Basilica. He was so in awe of the dome, he made sure not to make the Basilica's dome larger. There's a hole at the top of the dome which washes the floors when the rain comes in and allows heat to escape in the summer. It also makes the dome lighter, which is why it could be so big. The Pantheon is the burial place of Queen Margaret, King Victor Emmanuel II, and the artist Raphael.
Next they visited the Trevi Fountain.
Today the Trevi Fountain is the facade of one side of an office building. You can see windows along the wall.
The tradition is if you throw one coin in, you return to Rome. If you throw two coins in, you get married. If you throw three coins in, you get divorced. Isn't it interesting how it costs more to get divorced? Marina wisely threw one coin.
Next they went to the Spanish Steps. The Spanish Steps used to be across from the Spanish embassy, but the embassy moved. They lead up to a church. The Spanish were probably tired of climbing all those steps to get to church.
The girls were all complaining "We climbed the steps, and there were more steps! Then we climbed those steps, and there were more steps!"
Marina had a new camera with her, so she took some time to play with the settings here.
Grandma and the view from the steps. You can see the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in the background.
Notice how cloudy the sky is in these shots? The weather will improve the next day.
Next stop: Vatican City