Exploring Rome Italy With Friends
This is the first in a series of blogs called Exploring Rome Florence Venice. My wife and I never pass up an opportunity to visit Italy! So at dinner one night with friends they told us they were visiting Italy for the first time, Rome, Florence and Venice and wanted us to go with them. How could we say no? We have been to Italy four times and it would be fun acting as tour guide for first time visitors.
We begin our journey with our friend’s son driving us to the airport to catch our Delta Flight to Charles De Galle (CDG) and then on to Rome (FCO).
Oct. 11 Thursday.
Arrived at Charles De Galle (CDG) at 8:10 in the morning caught our next flight to Rome (FCO) #8618. We retrieved our bags and made our way to the transport area where we saw our driver holding a sign saying Costco Travel, our driver took our bags and drove to Starhotels Metrople on via Principe Amedeo. Check in was smooth the hotel was recently renovated the room is very nice. Staff was friendly and very helpful with directions and questions; we had many in spite of thinking we knew where and what to do. We freshened up and off we went to explore.
Rome is a wonderful city to walk. Be prepared for the hills and cobblestones, wear comfortable good walking shoes. Do not be afraid to walk and explore, as always be aware of your surroundings; there is plenty of public transportation, taxis and Uber, which we used for all our transportation.
We walked toward the train station, light rain falling (always have a rain jacket and Umbrella) as we looked to the right we could see a large church on a hill, Santa Maria Maggiore, one we knew we must visit.
Almost to the Piazza della Republica, Santa Maria degle Angeli e dei Martiri (Basilica of St Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs) was visible. This is a Roman Catholic Church, the only Renaissance church in Rome, designed by Michelangelo in 1563; constructed within the Roman walls of the Bath of Diocletian. This church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the angels, and to the Christians slaves who died here while building the baths. Inside it is beautiful with many monumental tombs, holy relics and a very interesting display of the Meridian Line. This line is a sundial laid out on the floor; it crosses through Rome at 15-degree latitude at 12:15 (1:15 summer) and the sun will cast a light on this line. The high sun will shine through a small hole in the wall and thus shine a light each day to measure the sun’s meridian crossing. The Meridian Line, commissioned by Pope Clement X1, built by Frannesco Bianchini, astronomer, mathematician, archaeologist, historian, and philosopher, completed in 1702. I found this very impressive and beautifully laid out; it is operating today. The church is used for many ceremonies including funerals of soldiers killed abroad.
Now by this time we were hungry and thirsty, we found a neighborhood restaurant, enjoyed pizza, pork scaloppini, wine and Peroni beer .
We always explore the immediate area around our hotel, usually walking around a block or two. Very close to our hotel we found a small grocery store (Carrefour) they sell almost everything and can be found all over Italy. We bought a six pack of beer, coke, wine, bottles of water and a bag of chips. We returned to the hotel and made plans for the next day’s adventure.
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At Cooking Wine and Travel we like to hear about your experiences. Have you traveled to Italy? If so what is your favorite place to visit. Please leave your comments below. Hope you enjoy our blog series Exploring Rome Florence Venice!