World Travellers Part 2: Roman Holiday

After London, we embarked on a ten-day trip to Italy to celebrate Lisa’s graduation last summer from Maryland with her MBA and MS, and my admission to Sloan at MIT for the fall. The focus of the trip would be the Amalfi Coast, but we had spent some time in Rome on our honeymoon and wanted to revisit our old friend.
This view of the Piazza from its southern end captures the beauty of the buildings surrounding the Piazza.
Although the city was mostly familiar, it seemed to sparkle as a result of the preparations for the Millennial visitors. One especially noteworthy thing was the colors of the walls, which had been painted throughout most of the city with an ancient technique that used natural pigments in solution with milk to achieve a lovely wash.

We stayed near the Piazza Navona, and spent a lot of time just walking around the place, built over Diocletian’s hippodrome and said to offer the best people-watching in the city. It certainly had one of the best enotecas (wine bars) around…
This is one of the three lovely fountains in the Piazza.
The central fountain of the Piazza is by Bernini.  His figures are said to be recoiling in aesthetic horror from the church directly opposite, which was designed by one of Bernini's rivals.
The arch at the entrance to the Piazza was originally one of the main entrance gates to Rome.
The lovely facade of St Peter's, restored in time for the Millennium.
One of the small joys about our days in Rome was that much of the restoration work that had been ongoing on our previous visit was complete now. I finally got a chance to see the facade of St Peter’s, which had been under scaffolding when we visited in 1998.
The famous Spanish Steps, bedecked with flowers.

Our favorite church in Rome, this dates back to the 13th century.  Check out the golden mosaic in the pediment.
One of our favorite churches in Rome is Santa Maria de Trastevere, named for the funky district across the Tiber in which it is located. We took this shortly before going for a repeat dinner at Romolo, one of our favorite Roman osterias. It’s housed in the former villa of Raphael’s mistress, and the seating in the stone courtyard is to die for. We did not die this time, as we knew we were on our way to Paradise on the Mediterranean, Positano. Of course, we’d have to drive the Autostrade del Sol and go through Pompeii first…

World Travellers – Part 1

The dome of St Paul's Cathedral, as seen from the ground.  It's quite a climb.
This is the view from the west face of the dome of St Paul's Cathedral in London. I was lucky to get this shot off between raindrops...
We’ve been promising to publish photos from our trips for so long, I can’t blame anyone for not believing that we’d do it…but I’ll try to post more photos every few days for the next few weeks to catch up.

Our travels this year started in London with one of those British Airways saver fares. It ended with meeting one of the Cheeselords and his friends at the Savoy for various beverages, some made with absinthe (which, amazingly, is still legal in London).

Two photos of St Paul here in honor of one of the weirder coincidences of the trip: as I was coming down the steps of the dome tour, having gone to the top to get the first of the photos below, I ran into Dan’s friends starting their ascent. We had been trying to get in touch with each other for three days…