Atlantis Alumni

Monday, May 13, 2013

Busy Day in Rome

Our extremely early “on your own” tour bus to Rome left the port of Civitavecchia at 7:15 AM Sunday morning. We were let off at the Vatican, and saw inside St. Peter’s Square hundreds of the faithful there for the beatification of two (possible) future saints. Loudspeakers blared non-descript choral music as we walked away from that side of the Tiber and crossed a bridge past the Castel Sant’Angelo to the other side of Rome. We visited a Baroque church called St.Giovanni Battista (with a neo-classical, later interior) before heading to the Piazza Navona. At that favorite square we stepped inside Borromini’s wonderful church of S.Agnese (St. Agnes) before heading past such popular favorite tourist haunts the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. When possible, we entered churches, including the Pantheon. Most of the churches were holding masses since it is a Sunday here in Rome, so it wasn’t possible to stay long or view some of the most memorable buildings. Past the Piazza Barberini, where the fountain was boarded up, we went to the Palazzo Barberini. This famed Renaissance palace is also one of the finest museums in the city, with a collection that boasts great masterpieces by Filippo Lippi, Holbein, Bronzino, Bernini, Caravaggio and many others. In addition to enjoying the art there we were also delighted to hear a free concert by the Orchestra Juni, whose members appeared to be high school students. Their brass band played Handel and Gabrieli outside the palace, with the more robust brass instruments placed on ground level while the trumpets tootled their notes from a balcony on an upper floor of the museum. This was the way such music was meant to be played when written, and we soaked in the combination of great architecture and great music. Then, as our time was running late, we took a cab back to the Piazza Navona for lunch at our favorite Roman eatery the Scaletta degli Artisti. My ravioli, stuffed with ricotta, was topped with both pesto and a creamy red sauce, and was the best dish at lunch. After eating we tried to find a taxi, but the lines were long for cabs as the city was full of visitors. So we walked back to the Vatican where our guide escorted us to the bus for the return drive to Civitavecchia and our ship the Seabourn Legend. Not many minutes later we were in the lifeboat drill for this week, eyeing our new shipmates. Only 22 people stayed onboard from last week. Today, it’s on to Naples.-Dan


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