Our trip startedt in Rome. We rented a penthouse apartment with a large patio for our stay in Rome. Our friends, started their trip at the beautiful Villa Scarpariello not far from the town of Amalfi on the Amalfi Coast just south of Napoli.
Our apartment, located on via Milano, is a 11 minute walk to the Trevi Fountain, and even more important, a short 13 minute walk to Novelli Pen on via San Marcello. We enjoyed staying in what is known as the Monti district of Rome, between the via Nazionale and the the Coliseum. The areas has authetic charm. Small streets with an array of shops.
Having an apartment in Rome meant there were enjoyable mornings on the patio. Typically I would start the with a walk, get some photos and pick us brioche for our Prima Colazone on the patio. Then we would head our together. The need to be hitting the streets early in the morning is no longer a must when you have visited Rome a number of times. Now you can just enjoy.
Where the stay in Rome is such a question. Each area has his own characteristics. The area where our apartment is located is called the Monti Districft. The New York Times refers to this neightbourhood as being lively and yes in the evening there is activity on the streets and it had a good feeling. There were plenty of very good food stores, and we enjoyed some great meals cooked in our Apartment. We were fortunately to be able to buy some of the best food. For example, the veal we purchased was from the well noted Macelleria Stecchiotti shop on via Panisperna.
The Colosseum is probably one of the busiest sites for tourists in the city, but put all that aside as this amphiteater built in 70 to 82 is inspiring. The tiers of arches and half-columns or Doric, Ionic and Corinthian architecture are simply stunning.
Despite many visit to Rome, we had never visisted the Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura. This basilica is often called St. Paul's outside the walls as it is located outside the ancient walls of Rome. It is well worth the short metro trip to reach. The basilica is situated over the burial place of Saint Paul.
The Cloisters of the Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura were built between 1220 and 1241 and are very graceful and peaceful to visit.
More information on the Travels to Cloisters web site.
Of course, any trip to Rome means a visit with to Novelli Pen. I met with Marco Parascenzo and he showed me some of the new pens that have been issued this year.
This year I acquired the incredible OMAS Wild, a fountain pen created from celluloid. The rhodium plated gold nib in broad creates a very smooth line of link. The pen had good balance and because of the celluloid material, is light in weight. So pen in hand, I commenced the trip and our Travel Journal.
Another new location for us was the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome (Cimitero Acattolico) holds what is considered the highest density of famous and important graves anywhere in the world. It is one of the oldest cemeteries in continuous use. A visit here is a peaceful point of a trip to Rome.
But there were also some regular places that we always visit. Our walk to Novelli Pen takes us past the Trevi Fountain, one of the regular stops on every visit to Rome. This is the largest and probably most famous Baroque fountain in Rome. The fountain is located at the junction of three roads (tre vie) and thus the name.
Yes, make a wish as you throw a coin over your shoulder at the Trevi Fountain and you will return to Rome. Each year we throw in our coin, and each year we seem to be coming back so there must be something to the who process. We are probably booking our tickets for the next trip in a few weeks. Never let go of one holiday with your finger tips touching the next.
Another of our regular visits is to the Piazza Navona, with its stunning Baroque architecture. In the centre is the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, the fountain of the four rivers, which was build in 1651. Designed by Bernini, the four gods on the corners of the fountain represents the four major rivers of the world (Nile, Danube, Ganges, and Plate.) My favorite is the river god Ganges.
The significant foot of the river-god Ganges. They just have to get some way to keep the pigeons from being on the fountain!
We also headed our to see Santi Quattro Coronati for the first time. The Coronati is one of the ancient basilicas of Rome. We particularly wanted to visit the cloisters which date from the 12th century. They are kept behind a closed door, and one of the nuns lets you in to see the the stunning inner cloister.
More information on the Santi Quattro Coronati and the Cloisters is on the Travels to Cloisters web site.
The Capitoline Museums are actually a group of museums on top of the Capitoline Hill. After many trips to Rome, this was our first visit to these museums. Very interesting and worth another visit, perhaps next year!
The original statue of Marcus Aurelius now sits in the the Capitolini Museum.
Yes, we enjoyed our time in Rome. And for those who may say "haven't you been there" they are only missing out on the pleasures of being in one of the great cities of world and enjoying the city rather than just visiting important locations.
So with a new pen in hand, our trip, and our Travel Journal starts to take shape!. We will leave Rome, travel to Napoli by high speed train and meet our friends, Chris & Carmen Grant in Amalfi for the next segment of the vacation.
On one day, as wel walked away from the Spanish Steps we looked for a place for lunch. Just a few blocks over on via della Carrozze we found Dolci e Doni. I guess we would describe it as somewhat funky. We have listed as a Great Place to Eat and placed it on our Great Places To Stay site. We had a very good lunch.
While we are in Rome, our friends are in Amalfi staying at the Villa Scarpariello. The Giardino Suite offered endless views of the sea while Chris cooked in the kitchen. It offers a killer patio and is very nicely appointed.
The Villa Scarpariello has an interesting history. Tthe old tower dates to 1533 and was built by the University of Ravello. The tower was part of the old fortifications that were along the Amalfi Coast for protection from Turkish pirates. Later it took on the role of residences for the Princess of Marsicanovo, the Barons of Campagna and even King Vittoria Emanuele III of Italy.
Today the villa includes both apartments and furnished double rooms. Villa Scarpariello is located just down the road from the Hotel Villa San Michele.